3 Keys to Achievement

3 Keys to Achievement: Awareness + Action + Accountability

3 Keys for your Achievement foundation: Desire + Tools + Structure


The beginning of the year is a traditional time to make new goals and reflect on the dim memory of last year’s goals.  The issue is not that we set goals, but rather we often do just that – set goals and do not achieve them. For those looking for an easy or quick way to set goals and blow through life’s accomplishments please stop reading now.


For those who are still reading here’s one method to grind out success (achievement), and yes, I did say grind.  This is not a quick trick or a simple way to become an overnight success.  But, there is a simple formula to follow.  The formula for success is Awareness + Activity + Accountability = Achievement or expressed as a formula A3 = A.   Use awareness, activity, and accountability every day to continuously set new goals and reach new levels of attainment


To reach continuous levels of achievement you will need to perform meaningful activity every day.  Sounds simple enough but there are several moving parts that need to be working in harmony.  Along with understanding where you are, what activity you need to do and how to self-manage your performance, the essential moving parts are desire, skill, and structure.


Here’s how to apply this formula to your success.



To get to your goal of achievement you first need to know where you are and where you want to end up.  Similar to GPS mapping; you can’t enter in your route until you know the starting point and where you want to go.  You need to have awareness of your situation.  My illustration focuses on sales goals, but you can substitute similar tasks to reach your work or personal goals.

If you are in sales, then your list would include but would not be limited to:

  • What is my Quota?
  • What is my current level of achievement?
  • What level of Quota attainment do I want to achieve?
  • What are the other expectations of my company, manager, and team?
  • What are the Standards of Performance for doing my work?

You get the point.  Find out all the metrics that are important and what your performance record is to date.  Have a realistic understanding of your situation – or better yet have someone else review this with you.  This unfiltered information will help you create your Activity list.



Once you know where you are and where you want to go then you can start creating your activity list.  There is a difference between being busy and being productive.  This is why you need to know what you have to accomplish each day, week, or month.  You need to be organized and be observant of your goal(s).  Everything you do throughout the day should be an activity that helps you get to your goal.  To master your activity list, you need to have great self-management and personal accountability.  The moving parts that will aid you in doing your activities are desire, skill, and structure.

  • Desire: do you have the desire to reach your destination? Do come into work every day with a firm desire for doing the very best you can do and then improve upon that each day?  You can call it passion or hunger, but what you need is a reason to excel. If you are not getting better every day, then what are you doing?
  • Tools / Skill: do you have the tools to perform the duties required to reach your destination? Do you have the skills to use your tools.  You need to continue to add to your tool box with training classes, self-improvement courses, coaching, and continued industry knowledge?  Do you have a mentor and/or are you mentoring someone?  Often the best way to learn is to teach.  Keep improving and learning.  Not too many people wake up in the morning with all the knowledge they need to get through life.
  • Structure: is there structure in place to reach your destination. There need to be time limits, directions, reports, and metrics that you will follow.  Only you can hold yourself accountable, yes others can nag, guide, or micromanage but it all comes down to you.  Can you hold yourself accountable?


Should you go off track or sense that your activities are not getting you to your destination then revue desire, skill, and structure.  Usually there will be one of the key parts that is not being followed.  Desire, skills, and structure will allow you to direct your activities in purposeful way.  These moving parts will allow you to self-manage and hold yourself accountable.



Accountability comes from you not your manager.  Your manager can help provide the structure, but you need to perform the duties.  Another helpful point is to share your goals.  Peer accountability is the strongest form of accountability.  Work with another team member to push each other.  Awareness of where you are and where you want to go allow you to create your activity list.   Desire, skill, and structure allow you to perform your activity.  Now you will need to be accountable to yourself to complete your activity list.

Here’s the best accountability system:

  • Write what you need to accomplish each day, week, and month and put the list where you can see it all the time.
  • Tell multiple people what you are going to do and ask them if they will keep you on track. Peer accountability is strong – use it.
  • Do it. Stay on track and accomplish each day what you need to do to meet your goals.  Time management is essential to completing your activities.
  • Do one more thing – this is a whole separate topic on its own. The concept is to do one more thing at the end of each day.  This daily accumulation of actions will generate an unbelievable number of positive outcomes.


The formula is simple; Awareness + Activity + Accountability = Achievement.  Just keep the moving parts: Desire, Skill, and Structure in harmony while you use the formula every day.     Accomplish goals by working on each part every day.  This will not be easy but it will allow you to achieve your goals.  Grind it out.

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