As an entrepreneur, what is your best tip for holding yourself accountable for meeting your annual goals?
To help you discover the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your yearly goals, we asked successful entrepreneurs and executives this question to get their best insights. From breaking your yearly goals into smaller goals to creating a personalized review system, there are several tips you can follow to start being accountable to yourself for your yearly goals.
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Here are 10 tips these leaders follow to be accountable for their annual goals:
- Break down your annual goals into smaller ones
- Commit to a schedule to work toward your goals
- Set benchmarks along the way
- Take stock of behaviors that lead to self-sabotage
- Complete one job before you start another
- Avoid distractions
- Conduct weekly meetings with yourself
- Practice reward-based learning
- Share your goals with others
- Create a personalized verification system
Break down your annual goals into smaller ones
Break them down into more achievable steps. If you only set high annual goals, it’s hard to tell if you’re on track for success. Breaking down your yearly goals into monthly, quarterly, or weekly tasks makes it easier to plan them. Psychologically, smaller goals also feel easier to achieve. If I’m going to hold myself accountable, I make sure to track my breakdown throughout the year and make sure I’m not running out of time towards the end of the year to complete it.
Rachel ReidCHAIRMAN, Subtle Beauty
Commit to a schedule to work toward your goals
Annual goals are often ambitious and are rarely achieved without consequence. One way to stay on track is to set a schedule and commit to working towards the goal on a regular basis. This helps keep the goal a priority and ensures progress. Additionally, it’s important to be realistic when setting a schedule. If the goal is too ambitious, it can be difficult to stick to the plan. Therefore, it is important to challenge a balance between yourself and being realistic in order to stay consistent when trying to meet yearly goals.
Michael SenaFounder, SENACEA
Set benchmarks along the way
Annual goals can be overwhelming and a lot can change in 12 months. To hold yourself accountable, set appropriate benchmarks throughout the year. Use these benchmarks to measure and review your annual goals. If you are too far from it, you may reconsider the goal you have set. Regardless, use the time to reflect on what efforts to start, stop, or continue to achieve your goal for the year!
Logan MalloryVice President Marketing, motivation
Take stock of behaviors that lead to self-sabotage
There is a certain level of anxiety when setting goals, which is why it’s important that we build in stop-gap measures to guard against self-sabotage so that we can meet our yearly goals. Many have concerns that their best isn’t good enough, so some make small decisions that keep them from achieving their goal, as it’s easier to find excuses than to find out that their best efforts are insufficient.
Taking the time to outline your negative behaviors, identifying triggers for those behaviors, and being brutally honest about your fears and how they prevent you from achieving your goals will help you identify patterns that lead to self-sabotage . By taking a full self-inventory of your negative behavior patterns, you will be able to better catch yourself before engaging in self-sabotage and do a much more effective job of holding yourself accountable to meet your annual goals .
Adele ArcherCEO & Co-Founders, eternity
Complete one job before you start another
In my opinion, once you’ve started something, it’s best to finish it before moving on to anything else. With more insight into the task at hand, you’ll have a better idea of how long it might take to complete. For example, if you’re trying to learn new software, you should put aside all other distractions until you’ve finished reading the accompanying documentation. After that, you’ll have a better idea of how long it might take to set up the software, get used to using it, and gain proficiency.
Max WeissseiteSEO & Content Lead, break muscle
I’ve found that avoiding distractions is the best way to hold yourself accountable for meeting your annual goals. There are so many things that can take us away from what we should be doing – new ideas, opportunities, and even small tasks that seem like they will only take time. In my experience, the best way to spend my time is to focus on what I’ve been assigned and nothing else. When I’m working on a project and something comes up that I think will take very little of my time, it often becomes the focus of my day. This leads to backlogs and delays in completing tasks on time. As the year progresses, these little distractions add up and can severely impact your ability to meet your annual goals. So I try to be very clear on what I need to achieve and when to say “NO” to things that don’t fit my goals.
Arkadiusz Terpilowskigrowth leader & co-founder, Primer
Conduct weekly meetings with yourself
I like to use weekly meetings to hold myself accountable. These weekly meetings allow me to check myself in and see if I’m on the right track. By meeting with yourself weekly, you will gain insight into your performance and opportunities for improvement. You could even create an agenda listing key issues to work on and set a clear goal for the next week.
For example, if you want to work with better clients, you may find that you are not promoting enough. You can then write a plan that emphasizes the importance of pitching. In this plan, set aside an hour each day to reach out to new customers. Constantly checking yourself and staying accountable makes it easy to hit yearly goals.
Scott LiebermanOwner, touchdown money
Practice reward-based learning
As humans, we fall into habits based on how rewarding that habit is. The reward systems in the brain are activated when we experience something we enjoy, such as eating at a nice restaurant, taking a pleasant walk, or watching a show you enjoy; and this pattern can be hacked to introduce productive practices as part of your daily life.
This is a reinforcement method called reward-based learning. Instead of giving yourself away freely, add an extra step by doing a productive act first. For example: Before you eat a snack, do some paperwork. Or you could go for a run before enjoying a hot bath. By establishing these experiences as rewards for doing deep work and holding them back when you don’t, you retrain your brain’s reward mechanisms. This leads to steady progress as you gradually begin to behave more productively. Over time, your willingness to achieve your goal will overshadow any desire to delay.
Andrew GonzalesPresident, BusinessLoans.com
Share your goals with others
One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your business goals is to share them with others. That way, when you meet these people, they’ll ask you about your progress, follow you up constantly, and make you feel like you need to stick to the plan. That kind of pressure or need to make sure you’re true to your word is a great form of motivation to help you achieve your goals.
Jenna NYECHAIRMAN, On the Strip
Create a personalized verification system
I make myself an annual time capsule. At the beginning of the first quarter, I make a set of goals for the coming year and then tuck the document away until the end of the year. While I don’t read the entire document by the scheduled time, I occasionally schedule automatic reminders to keep track of the task. Then, at the end of Q4, I sit down and read the targets again and reflect on whether or not I’ve achieved my targets. Then I start the process next year. It’s important to note that at the beginning of this activity, in addition to setting goals, I also highlight achievements over the past few years that I’m proud of to motivate myself by recognizing and celebrating achievements.
Michael AlexisCHAIRMAN, small campfire