I had the pleasure of speaking to an audience of young women at the University of Miami last weekend about accountability, where this actually starts, and what is needed to make conscious, empowered decisions.
If you weigh in on how accountable you are to yourself and others, you may think that there is room for improvement. And if you think about it more, it is usually the self-accountability part that takes a backseat to following through on commitments you made to others. (Do this step! Think about some examples as we will come back to this later.)
Here's the thing about taking responsibility for your actions... it really starts with what you value. And when you truly value something, it becomes a building block for integrity. (Integrity is just a fancy way of saying "moral code".) Integrity looks different for everyone, as people's morals vary depending on upbringing, religious or spiritual beliefs, and personal preference.
Here are some examples:
My man makes fun of me because I don't give two shits about clothes shopping. I will wear something that is 5 years old and be in ignorant bliss because I just don't care about the "latest" fashion. Therefore, he doesn't hold me accountable for packing/picking particular outfits that align with today's fashion standards when we travel, go out, or I have an event. He simply takes charge because HE values good fashion, and I happily (and gratefully) go along with it.
(I know! The man dressing the woman, right?? How lucky did I get!)
If you have ever paid a great deal on a coach, course, or college degree, you most likely held yourself accountable for getting the work done. You valued the monetary investment as well as the return. Now granted, a lot of people sign up for stuff and never get the work done. Why? One, because doing the work takes effort. But two, they just don't value it enough. And maybe even completing a college degree (for example) is not attached to their personal integrity so after a few classes that they don't enjoy, they just stop going - no big whoop.
When you don't follow through on a commitment, most likely you agreed to doing something you felt obligated to do. It became a "should" versus a want.
So the first step after weighing in on where your accountability has slipped a bit is to determine if you really care about whatever you said yes to. Don't judge, just be honest with yourself. This is a great way to shed some of the items on the calendar if you are feeling overwhelmed.
The second piece here is MINDSET because face it, there are some things you will want to be accountable for even though you don't "WANT" to be.
Paying bills is a great example. Who WANTS to pay bills? But if you value electricity, your home, your car, and Internet, you will pay your bills.
So instead of saying, "I HAVE to pay this", how about shifting to "I CHOOSE to pay this because I LOVE the modern convenience of electricity".
If you think about these two sentences, they hold VERY different energies.
Another example... instead of saying, "I HAVE to help my sister move", you can say, "I CHOOSE to help my sister move because I value supporting my family".
Being more accountable requires doing an honest assessment of what you value, and then paying attention to how you speak to yourself about doing said action.