Who is going to keep you accountable in 2018?

Two of my most valuable achievements in 2017 were thanks to two groups I joined.

The first was the HRG (Hawthorn Running Group).  Each Tuesday and Thursday I join 40-50 other runners at 6am led by Supercoach JB.  Each time I turn up I strive to keep up with my peers.

Some days I don’t feel like setting the pace so I just do my best to keep up with the others at my pace.  Some days I feel great and I’ll push the pace and push my squad mates to keep up with me.  Everyone in the group gets better due to the fact that we are not running alone.

The other group is TEC (The Executive Connection –  Our group is made up of 13 business owners and leaders from all walks of life.  You can’t just walk into a TEC group; you have to be part of a successful business (revenue over $1m as I understand it), have a growth mindset and be able to contribute valuable insight and support to fellow group members.

At our retreat at the start of the year, we shared our goals, but we were asked to write down three things that the group could keep us accountable to.

Achieving my goals was important because they were for me.  However what the group was holding me accountable became more important because if I failed, it would feel like I was letting them down.

This is what worked for me.  I didn’t want to stand up in front of my peers at the 2018 retreat and tell them I’d failed.  Fear of failure was driving me.

Another good reason to tell someone else your goals and asking them to hold you accountable to them is so they can encourage and support you.  The more people you tell about your goals, the more people that can help you achieve your goal (which could make it much easier to achieve your goal).

So who should you tell?  Here are four options I’ve come up with:

A friend.  Ideally, a friend who you catch up with every month or two so you can discuss it regularly.  It might also make sense to pick a detailed orientated friend or one who also sets goals as they will see the value in what you are doing (and likely to be more encouraging).

Your business partner.  If you have business partners then making them aware of what you are aiming for in both your career/business life and personal life has obvious benefits.

A financial adviser.  We live and breathe achievement and hold client’s accountable for their goals if they need it (some clients don’t need accountability – we add value in other ways).

Your accountant.  This is one thing I encourage you to do this year.  I could get myself into a bit of trouble by saying this, but some (most) accountants are too conservative.  They don’t do deep and meaningful conversations (enough) with their clients so it’s unlikely they’re going to ask you about your goals.  So I encourage you to make the first move.  Tell them your goals and ask them if they can help you achieve it in any way.  Accountants have a wealth of knowledge but some (most?) only offer advice when you ask for it.  So ask them and see what they have to offer.  If they have little or nothing to offer, contact us and we can refer you to an accountant who is proactive and interested in seeing you succeed and pay more tax in the future.  Yes, I said more tax – keep an eye out for our next blog about this.

Matthew Ross

Director and Independent Financial Adviser