Accountability is not an abstract concept. Accountability means saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and doing what you say you're going to do. In short, accountability is taking responsibility for your words and actions.
While the concept is simple, developing the discipline and the skills may not be. By losing touch with what is truly important, and judging yourself and your work by what others say, you can easily lose your vision, and consequently your way. To maintain personal and professional accountability, follow a few simple guidelines.
Don't lie to yourself. Take a daily look at the reality of your situation and use truth as a motivator. Not only is a lie hard to remember, but even tiny untruths build on each other and can become your agent of destruction.
Stick to your priorities. If you have goals, and someone or something tries to throw them off track, learn to say "no" politely and firmly. You are the captain of your fate. Do what you know is right. .
Know your limits. Establish set boundaries with clear terms of reference. Don't allow yourself to step outside those boundaries, even a little, or let other responsibilities and distractions creep in. Once boundaries start inching outward, it's impossible to bring them back.
Make a solid plan. Don't underestimate the complexity or time limits of your tasks. Break large tasks down into manageable increments and complete them quickly in succession. This makes readjustments easier.
Have a strong organizational system. You need to be able to keep track of information in order to be able to fulfill obligations on time. Being super-organized saves your most valuable asset - time. Automation and delegation are your friends.
Know when to spend money. Spending money on things that save you time and keep you on track is always a good investment. Don't think you can do it all yourself, then fail because you were too cheap to hire someone to help.