Something I often hear from business owners is that their every day ‘stuff’ keeps getting in the way of working on their lifestyle goals… then they feel frustrated that they’re not making enough progress in their journey.

Anxious Man with ClockCan you relate to that too? Are you finding that everything else you have to do takes most of your time and you’re not getting any nearer to your personal goals?

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog on how to prioritize your time and I’d invite you to read it again: consider if becoming tougher on your time management priorities will help you to take steps forward.

But today I want to talk about deadlines. You see, I know that deadlines imposed by your clients are important and you strive hard to meet them. But what your self imposed deadlines? Are you putting yourself under pressure to meet those too?

I think it is fair to say that without pressure some people can become a little lazy about meeting their own goals… it is the lack of accountability that causes this lethargy… you think to yourself that nobody is going to mind if you deliver late on your own goals?!

And before you know it a month has passed… then two… then you forget all about it completely!

If you’re reading this nodding your head, I want you to make a commitment to yourself right now… your self imposed goal deadlines are EQUALLY important to those you set for clients. Your ultimate lifestyle is at stake here.

So, let’s look at a few simple ways you can become personally accountable;

Consider writing your deadlines on a whiteboard placed somewhere prominent in your office. Seeing the date getting closer every day will act as a prompt to keep you Sharing with Othersfocused on that goal. Perhaps you could even have a countdown to show how many days remain until the deadline too?

Share with others
As soon as you tell someone else the deadline you have set for yourself, you automatically have accountability. Suddenly you either have to meet the deadline or explain to someone else why you have failed… nobody likes to be thought of as a failure so you’ll work harder on prioritising your time to make sure you succeed.

Group mentoring
Being part of a group, working towards the same goal, can be an incredibly powerful way to force you to meet that goal. Now obviously this strategy doesn’t work for all types of goals but say for example you set yourself a goal to have your book written and published this year?

Happy YouthsYou could look around and find other authors with the same goal… supporting each other will help you to knuckle down and get it written. I know from experience that it can be very easy to keep pushing the writing of your own book down the priority list but the sooner you get it written, the sooner you are a published author!

Group support is a valuable resource; whether you connect with your peers on or offline, there are plenty of people struggling with the same dilemmas as you are. Whatever goals you set for yourself this year, find the way that works for you to make things happen and keep going forward.

Once you know you HAVE to meet that deadline, the responsibility falls to you to make sure you prioritise the time needed to make it happen.

Remember the important question;

“Is every action taking me one step nearer to my ultimate lifestyle?”

We’re a third of the way through 2012 now… are you 33% closer to your lifestyle goals for this year yet? Deadlines are vital parts of achieving your lifestyle goals… you owe it to yourself to meet your own deadlines as well as your clients!

How do you make sure you meet your self imposed deadlines? Do you have a tendency to slip into your comfort zone if you have no accountability? Please share your story in the comments area… Re-align with your goals right here.