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The Transformative Power of Accountability

A lot of factors come into play when we’re trying to move forward on something in life. One valuable tool for making progress is accountability. In its simplest form, accountability is just making a promise to do something, then having some way to track whether you actually do it.

Instead of tracking it yourself, it helps when someone else tracks it with you.

An accountability partner raises the bar. You might have tried this with exercise plans. While you might be tempted to skip a solo workout, you definitely think twice about rescheduling a tennis match because someone is counting on you.

When the stakes are higher or the goal is more complicated, an accountability partner does more than tracking and/or showing up. And that’s where an experienced coach comes into the picture. Being the perfect accountability partner is a coach superpower!

What Makes a Great Personal Accountability Partner?

First, there has to be mutual trust and respect. It’s got to feel safe, because it always feels vulnerable to invite accountability.

We have to be willing and committed to giving honest, direct feedback. We can be gentle, but we need to be truthful or else we’re no help at all.

We offer encouragement without judgment or attachment about the outcome.

It’s More Than a Checklist

Coaches know accountability is more than simply checking tasks off a list. We like to get in deep with all the subtle dynamics around your efforts. While we help track your progress, we also ask important learning questions to shed insight into your passion, your skills, your resistance. We help you rethink the steps you’re taking, offering fresh challenges and new slants. We help you re-engage with your goals when you’re struggling to focus.

A coach will dig a little deeper to help you understand your successes and your flops. A coach will ask you to reflect on what you are learning from those actions and inactions, and help you apply those insights going forward.

Accountability is quite a dance, and everyone has a different rhythm. As a coach, I’ve learned how to tune in to who you are and what makes you tick, so I can help you, with direct compassion, make progress on your goals and integrate the lessons you are learning along the way.

Mary

 

A Sparkling Theme for 2019

I am not a fan of resolutions.

They’re well-intended, but they don’t seem to last. We need something to anchor and guide us, to help us be our best.

Having a theme for the year is what works for me. It’s more inspirational.

The thing about resolutions is they set external targets. They are prescriptive, telling you what to do. While there is a certain power to their concrete and tangible character, they seldom stick because they lack inspiration.

Themes don’t expire, they inspire. They tap into our creativity and curiosity, rather than our willpower. They engage us instead of dictating to us. That’s why a theme lasts longer.

Review Your Year for the Pivotal Moments

Yahoo. Boohoo. Aha.

That’s the simple lens I use to review my past year, reflecting on events, accomplishments and moments.

Try it… Write down your “yahoo” moments of 2018. What are you proud of? What brought you joy? Maybe you’ll think of positive steps taking care of your health; quality time with cherished friends; redesigning your website or reorganizing the basement.

Now your “boohoos.” What tough things happened? Jot down whatever triggered your disappointments or sense of loss or shortcoming in the last year.

What sparked an “aha”? What did you learn? What truth were you reminded of?

Review your list. Say thank you to 2018 for the yahoos, the boohoos, the ahas. Feel your gratitude for all you learned.

Now crumple it, toss it out, and say goodbye to 2018.

A Theme to Inspire Your New Year

To figure out your theme, take a fresh piece of paper and write on top: “What Is Next.”

Jot down what comes to your mind and heart.

Ask yourself….

  • What do I want my life/career/work to feel like in 2019?
  • What do I want more of? Less of?
  • What fires me up, makes me feel more alive?
  • What scares me?
  • What are the challenges in 2019?
  • What do I want to focus on for the next year?

Noodle on these questions…. Instead of trying to figure out the answers, linger with the questions.

While you linger, drop your attention to your heart. Drop your attention to your breath. Don’t force it, see what comes.

As words, images or ideas surface, a theme might reveal itself. Sometimes it pops right out, other times it emerges as you noodle. Pay attention to what makes you sparkle, what inspires you.

Once you’ve got a theme in sight, take it out for a test drive. Live with it for a week or two. Does it resonate? Does it spark more questions? Revise and reiterate until it resonates, and let it guide and inspire you as the year unfolds.

Mary

Mary

Navigating Transitions with Grace

“Life is one transition after another” according to one of my wise friends who attended my free teleclass earlier this month. It is true. Some transitions we navigate are BIG – getting a new job or losing a job, becoming a parent or losing a parent, getting married or getting divorced!

When challenged by transitions, our natural human tendency is to RESIST change. We automatically tighten our grip on what is familiar when we face something new and unknown even when that unknown is something positive.

When we are unaware of this reaction, we struggle and make the transition even more challenging.

What helps everyone in any transition is to become aware –

How am I reacting to this change?

What are my options?

What do I want to retain?

What do I want to let go of?

What are my obstacles or challenges?

What obstacles am I creating?

How do I want to be in the midst of this change?

These are the kinds of questions that help my coaching clients successfully and powerfully navigate transitions. If you want more grace and less strain in your transitions, call me (952-939-0277). Let’s see if coaching is right for you.

Mary