What goals are you setting for yourself? How are you holding yourself accountable?

On our first night on vacation on the Outer Banks, we explored a new restaurant. We were there rather late, by Outer Banks standards, so our server with a fabulous North Carolinian accent wasn’t very busy. As we got started with a question, she mentioned that it was her second night at the restaurant. After having trouble pronouncing some words on the menu, she stated that she wasn’t very smart and that explained why she was a server at age 40.

Of course, with all this openness and vulnerability I had to reciprocate, so the conversation continued and she asked us where we were from. She then admitted she had no idea where that was, and had only left North Carolina once in all her 40 years, to cross the line into Virginia to go to a Target. I showed her on a map where we lived in relation to the Outer Banks, and then she wanted to know what the geography was like. 

She’s a mother of seven, the first five with her husband who was hit by an IED in Iraq and is now heavily disabled with PTSD and physical wounds. She’s been together with him since she was 15, and her oldest is 18. Her last two children were as a surrogate; they live with their father and they call her “Mom.”

Somehow, it came out that we all liked reading books, and she wants to write a book. She wants to write her book about her relationship with God, and how it’s helped her. We wouldn’t believe all the things she’s been though, she told us. I told her I was writing a book, and she asked what it was about, and said it sounded interesting. 

If we needed any baby clothes, she told us, she manages a children’s clothing store next door during the days. When I told her I needed to shop for a baby shower, she encouraged me to stop by as the clothes are all organic.

When she brought our check, she told me that when I came into the store, she would give me the address where she gets mail. She wants to know when I publish my book.

As a linguistic species, when we say things, that makes them real. Data has proven that sharing our goals with other people helps us realize them. 

As a recovering alcoholic, our server knows this. She may not be “smart,” but she’s no fool. She knew what she was doing when she gave me concrete steps. She wasn’t spoon feeding me. I had to go into the store, get the address, get the book published and send it to her.

We can learn something from almost everyone we meet. The book I mail to the trailer park may be the most important one I send.

What goals do you want to share?

Who are you going to share them with, and when?

Did you know?

There are lots of ways to hold yourself accountable to meet your goals:

  • Set clear and specific goals.
  • Create a plan.
  • Share your goals.
  • Set regular checkpoints.
  • Track your progress.
  • Find an accountability partner or group.
  • Reward yourself.
  • Practice self-reflection