Have you been paying your bills way after the due date? Have you tried to stop overspending but failed consistently? Are you perpetually running behind schedule and late on assignments? Have you run out of clean clothes and dishes because you have been procrastinating on chores for days?
If you can relate to these and have answered ‘yes’ to some if not all of these issues, this is about time you understand how to be a responsible person.
Step 1: Identify Your Responsibilities:
The first step in understanding how to be a responsible person is identifying what exactly you need to be responsible for. Your core responsibilities can surround…
- Your health, both mental and physical.
- Your finances that include savings, investments, bill payments, credit / mortgage, and spending behavior
- Your Relationships; like devoting quality time to your family, spouse, children, and elders.
- Your Career; like being on schedule, submitting projects and assignments on time, updating skills, and making shifts when necessary.
- The upbringing of your Children; like personality development, teaching against bullying, being kind to all, the importance of sharing, etc.
- Your elders, by taking care of their health, expenses, and happiness.
- The Society / State by abiding by the law, not interfering with other people’s liberties, etc.
- Environment, by creating minimum waste, abiding by the principles of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, helping towards reducing carbon footprint, etc.
- Social causes like charities, volunteering that you have signed up for.
Step 2: How To Be A Responsible Person:
Responsibility is seldom an intrinsic, inherent quality. This is one of those character attributes that people develop as a result of their upbringing and experiences.
So, if you feel that you have not been responsible enough, it will only take a few tweaks in your lifestyle, beliefs, and thought patterns to set things straight.
Here are a few quick tips to help you become more responsible almost instantly.
Live up to Commitments and Promises
Laying off commitments and not fulfilling promises are the two unholy pillars of ‘Irresponsibility.’ If you are forgetful by nature, set reminders to make sure you never bail on people and causes that you have committed yourself to.
If you have an unfulfilled commitment in your schedule at this moment, go ahead and attend to it right now. This will give you an instant sense of fulfillment that will encourage you to live up to your promises in the future without fail.
Reflect on Causes other than Making Excuses
Making excuses is a sort of self-deceptive way of defending yourself on failing responsibilities. This will only convince your subconscious that it is alright to shrug your duties as long as you can defend yourself with creative untruths.
If you truly want to learn how to be a responsible person, take a deep breath, sit down, relax and try to reflect on the real cause behind your negligence. You can always speak with a counsellor or therapist to gain clarity.
The reasoning is ok; Complaining is not
Complaining about your life, your situation, your experiences, and everything that has not worked out as you desired is just as good as churning dirt over and over again. Nothing good ever comes out of it.
On the other hand, reasoning helps you identify the problems, accept your accountability for them, and, most importantly, make a conscious attempt at finding a logical functional solution to the issue.
The reasoning is one of the most potent ammunition in the armoury of a responsible person. Never dilute this attribute with ‘complaints.’
Refrain from passing the blame
I skipped my classes because she asked me to! I did weed because he said I should! My relationship did not work because my partner never understood me!
When you keep blaming others for what’s wrong in your life, be rest assured; nothing right will ever come your way. It sounds a little rough, but unfortunately, the truth cannot be sugarcoated.
A responsible person never plays the blame card. Instead, they reflect upon what they could have done differently to accomplish a more rewarding outcome.
Know what you are Not Responsible For
Knowing what you are ‘NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR’ is a very important step in being responsible.
For example, if your friend chooses to gamble his money away instead of paying his bills even after you cautioned him repeatedly, remember, what happens to him in due course of time is not your responsibility, and you should not lose your sleep over it.
Try not to procrastinate
Responsible people never procrastinate, be it on primary duties or secondary. They do what needs to be done when it needs to be done and leave nothing for later. Therefore
- their bills are always paid on time,
- they are always ahead in their schedules,
- they never fail commitments,
- they find time for all essential activities in life and
- they have strong and healthy relationships.
Things to Remember
Being responsible is difficult. But as our wise ancestors said, “Great Achievements Seldom Come Easy.” So, when the burden of being responsible seems to weigh down on you, remember the following:
- The world is not on your shoulders. You are not responsible for everything. Identify what you are responsible for and give it your all.
- You are not perfect; in fact, no one is! So, there will be times when you let your guards down. Forgive yourself for it.
- Being responsible can be stressful. Learn to take things easy. Making routines and sticking to them can help enormously.
- Sharing is Caring. When responsibilities are way too overwhelming and seem to get out of hand, never hesitate to share them with those very close to you, like a spouse, partner, trusted friends, and relatives.
A Mini Guide To Start Being More Responsible And Keep Track Of Your Progress
Pen & Paper Approach (Takes about 15 minutes to create and barely 3 minutes to fill in, every day)
Create a tangible worksheet of your daily responsibilities and tick mark on whether you have done it or not at the end of the day.
Here is a very simple example of one of the simplest worksheets. Toe the line and create something that is more fun and applicable to you.
Journaling: (Takes about 10 to 15 minutes to pen down your thoughts and activities)
Recommended a little before bedtime, pen down everything about the responsibilities in the day that you carried out and those that you did not.
Think hard and write down with complete honesty why some responsibilities in your list are undone.
This is one of the best ways to focus and understand your thought process and identify the psychology behind how you handle responsibilities.
Self-Reward on Achievements: (May Cost a few Dollars But You Deserve it)
Small yet consistent steps on how to be a responsible person can prep you to walk the longest distances successfully.
So, don’t wait any longer to create your responsibility spreadsheet and do your best to stick to your weekly goals.
If you manage to complete all your responsibilities without slips and falls, reward yourself with something nice, something that can add an extra dose of encouragement to your efforts.
It is never too late to learn how to be a responsible person, and there is no one route to achieving success in this endeavour. Consistency & Motivation are the keys that will keep you going, and Trial & Error will bring out the best in you.