We all know how easy it is to say we will do something. But actions speak louder than words, and if you find you’re constantly setting yourself financial goals yet never meeting them, then you’re probably making the mistake of not holding yourself accountable.

Accountability is, quite simply, taking responsibility for something. If you’re accountable, whether it’s for a project or a goal, you’re answerable for its progress, success or failure. But often, accountability is met with a negative response, because it can appear like a threat. Knowing you’re being held accountable to something can actually make you feel more stressed, which can lead to you avoiding it entirely. But it is a very powerful motivator that is used by highly successful people, and when used positively, it can greatly increase your results towards your financial goals. Accountability helps you measure your growth and success, pinpoint areas where you need to improve, and accelerate the speed in which you achieve your financial goals.

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So, how does someone become more accountable for financial goals? And if it’s something you’ve always struggled with, is there anyone else that can help you do it?

If you’re not used to holding yourself accountable, it can be hard to know where to start. The first step is to narrow your financial goals. Setting a financial goal like “Save more money” is quite broad, and because it’s not specific, it’ll be easy to neglect. But by setting more specific goals such as “Save $20 dollars each week”, you’re able to make it more concrete, and more achievable. The next step is to start small. Don’t set goals that are too unattainable. If they’re unrealistic, you’re less likely to meet them, which can be disheartening. So instead of saying, “I want to save $100 dollars each week”, start small. Save $20. Put away small amounts, but be consistent about it, and hold yourself accountable for it. Make your goals a priority, and get excited about achieving them.

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One of the best ways to keep yourself accountable is to find yourself an accountability partner. This can be someone you love and trust, like a friend, family member or mentor. Whoever it is, make sure they’re a person you wouldn’t want to disappoint, and report your progress to them frequently. We are not so great at keeping the promises we make to ourselves, because we are able to rationalise and excuse our own negative behaviour. So not only do we not achieve our goals, over time, this kind of behaviour begins to diminish our self-worth and perpetuate our negative mindset cycle. So, by holding yourself accountable to someone else as well as yourself, you’ll have a higher chance of achieving results because you’ll be more inclined to deliver them.

Unfortunately at times people close to us buy into the story we are selling, i.e. our excuses for not delivering, because they can also relate. So if you are really serious about kicking those financial goals, you need to consider engaging  the services of a Financial Empowerment Coach. A Financial Empowerment Coach will look at your current lifestyle and the way you manage your money, and steer you in the right direction towards your financial goals, and financial success. They’ll also help you work through your own personal limitations, and encourage you to break away from your own negative money mindset. They can also pull you up if you start to lose focus, and help you stay on track towards your goals. They also won’t buy into any of your excuses, so don’t even think about trying that!

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Accountability is the difference between being successful, and being average. So, ask yourself: do you want to achieve everything you set out to do? Or are you happy just floating along where you are?  Whatever you decide, hold yourself accountable to your decision – and stick to it!

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