Good News: You May Need Someone Else

by | Jun 29, 2017 | Opinion

Jeff Denton

Jeff Denton is the pastor at Waterbook Bible Fellowship, Wylie.

Have you ever had one of those days when you get things accomplished for everyone else, but never seem to get the things crossed off your list? You can accomplish what other people want from you. Why is it you’re not meeting your own expectations? What is it that keeps you from accomplishing your goals?

You can meet your work deadline, but can’t get to bed by the time you want each night. You can help the kids with a million projects, but never have the time to read the book that’s been on your nightstand for months. You can bake a cake for a friend’s birthday, but still haven’t been able to start eating healthier. If this sounds familiar to your inner monologue, you may want to seek out some accountability.

Accountability is making yourself responsible to someone or something besides yourself. It’s inviting an outside force in to push you toward your personal goals. The person described above might say they don’t need accountability. He has a list of things he’s accomplished to prove he can get things done. She probably makes the excuse she just doesn’t have enough time to accomplish things for herself.

However, this person needs to recognize the things he or she is getting done is because of accountability in place with others. What gets done are the things others are expecting, have deadlines, consequences, or late fees. What doesn’t get checked off the list are the things for himself. There’s no enforcement from the outside.

Internal accountability is enough for some people. These folks set a goal and get it done. Some people find enough motivation though that agreement with themselves. However, that doesn’t work for the person who keeps missing their personal goals. He needs an external push to get personal things done.

Solomon wrote, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” We might be able to turn around what we believe is a personal failure if we just had someone alongside to help us get up when we’ve fallen.

Accountability can happen by joining a group of like-minded people. It might happen by joining a team sport to exercise more regularly. It’s why people join a dieting group or Alcoholics Anonymous. When students form a study group they’re banding together with others who have the same stated goals. By joining with others, you’re more likely to continue pursuing what you say you want because you know these other people will ask you about it.

You can find accountability outside a group setting by engaging a personal coach for fitness or a life skill. A mentor, someone who has gone through something you’re experiencing now, can help pass on their experience and press you forward.

It’s best to have someone who is asking about your personal goals and deadlines. Having that person looking over your shoulder can provide the inspiration many people are unable to muster on their own. However, it doesn’t always have to happen as blatantly as a direct coaching relationship.

You may be able to produce outside accountability by inviting someone over in a week to see the room you plan to paint. Or by asking a friend to proofread something you’ve been wanting to write and telling them when you’ll get it to them. You can promise your family a weekend trip if you’re able to save better and spend less over the next six months. By inviting others into your goals, you’re giving them an invitation to inquire about your progress. The simple act of voicing your goal to someone else may be enough of a push to get you started. This informal accountability can sometimes be enough to help you with the new habits you’ve been wanting to develop.

For those who can accomplish things for other people and meet external deadlines, it’s not motivation you need. You’re able to find that within the expectations of others. It’s accountability beyond yourself that may be the key to seeing those internal goals accomplished.

For more stories like this subscribe to our print or e-edition.

0 Comments

Related News

We’re global now

We’re global now

No matter how hard we try, we real­ly can’t avoid one another. We live in a world where what takes place some­where else on the globe has a very good chance of affecting us, along with many others. The pandemic, of course, is a useful – if sobering – ex­ample. A virus...

read more
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

The latest report on child maltreatment fatali­ties and near fatalities, compiled by the Texas Depart­ment of Family and Protective Services, indicates 251 children in Texas died in fiscal year 2020 due to abuse and neglect. That figure includes 28 children who died...

read more
Legislators can help prevent trafficking

Legislators can help prevent trafficking

The COVID-19 pan­demic has produced too many tragedies to tally, but here is one that does not get talked about enough: It has worsened conditions that leave children and youth especially vulnerable to com­mercial sexual exploitation, a human trafficking crime. Human...

read more
Texans urged to roll up their sleeves

Texans urged to roll up their sleeves

Gov. Greg Abbott and other Texas leaders are rolling up their sleeves to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to encourage the public to follow suit. “I will never ask any Texan to do something that I’m not willing to do myself,” Abbott said before getting vaccinated at a...

read more
Texas veterans need our help, especially during COVID-19

Texas veterans need our help, especially during COVID-19

Texas has the second-highest population of veterans in the country––nearly 1.5 million––and many of these veterans are poor or homeless. While groups around the state are tirelessly working on veterans’ behalf, there is always more to be done to ensure their civil...

read more
Accusations rock Attorney General’s office

Accusations rock Attorney General’s office

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is battling back against seven top aides who accuse him of bribery and abuse of office. The aides delivered the accu­sations in a letter to the agency’s human resources director. The Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV obtained and...

read more
School year brings an Apple for students, too

School year brings an Apple for students, too

Students across Texas returned to campuses last week as schools and universities scrambled to put into place new lesson plans that best accommodate a pandemic. For many school districts, this meant greatly expanding the technological resources of their students to...

read more
Texas tries nation’s first virtual criminal trial

Texas tries nation’s first virtual criminal trial

A Texan’s speeding ticket put her in the legal history books last week. To combat the backlog in criminal cases created by the pandemic, a Travis County justice of the peace conducted the nation’s first virtual criminal trial. The case was livestreamed on YouTube, and...

read more