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Accountability in the New Year

By Barbara Wulf

The holidays are over; it’s a new month, a new year. In a sense, the new year provides us with a clean slate, a fresh start, there’s a newness of where we are heading or what we could be about, what we could accomplish in 2013. We might have trips we want to plan, places we want to visit, pounds we want to lose, friends we want to call, rooms we want to paint, a job change we want to implement, or books waiting to be read. As we know, “wanting” is one thing and “accomplishing” is another.

In essence winter in the Midwest can provide indoor time for us to look inside ourselves, not just at ourselves but also really in ourselves. Like the snow covers and insulates the ground, we too find ourselves inside our house, insulated from the elements of winter. Actually we can use this time on the inside as a gift rather than as a detriment.

While on the inside we can the use the time this season provides to take stock of where we are physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We can take time look deeper, inside our personal home, where mind, body and soul come together.

Yes, the new year is not just about resolutions; it is a good time to take stock of what’s inside and to consider what could use a personal winter tune-up? What can I commit to or recommit to this month, this winter? What am I willing to let go of? What would sustain my health…mind, body, and spirit until the crocuses peak their heads and declare spring is coming.

The good news…the new year has just begun! There’s still time…time to be accountable, to do something to answer the call, your call. Get back on track and stay on track. Even if you did not make a New Year’s resolution, you can still “jumpstart” your life today. There’s still a lot of living to do according to my calendar.

So, step up, show up, and choose to be accountable. There are basic steps to being accountable and staying accountable. It’s about you and who you want to be. It takes attention and intention. There are four basic questions to ask yourself:

1. What am I going to do?
Get a plan, an idea, a goal. Say it aloud. Write it down. Be specific. Be concise. Make it tangible. Review it daily. For example: “I will apply for five jobs this week because it’s a new fiscal year and I’m ready to make it happen.”

2. When will I do it?
This is about commitment. What is your timeline? What is your deadline? Keep a log of your actions and plot your progress.

3. How will I accomplish it?
What steps will lead to your success?
Remember, most goals are accomplished by baby steps rather than a quantum leap.

4. Who will know if I’m accountable?
You will! It can be helpful to have support to stay accountable. Tell your spouse or friend about what you want to accomplish. Some hire a professional coach when the usual methods of support fall short or are inadequate.

Yes, it’s winter. Our car might be stuck due the inclement weather, but we don’t have to!