The value of an accountability coach
By Anne Bachrach
A.M. Enterprises (The Accountability Coach)
Up to 90 percent of our behavior is habitual, according to some estimates. That means up to 90 percent of what you do is the same day in and day out, and often occurs without conscious thought.
This may not seem like a concern, until you consider the percentage of your behavior sabotaging your success. While you may be aware of some of your bad habits, it takes the guidance of an accountability coach to identify and bring awareness to all of the habits confining you to your current reality.
Most of us have a list of bad habits we keep telling ourselves we will change, but never follow through. Think about all the New Year’s resolutions that never happened.
It's easy to not follow through when you have no one to hold you accountable for the things you say you are going to do or would like to do. Would you be more apt to make the commitment to change bad habits if someone was holding you accountable? It’s not exactly comfortable to try to make excuses to someone else, and you are more likely to follow through on things you say you’re going to do when you are held accountable for your actions, or lack thereof. This is the idea behind an accountability coach.
Wouldn’t it be great if our good intentions worked the way that we think they should? Not even enthusiasm guarantees positive results. There’s often a wide gap between our intentions and our actions. Poor follow through is a fact of life for many of us. It not only threatens our health, but it also prevents us from achieving personal, financial and career goals that are well within our reach.
Good intentions don’t magically lead to good results; they are a start, but you must have the motivation to take action. Desire is unfortunately not enough, and this is just the truth.
We fail to take the action necessary to be in alignment with our good intentions. And while we might be frustrated, we somehow never change the negative habits. We stay in the same place, repeating the bad habits that cause us endless frustration.
An accountability coach will hold you accountable to follow through with your good intentions and call you on it when you don't. If this happens to you, it will not feel good and you'll learn to just do what you need to do to avoid that uncomfortable "in your face" feeling of accountability. In order to get what you don't have, you have to learn to break the habits that got you where you are now. An accountability coach will help you get creative and try new strategies to move to your next level. With the expertise, objectivity, creativity and insight of a coach, you will accomplish what you once only intended to accomplish. They will help you identify the habits and thoughts that are sabotaging your success. They will hold you accountable for replacing the habits and thoughts that are producing your current results with improved habits that increase your level of success. None of us is perfect, and each of us has bad habits and thoughts that are limiting our success. The longer we wait to change bad habits and thoughts, the longer we will continue to produce our current reality. To change your environment, you must change your habits and thoughts. It’s like changing from the old vinyl album record to a CD.
While anyone can act as your pseudo-accountability coach, even a friend, family member or co-worker, only a professional accountability coach can offer proven strategies to increase your level of success. Friends, family members and co-workers can offer valuable feedback on their observances, but not much in the way of professional guidance. Besides, it’s difficult to really take advice to heart from our friends, family or co-workers. Sometimes, the people closest to us are the ones we are most resistant to.
For the best results, find a professional accountability coach that can guide you from where you are to where you want to be. Before you begin your accountability sessions, your coach will ask you to create a very specific list of short- and long-term goals. This goal outline will help your coach identify the habits needed in order to achieve these goals and focus the accountability sessions to be most effective. Additionally, an accountability program will help you realize improvements in the following areas:
- Commitment to action
- Improved follow-through
- Increased high-payoff task productivity
- Increased confidence
- Developing successful habits and thoughts
This process is amazingly powerful and produces great results. When you are held responsible for explaining why you didn’t complete a task, this can be a very effective motivator. It doesn’t feel good to make excuses, least of all to your accountability coach. While there might be very valid reasons why a task wasn’t completed, these are usually rare. My personal motto is, excuses don’t count unless you are dead. This may sound a bit harsh, but the point is to break the habit of making excuses. You either did it or you didn’t. Why waste time with excuses?
Even if you still have a tendency to procrastinate task completion until the last day, you better bet your Thursdays will be highly productive days if your accountability session is on a Friday. While your coach will encourage you to take daily action to avoid procrastination, one highly productive day is still better than no productive days.
Your accountability coach may also suggest daily visualization exercises to help you focus on goal achievement. Sessions may begin with a review of your goals from the previous week, followed by outlining your goals for the following week. After your goals for the following week are discussed, your coach will lead you through a visualization exercise where you will envision your goals already successfully completed. This visualization is incredibly effective and focuses the mind on the actions needed to fulfill your visualization.
When you have to answer to an accountability coach, you will improve your commitment, focus, follow-through, and productivity. Additionally, having an accountability coach will increase your confidence and develop successful habits. You will also see a reduction in procrastination because you will have deadlines to complete your goals, or be held accountable for their non-completion.