What does it mean to be accountable? Accountability often connotes negative ideas of needing to keep yourself in check when you make poor decisions. Yet accountability should not be viewed as a negative thing. It is, at its core, about setting an expectation for yourself by defining your goal and then holding yourself to it.
How do you set goals? There's a standard framework you may have heard of called a "SMART" goal. What makes a goal SMART?
A goal must be:
- Specific: Your goal must state exactly what it is you would like to accomplish
- Measurable: It should involve something quantifiable. This something should be to something quantifiable, such as a specific dollar amount or a percentage (e.g. saving 20% of every paycheck)
- Attainable: It should be realistic to achieve. I would save that goal of owning that private jet one day until after you are first able to pay off your debt.
- Relevant: It should be relevant to your larger objective (e.g. financial independence!)
- Time-Bound: It should set a rough timeline for when you expect to achieve it. The exact timeline is less important than taking steps to be on the path toward that goal.
Now that we have defined what it means to be accountable and how to set goals, the next question is, how do you stay accountable? One way is to write your goals in a notebook and make a commitment to check these goals every few days, weeks, or months. However, sometimes it can be useful to have a helping hand. By connecting with a #prosperbuddy, you can communicate with one another about what your financial goals are, ask for advice, and keep one another accountable with routine check-ins.
One problem with sharing your financial situations with others is that money can be very personal. In the U.S., people do not usually feel comfortable telling others how much money they make. They often feel even more hesitant talking about how much debt they have accumulated or how much money they have saved up. There are valid reasons for this concern. Talking to a friend about money might bring about judgment, jealousy, and other negative emotions. However, wouldn't it be great to be able to discuss finances with a person who is in a similar situation? It could be empowering to work on habits and brainstorm solutions, especially without fearing the bias or judgment that might come from someone who doesn't understand your situation. It can also be fun! Spending only a few minutes each week connecting with your buddy can make all the difference. With a little support, you can maintain your financial goals while also balancing work, relationships, and life!
This buddy system is one of many ideas we're focusing on here at Prosperly. We are seeking to create a safe and secure environment where you can share your financial fears, successes, and goals with other people going through the same journeys. The more we help each other, the more we can all grow together.
As we study this model, we would love to hear from you! If given the option, would you consider partnering with a #prosperbuddy and working together to help you achieve your financial goals? Let us know!
A Little Side Change: Accountability at its’ Finest
If there’s one thing ESPN and Netflix’s The Last Dance documentary taught us, it is the power of accountability. Dennis Rodman, one of the best power forwards of all time, had incredible talent on the rebounding and defensive ends. Yet he exhibited frequent bouts of misconduct that led both the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs to trade him away. The Chicago Bulls decided to take a chance on Rodman, knowing that the leadership exhibited by Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen could help set him on the right path.
Under the tutelage of these three individuals, Rodman was able to perform at a different level. His personality didn’t change much, but he knew that he would be expected to perform when it came to game time. And perform he did! In the first year Rodman joined the Bulls, the Bulls went 72-10, the winningest NBA regular-season record in history up until that point (and a record which stood for another 20 years after that!). Rodman led the league in rebounds and served as a key role player to help the Bulls win championships in all three years that he was with the team.
As further proof of the influence Jackson, Jordan, and Pippen had on Rodman, after the Bulls team broke up after the ‘97-’98 season, Rodman was never able to achieve the same success. He joined the Los Angeles Lakers and then the Dallas Mavericks, which both released him midway through the season. Without the accountability of Jackson, Jordan, and Pippen, Rodman wasn’t able to temper his misconduct or to feel accountable in quite the same way.