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Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, recently wrote about the effects of accountability on various tasks. Since humans are social creatures, we flourish under circumstances in which the group is excelling. We wish to keep up with everyone else, and when those around us are producing, we are inspired to do the same. For those of us who work on projects that are primarily solo-jobs, it can be helpful to have an accountability measure in place. Maybe a mentor checks in to review your progress, or maybe you create deadlines enforced by a friend or peer. Whatever it is, accountability can increase our motivation. Here are three ways to make an accountability group succeed.

Pick a discrete and measurable goal. You cannot improve what you cannot judge. A definitive definition of success is key to this portion of accountability. Instead of having the goal of "getting healthy," try something more tangible like, "exercise 4 days a week." With people around you who will be striving for the same goals, you are more likely to succeed in achieving the things that are important to you.

Choose a leader. It is helpful to have a leader within your accountability group. Someone who can keep track of goals and records, and who is not scared to raise a fuss when someone is slacking off. If you are forming your own accountability group, it is likely that you will need to take on this position. In order to assure optimal motivation amongst the members of your group, take this role seriously and implement accountability standards.

Aim for frequent communication. If you are a member of an accountability group, it is essential that you communicate both your successes and your failures to your team members. Accountability is based off transparency, and if you fail to communicate your strides and setbacks, this transparency will ultimately disappear and the group will fail.

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