Section 8: Accountability


The Straight-A Guide encourages participants to build their own accountability logs. Accountability logs do not have to be sophisticated. Those on the Straight-A Guide use them as data-collection instruments. They measure where individuals stand toward the goals they’ve set for their life. Individuals may choose to make public or private accountability logs. To the extent that they use those logs, individuals always know whether they’re on track to achieve the goals they identified as being important to their life.

It’s not hard to see how effective accountability logs can be in helping be at helping us advance. We use them in all areas of life. For example, think of a time in the not-too-distant past, before the advancements of GPS technology. Before we had Mapquest, individuals used paper maps to navigate a course from point A to point B. Individuals who wanted to drive from Seattle to Miami would consult maps. By studying the Interstate highways on their maps, travelers could determine routes that would serve their needs best. Since the distance spanned the entire nation, they could track their progress by measuring how far they wanted to travel each day. Those maps helped them plan whether they were on schedule, behind schedule, or ahead of schedule.

The Straight-A Guide should become our own map that we use to chart our course from where we are to where we want to go. Our accountability logs help us to determine whether we’re on schedule, we’re behind schedule, or we’re ahead of schedule. To the extent we’re willing to make our accountability logs public, we create opportunities for others to assess our level of commitment. We can show people that we’re on a path to achieve higher levels of success with each passing day, and that we’re taking deliberate steps that demonstrate our 100 percent commitment.

The literature that is a part of our program provides detailed accountability logs that Michael Santos used in prison. He wrote that those logs were essential to him. With a release date that sometimes felt too far away to comprehend, he relied upon accountability logs to measure progress through each of the 9,500 days that he lived as a prisoner. They made all of the difference, he wrote. But Michael didn’t stop using accountability logs after he concluded his 26 years in prison. Anyone can log onto the Daily Log of his website to see how and why Michael continues to track his progress.

Through our Straight-A Guide, we encourage participants to live with that same level of transparency. Create accountability logs that:

  • Identify values categories.

  • Set clear goals within each value category by which you profess to live.

  • Write narratives that show progress toward each goal that you set.

  • Make your accountability logs public so that others can see the commitment that you’re making to advance the prospects of success in your life.