The first person you must lead is yourself. If you want to be able to lead others well and hold them accountable, you must learn how to hold yourself accountable first. 

Self-governance is what the Servant Leadership tools are all about. We want you to be able to live at the top of the Freedom V where you place your own internal boundaries on yourself and live by them. 

For me, it’s not the first part, setting the boundaries, that’s difficult. It’s the second part where I get tripped up, living by them. It’s much easier to set goals than to accomplish them. We can have lofty ideas of the kind of people we want to be and the kind of habits we will develop and the lives we will lead, but without structures to hold ourselves accountable for these goals, we will never achieve them. 

Moment of Truth

The first way we can hold ourselves accountable is having a Moment of Truth with ourselves. We broke down the four-steps of a Moment of Truth in the last article, but it’s important to note that they are not just for confronting others on their mistakes. 

In order to accurately assess your Here, you have to know the truth of the situation. And that goes both for solo and group endeavors. Or even when working on a project in community, every person on the team might be in a different place on their own Project Mood Curve, so it’s important to check in with yourself and see how you are doing as well as looking at the overall trajectory of the team. 

Tell Someone Else

In the fourth step of the Moment of Truth, feedback, you come back after a set period of time to assess how you’re doing and figure out if you should adjust the Path at all to achieve your goals. That’s the last element of creating a SMART goal: that it’s Time-Bound. 

Research shows that if we make a goal in our minds, we have only about a twenty percent chance of accomplishing that goal. If we take the time to write our goals down, our chance of accomplishing the goal goes up to approximately forty percent. If we write it down and share it with someone, we have about a sixty percent chance of accomplishing the goal. However, if we write it down, share it with someone, and then have the other person check in on our progress weekly, we get to approximately a seventy-five percent probability of accomplishing our goal. 

You can give feedback to yourself at the end of the Time-Bound period. But you know yourself best, will you actually sit down and assess your progress when you said you would? If the answer is “maybe” or “probably not,” then it’s best to invite another person into the process with you. Share your goal with them and have them set a reminder to text you about your progress. Or, even better, go ahead and set a future time to meet when you initially set the goal. 

Holding yourself accountable requires discipline. But putting the structures in place ahead of time that help you follow through on your word in the future will help you grow in your capacity for self-governance. 

Gracie McBride is the Content and Systems Coordinator at The Crossroad.