This is part four (4) of my monthly meta-challenge to write five (5) blogposts on what exactly I’m doing with these challenges. In an attempt to explain myself, I thought I’d use a challenge to help me get there. You can read the first blogpost here, followed by this, and the latest one here.

This blogpost will be about accountability. A step that should come with any goal-setting adventure.

When thinking of my monthly goals, there was a part of this that remained important. In fact, because the analysis of the goals is as, if not more, important than the achievement of the goals, I needed a system to stay accountable.

I decided that each month would end with a blogpost examining how the month went. That would keep things public, accessible, and visual. This was an important part of the accountability process for me. I decided, as well, to take it a bit further. Facebook, a much more public posting ground, is not something I use often to pronounce changes or events. It’s not a platform I prefer in terms of communication.  But it helps keep me accountable. Knowing the size and openness of any pronouncement (or the potential of it) put on that a platform like that, well, it certainly helps keep you focused on your goals.

That’s been my plan so far. And so far that has worked well. It’s been a good mix of a place I can post in my voice (site) and public (Facebook).

The question for me then is just how to accomplish my goals. But that’s what the whole operation is for, right?

So before we get there, let’s look quickly at why accountability is such a vital step in the long-term self-improvement process.

The importance of being accountable

Accountability is more than just a fail-safe. It’s more than a check on achievement or an examination of success, or the owning of a possible success. It’s a total commitment to responsibility for what’s in one’s realm. What is, was, or will be is a belonging of the accountable person.

In the world of self-success, accountability is a means to an end. By owning the mission one is on, but seeing that it goes beyond the mission itself, one enables the self own achievements and failures. It removes fate, chance, karma, etc..from the equation, which plays into the self-success ideal. It’s about what one person can do, not what happens to that person.

Perhaps this article says it best: External performance is ultimately a reflection of internal commitment.  That’s really it. What you put out is the result of what you’ve willed to happen — especially when it comes to self-improvement.

What Good’s A Challenge?

The question to ask is what the purpose of a challenge is. What we try to do when brining something difficult into our world: faster runs, better scores, whatever it may be. If it’s meant to be an end itself — a one-time achievement that carries nothing over to the next, then we rest easy. Focus relentlessly and achieve. It can be that simple. But in looking for something larger, the goal must be a pulling-away from the achievements (or lack thereof) in any challenge. And if the goal is larger, then accountability plays its role of ownership of achievement, motivation to avoid failure, and the imposing of a reflection of internal commitment.