Last week I posted a piece about how I'm spending my time during this unique point in human history. Because of that post, I had a few people reach out to me, saying they were inspired to try new and different things with their extra time. I asked if they wanted me to hold them accountable and do a weekly check-in to see what progress had been made; they were in!
Fortunately, accountability is a two-way street, so they're holding me accountable as well. That has proved successful thus far; one of my friends and I had a call last Monday and discussed what all sounded feasible to accomplish in a week. He then sent me an email with his daily goals for the coming seven days, and I responded with mine. We sealed the deal by scheduling follow-up calls for every ensuing Monday. Every day now, I think about how I'm going to have to report what I did and didn't do to him, and it's naturally made me buckle down and be more focused. The ideal goal is to hold myself accountable and be productive without having to report to anybody, but this is a great way to start in case of reluctance.
There's a reason I chose to write about this topic today. It's common knowledge that having someone hold us responsible for our actions makes it more likely we'll follow through. However, it still isn't the easiest thing to get started. Sometimes we need spare time, nowadays all we truly need is a nudge.
I'm hoping this post can serve as the latter - and maybe being nudged doesn't have to be directly through accountability. My wife and I enjoy cooking, so we spent this week sharing pictures of our food adventures on social media, and people responded, asking for recipes or wanting to try the food. That engagement served as a different version of accountability, and it got us excited to keep sharing what we made. A few people even messaged me, saying they were inspired to cook and share what they made as well.
The element of sharing is valuable because we're all in a similar boat right now. Depending on what city you're in, you're either a few days or weeks into self-isolation. None of us have been through this before; the entire globe has come to a halt, and nearly every single Homosapien has been affected by COVID-19, some more than others. It's not easy, and I'm not sure it's supposed to be, but if you have your health and loved ones, then you probably have some extra time to be working on something.
If you're still employed or self-employed, then you're in a better situation. However, you still have to think creatively about how the future might play out. If you've been laid off or had to shut your business for good, then I'd love to hear from you so we can brainstorm creative ways to get past this.
I chatted with a friend yesterday whose business was going to shut unless he laid off a part of his staff. He had to make the tough call and is now trying to find a way to pivot his business into something that can sustain this pandemic. He also knows six other CEO's who had to shut down indefinitely. These are multi-million dollar companies that closed overnight because the global economy came to a full stop. These leaders had to go back to the drawing board, but they're pushing forward and trying to find a way to start over.
Times are tough, and we need to innovate ourselves and how we do things. We're all home and using our time in different ways. Maybe you don't want to cook or take a MasterClass or read a book. But whatever it is that you're working on, share it with those around you. Maybe that will serve as it's own style of accountability. If you're working on a project and only you know about it, perhaps you'll get stagnant, and nothing will ever come of it. If you share it, then you might gain some traction.
History is going to write about 2020 as a pivotal year when the world changed quite significantly. Right now, it's in our hands to decide what that change is going to be. I'm specifically targeting this to people between the ages of 18-50. It's our responsibility to carry this world forward; we get to choose how this plays out, and I don't mean that in an overarching idealistic way. One of my uncles shared with me how he tries to spread his philosophies and positive influences to the five closest people in his life, and that's good enough to make an impact because those 5 people can spread it to five more, and so on. I follow that and I think more of us should. We don't have to change the larger world; we just have to make sure we're doing the best we can within our small circles while we're here.
So, are we going to come out of this pandemic the same as we went in? Are we going to look at the holes in our systems and try to make changes for the better? Are we going to look at ourselves and notice a shift of perspective? Are we going to come up with new business ideas and solve real-life problems?
Let's take some time to evaluate who we are and what we want our contribution to society to be. It can be anything; it can be nothing. It's your life, and you still get to choose how you live it. But be aware of it. Make sure you're consciously choosing it.
If you need someone to hold you accountable, or just to share - whether it's to learn a new skill, do a book club, work on pivoting your career/business, or even just to brainstorm what goal is suitable for you - reach out to me; I'd love to hear from you.