We hope everyone has been having a fantastic start to the New Year so far! It’s hard to believe that we’re already almost 1 month down in 2023, but that’s why it’s super important to stay focused on your goals and keep your eyes on the prize. This week, we will be continuing our talk about setting and achieving goals by focusing on one key quality: Accountability.
Accountability is a great character trait to practice and develop, especially for our children. Being responsible for yourself and your actions will help you track your progress and keep you focused on reaching the goals you set for yourself! So, without further adieu, let’s jump right into what accountability means, and why it’s so important for our students to help them reach their goals.
What is Accountability?
Accountability, put simply, is your ability to hold yourself responsible for your actions. In fact, responsibility plays a huge role in accountability, because once we set a goal, it becomes our responsibility to achieve it. It means taking care of yourself, and making sure you’re staying on track to meet your goals. It means doing the things that will help you out, and avoiding things that will hinder your progress.
Holding yourself accountable to your goals means completing the tasks that will help you reach your goals. That means that once you set a goal, accountability will help you stay on the right track. Accountability requires you to take the right steps forward, and correct yourself if a mistake is made. Mistakes are bound to happen from time to time, so accountability is not about getting rid of them, but rather learning how to overcome them and make sure they are not made again.
Finally, accountability is about keeping your word. When you promise to do something, whether you make it to yourself or someone else, accountability dictates that we should follow through on it. Holding yourself accountable for your goals means making sure you achieve them, no matter what. This is an important concept because, like we’ve been talking about all month (and all year) long, goals we set are goals we get!
Track Your Progress
One of the simplest ways to keep yourself accountable for your goals is to track your progress. By tracking your progress, we mean keeping a physical record of the things you have done to get closer and closer to achieving your goals. We recommend a physical record because it can be risky to rely on memory alone, whereas keeping a written account gives you the ability to check and see exactly what you have done so far, and can help you find the way forward.
Our belt-level training sheets, for example, are a great example of holding yourself accountable for your progress. One of the main goals that our karate students all share is to achieve their next belt level (and eventually their black belt, or next degree!), and the training sheets provide a template for our students to mark off each day they practice their curriculum. Students must check off 3 months worth of boxes to complete their training sheets, which help them get the necessary practice needed to earn their next belt. Training sheets are a great accountability tool because they allow our students to physically track all the training they are supposed to be doing at home, and also see how much further they have to go. Checking off each day’s box is no doubt satisfying, and even more fulfilling is checking off that last box for each section! After successfully completing their training sheets, students should notice visible improvement in their physical and mental strength, and understanding of curriculum concepts.
Feel free to make your own “training sheet,” or have your children make one, to help reach your goals. Again, tracking your progress is important because it lets you see what you have done so far, and what else still needs to be done. Additionally, it also lets you see how much you have grown since initially setting out on a goal. Finally, they help you stay accountable by encouraging you to work hard each day to reach your targets.
Tell a friend!
Another great way to hold yourself accountable is by telling a friend about your goals, and updating them on your progress. We will call that person your “Accountabili-buddy.” The person you share your goals with can be a close friend, a parent, a sibling, or even a teacher! Whoever it is, it should be someone who is able to help you out along the way, and someone you trust.
For example, if your goal is to get straight A’s on your next report card, your school teacher is a great person to make your “Accountabili-buddy,” because they will be there during school hours to make sure you stay on track. If your goal is to get more/better sleep, share that with mom and/or dad. If your goal is to be more socially active and meet new people, your friends are great people to share that with. Lastly, if your goal happens to be increasing the amount of push ups you can do in order to excel on your Black Belt Test, your karate instructors can help you stay accountable!
Having an “Accountabili-buddy” is a great way to make sure you stay focused on achieving your goals, because having someone else’s view on your progress can be extremely helpful. The person you choose to share your goals with can help motivate you to keep working hard. They can also help you track your progress, as we discussed previously. Additionally, you can keep them updated as you go, and they can celebrate your achievements with you. When all is said and done, having an “Accountabili-buddy” will have helped you along the way at each step to reach your goals, and it’s a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your peers!
In Our Classes…
This week in classes, we will be focusing on the core concept of accountability, and more specifically how it relates to setting and achieving goals. We will help our students understand what accountability means, and why it’s important. Furthermore, we will help them practice accountability through partner drills, group work, and individual practice during classes. We will show them how to track their progress, and encourage our students to complete their training sheets in order to refine their accountability skills. Additionally, we will encourage them to find someone to make their “Accountabili-buddy” whenever they set out on a goal. By practicing these concepts, our goal is to develop a proficient understanding of accountability within our students, and give them the tools they need to achieve their goals!
Ultimately, accountability is a very important part of goal setting. Without it, the goals we set would just be dreams and ambitions. However, by practicing and using accountability, we can turn those aspirations into reality! Tracking your progress is a great way to keep a physical record of all the steps you have taken so far, and what you still need to do. Having an “Accountabili-buddy” is another awesome practice that will help you stay true to your mission. We encourage all of our families to practice these tips with their children in order to develop a well-rounded goal setting skill set!