“Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers,”
— Tony Robbins
In order to reach our business goals, it’s important to stay accountable. You can do this in a number of ways. I always recommend having an accountability partner, but there are questions you can ask yourself to stay in check, too.
We ask ourselves questions all the time. From “What time do I have that meeting?” to “Why am I not reaching my goals?” We can’t always control the thoughts that pass through our minds, but we can choose specific questions to ask ourselves. You can channel your questions to focus on building good habits and reaching your goals.
It’s easy to get off track and distracted, especially when you are working for yourself. Here are some questions you can ask yourself every day or every week to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.
Example Accountability Questions:
What is the biggest obstacle I’m facing?
Honing in on what is getting in your way is the first step in developing tools to move past it. Check in with yourself daily and weekly to analyze what hurdles are slowing you down.
What do I need to tackle my biggest obstacle?
Now that you know what’s getting in your way, how can you overcome it? You might not be able to solve the hurdle entirely. But this will help you move forward in tackling it.
What are my top three priorities right now?
Our priorities change over time, but it’s important to focus on what we need to get done first. As business owners and side hustlers, it’s easy to get lost in our to-do lists. By focusing on what you need to get done urgently, you can move on to the less urgent tasks knowing you are on the right track.
Did I accomplish what I needed get done last week?
Tasks can fall through the cracks if you don’t check in with yourself. You might not have reached every goal you were aiming to make. But by keeping a detailed account of what you did and didn’t get done, you can more thoughtfully decide on your next set of priorities.
What lessons have I learned recently?
There are lessons we can learn through facing and defeating our obstacles. It’s important to evaluate what exactly we are learning. I don’t know about you, but there are lessons I seem to learn over and over again. If we don’t pay close enough attention to the lessons we’re being taught, we’ll probably have to make the same mistakes over and over until we see it clearly.
What was my biggest highlight — personally and in business?
Remind yourself what good things have happened recently. Give yourself a pat on the back when you do things right and accomplish the tasks you set out to. If it helps you, write down your highlights and accomplishments. You could have a sticky note board or some other visual tool to remind yourself of all the good you are getting done.
What do I need to accomplish to make this next week successful?
Consider all you have analyzed from your recent work. Now you have a good perspective to understand what things to do the same and what to do differently to make your future even more successful.
What do I need help with and who can help me?
We can’t do everything alone. All successful businesses are built by teams. You might be the main worker in your operation, but you need assistance sometimes. If you don’t already have a team in place, consider who you would want on your team. Think about who in your life would be willing to help you out and in what ways.
Reframe Unhealthy Questions
We all face uncomfortable questions within ourselves. Some of these questions can become unhealthy and only lead to lowered self confidence. For example, you might ask yourself, “Why can’t I make it as an entrepreneur?” This question is self-defeating in itself. You’re telling yourself that you can’t make it in the form of a question. Essentially, you are telling yourself, “I can’t make it as an entrepreneur.”
When a thought like that comes into your mind, try to reframe it into something healthier.
Try, “Who says I can’t make it as an entrepreneur?” If answers start filling your mind of all the people who aren’t supporters, remind yourself their opinion doesn’t matter and you can prove them wrong. Hopefully you will realize it doesn’t matter if other people don’t believe in you. It only matters that YOU believe in you.
Instead of asking yourself, “Will I ever finish this big project?” try asking, “When will I finish this big project so I can move onto my next big project?” This way you can give yourself an actual answer and a date to work toward. You are looking forward to more exciting works and encouraging yourself to finish what you’ve started.
You might ask yourself, “Am I creative enough?” Nope, wrong question. Of course you are creative or you wouldn’t be where you are. Maybe you are comparing your creativity to another person whose creativity is displayed differently. Instead of asking if you are “enough”, ask yourself, “How can I improve as a creator?” We can always improve, and you aren’t knocking yourself down by asking this question.
You can also reframe unhealthy questions into positive affirmations. Tell yourself:
“I can make it as an entrepreneur.”
“I will finish this project by X date.”
“I am creative.”
You are on your way to asking better questions and staying accountable. Make these questions and frames part of the good habits you are building to reach your goals.