When we first set out in pursuit of a goal, it’s often very easy be accountable. But as other demands appear, and achievement still feels months (or years) away, that accountability can begin to diminish. And once accountability wanes, so does our drive and motivation. If we want to preserve the energy and effort needed to achieve our goals, we need to maintain accountability. Here are some ideas to do just that:
Write Them Down
It may seem overly simplistic, but the act of writing down your goals can give your accountability a meaningful boost. When we commit something to our thoughts alone, it’s easy to let all the other things competing for our attention push it aside. Thoughts also usually don’t get as specific as something we’ve written down. A goal we keep in our minds can remain a little vague, and when we operate in that manner, we don’t have something specific to be accountable for. When we write down our goals, however, we make them perfectly clear and specific. We define the parameters and clarify what it is we want to achieve. Instead of an ambiguous idea in our minds, we have physical evidence of our commitment to the goal.
Next, we can go a bit further by keeping our goals visible. It could be a note stuck to the bathroom mirror that we’re forced to see each morning, or maybe you make it the wallpaper on your computer screen or phone — find out what works best for you. Keeping a visual reminder of your goal in a place where you’re sure to see it can be a powerful tool. It becomes a regular reminder of whatever it is you want to achieve. If you start making less progress, this can keep you from losing sight of your goal altogether.
Our primary commitment to our goals should come from our own vision and values, yes, but if you want to double down and reinforce your accountability, tell others about them. Like writing them down, verbally articulating your goals can help you get more specific and refine the goal — and now that you’ve told someone about it, you’ve made it real. Words lead to deeds. Getting feedback from the people you trust can also be a valuable support system.
Have a Plan
A system of accountability can be particularly helpful in the case of long-term goals. If you only have a starting point and the endpoint in your plan, you’re leaving the bulk of your work without a framework. Instead of navigating the vast expanse between those two points with no concrete guide, you need to fill in those blanks. When you identify the milestones you need to reach along the way to achievement, you give yourself some tangible things to be accountable for. While it can be difficult to stay connected to something you hope to achieve two years from now, when you have milestones that you need to reach by the end of next week (or next month), you remind yourself of the effort and attention you’re required to give.
If we want to achieve our goals with the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness, we need to stay accountable to them. We need to develop strategies that help us stay connected to the things we want to accomplish throughout the entire time it takes to get there. For ideas on setting the right kinds of goals to build your mortgage business, go here.
If you’re considering a move, we have some terrific business opportunities for loan officers, sales managers, and branch managers that will take you to the next-tier mortgage banker. I’d love to discuss them with you.
VP – Retail Market Leader