Thoughts, Actions and Accountability Buddies

By Scott Westerman
The keys to turning thoughts into accountable, productive actions may feel elusive. But they are within your grasp.

“You are today where your thoughts brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.” ~James Allen

“You’ll get there a lot faster if you recruit some accountability buddies!”~Yours Truly

Oh how hard it is to turn thoughts into actions. Earl Nightingale’s famous maxim, “We become what we think about,” is one of the great philosophical truths of the age. But in some cases, turning thoughts into actions can be a challenge, especially if those actions require us to step outside our comfort zone and expose ourselves to discomfort.

Maintaining a commitment to health and fitness is right up there on that list. I’m so proud of how my wife makes it out of bed every morning at 5AM to keep her appointments at the gym. As the mileage has piled on to my own body, it’s become harder and harder to answer that alarm, let alone lace up the running shoes.

How do you turn those productive thoughts into sustainable actions?

Get some help!

Our fitness journey began when we hired personal trainers. Knowing we would have to pay someone, whether or not we showed up was a pretty darn good motivator. And in every endeavor, having an accountability buddy can keep you on track.

This is why we have one-on-ones with our boss at work. It’s part of the reason we check in with our parents and children. Sure we love hearing their voices, but we also are excited to hear about their latest adventures; the thoughts they have turned into action.

Elite athletes retain a cadre of coaches, experts in the honing of mind, body and spirit in the direction of victory. And you’re no different. Don’t your dreams deserve the best possible support system to help them come true?

Here’s an exercise for the forthcoming week: Think of one of those goals you’ve had on your mind for some time. You may already be taking concrete steps in the direction of achieving it. Pull out that pen and legal pad I recommend keeping nearby at all times and write down the names of at least two people who can help you move more deliberately to take your actions to the next level.

Call them and recruit them as your accountability buddies. Tell them what you expect to do and explore how they can help you stay focused. Some people I know write this down as an agreement. Do whatever works best for you. Create the plan. Your buddy’s role is to make sure you follow it.

Carefully monitor the inputs you allow into your brain. They become your thoughts.
Carefully consider each and every thought. They become actions.
Deliberately ponder what knowledge, resources and people you need to bring into your life. These are the things that can turn actions into the habits that ultimately morph into achievements.

With purpose and passion you will realize that you are destined to do great things. Recruit some accountability buddies to help you do them. They’ll end up being the first people you invite to your victory party.