Happy Last Sunday of 2019 educators! It is hard to believe that another year is almost behind us and we are peering into a new month, year, and decade. Whether we are maximizing the journey or not…time continues to pass and we are reminded that it waits for no one. For many of us, we take this opportunity to review the previous year and possibly set a few New Years resolutions or goals.
Question for you…what goals did you have for 2019? How did you picture your year panning out? What did you plan to accomplish professionally or personally by the end of this year? Take a minute and assess the year without judgment and really consider where you’ve landed. What are you most proud of and where did you fall short? Often, if we are honest, we will come face to face with a list of unmet goals or unmanifested intentions that we may choose to rollover to 2020 with a newfound spirit of commitment to finally get it done in the new year. I would, however, like to challenge you to step back and consider what could have supported you in moving closer to what should have been in 2019 and what can be put in place in 2020 to truly elevate your life for the better.
In your consideration, let me offer the suggestion of accountability. For many of us, we have every desire to make this year different or simply better, to break habits that continue to hold us back, or to finally step out in a way that we’ve feared in the past. We don’t, however, share our intentions with anyone who cares enough and is willing to be temporarily uncomfortable to call us out and remind us of what we said we would do once life begins to happen.
To be accountable to someone means to be required or expected to justify actions or decisions.
In our fast-moving world of minimized connection, many of us may lack the accountability in our lives that we need to foster a stick-to-itiveness to truly move into a richer and fuller era in our lives. We may walk back our intentions by failing to take the necessary steps as there is little risk that someone will challenge us and ask us to justify our decisions or explain why we, once again, failed to follow through.
I will speak from experience and say that as a parent who strives to be an example and role model, my teenage son has become my greatest source of accountability. I put off launching this blog for quite some time but it wasn’t until I let my son know that I would begin writing that I found a level of consistency to deliver on my intentions. The thought of having to answer all of his follow up questions regarding why I didn’t stay true to my word didn’t sit well so I pushed past the challenges here and there and made it happen. This year I also made a pretty dramatic shift with my diet as I began researching and studying different ways of elevating my health. Usually I’m very private about any personal decisions I make. I knew, however, that the shift would be challenging and what would keep me committed was telling a few folks to ensure that their expectation of me would be the impetus that I needed to stay focused. I will say that as a result of adding a bit more accountability to my life, 2019 was a year of bigger strides.
For me, I realized the greater the shift away from my comfort zone, the more accountability I needed to help stay on track.
The reality is that discomfort is unnerving and we try to avoid it whenever we can. We don’t typically run to it, we run from it…even when our greatest accomplishment sits on the other side. For these reasons, we need the push and the reminder that what we set out to do is exactly what we should be doing when we start to lose our courage. So, let me ask you...who are you accountable to? Who do you have in your life who pushes you to justify your actions and decisions? Who ensures that you operate as the responsible individual that you know you should be? And, who tells you that your reasons for stepping back from your goals are ridiculous and lovingly but firmly puts you in your place?
If you have no one in your life who can keep it 100% real with you, I’d like to push you to make this your #1 goal for 2020. Find an accountability partner or group that can help push you in the direction that you are headed. Purpose in your mind that you will not surround yourself with folks who simply tell you what you want to hear but what you need to hear to grow and get better. As we enter a new decade, let’s choose to live fully and deeply. Let’s dream big again and recognize what’s possible but let’s do so in a way that recognizes our humanity and ability to fall short. If we do so, I am confident that our lives will begin to resemble what we've only imagined in the past.
Here’s to a wonderful new year! I hope you experience immense joy, gratitude, and peace as you reflect on what has been and what is possible for the year ahead.
In love and solidarity,