Accountability Can Change Everything
As Christians, we strive to live like Jesus. We want to grow closer to God. We want to follow our calling and be ready for the opportunities that come our way.
In addition to praying and reading the Bible more, we try to remove the bad things from our lives while increasing the good. We set goals and resolutions, both involving what we’re going to do, and what we’re not going to do.
But there’s a problem.
People aren’t the best at seeing their goals through. Actually, they’re pretty terrible at it. One study by the University of Scranton tracked 200 people for 2 years as they tried to change their habits and chase a specific goal, starting on New Year’s Day.
77% of the people made it the first week. While that’s a relatively high percentage, it’s really not a positive statistic. It means that nearly a quarter of people couldn’t even make it a week. Seven days in, and they gave up.
Unsurprisingly, things only went downhill from there.
By the end of the study, only 19% of people made it the full two years. What was so different about these people that they were able to beat the odds and achieve their goals? Was it blind luck? Raw persistence? It turns out, there were a few reasons, from systems they set in place to the sacrifices they were willing to make.
But one of the biggest factors for people who made it longer than 6 months revolved around a simple concept:
Accountability is a powerful tool.
Especially when it comes to achieving goals. According to a study by the Association of Talent Development, you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone.
Is that success rate a little low for you? Well, if you keep regular appointments with that accountability person, your chance of success goes up to 95%.
With the right partner and regular engagement, your chances of overall success are nearly guaranteed.
Of course, there are some catches.
Obviously, it has to be a goal within the realm of possibility. If you’re looking to become the world’s strongest man in 30 days, it’s not going to happen. But if you’re trying to lose weight and improve your strength, you can make it happen. At least, you have a 95% chance of making it happen.
You also need to make sure you find the right accountability partner. Once you do, it’s up to you to approach them, explain your goal or your problem, and give them permission to hold you accountable.
A good friend will try to intervene if they see you going down a bad path. Or if they know you’re trying to accomplish something specific, they’ll probably ask you about it. But often, in times where we’re failing on our own, these good intentions create resistance in us.
When it comes to accountability, you must make the decision. Always. It’s the only way it works.
You’ll also need to be transparent. The success of accountability is limited by how truthful you are. If you can’t be transparent with your accountability partner, you either need to choose someone else, or you need to learn how to truly open up.
Accountability goes both ways.
One of the most beautiful parts of accountability is its symmetry. It’s not all about you, which is great because life is also not all about you. In the same way your accountability partner is there for you, you are there for them.
To put it into Biblical terms…
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
I know, it’s a little cliché, but it rings true. While I’m at it, I might as well mention this verse:
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
Accountability should be a natural part of Christian life.
As Christians, we recognize that we’re flawed and incomplete. While God will never fail us, we will certainly fail ourselves.
And the people around us.
But that’s not an excuse. It’s the reason why accountability should be so important to us.
Are you struggling with finding accountability?
Maybe you’ve gone through your list of connections, and there isn’t anyone who seems to be a good fit for an accountability partner. Or you have an accountability partner, but you still find yourself struggling with bad habits or lifestyle changes.
Consider Christian counseling.
A professional Christian counselor or psychologist can provide a source of accountability while helping you grow your awareness of the things that may be holding you back. A trained counselor is someone you can tell anything to without fear of judgement or rejection.
To find a counselor that specializes in your area of need, use Torrch. Torrch is a platform designed specifically for connecting everyday people looking for Christian counsel and guidance. Create your free account today.