How to Stay Accountable



Is accountability your missing link?


A great tool to help you keep your commitments is accountability. Accountability is defined as the acknowledgement of an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one's actions. It’s all about having a reason to continuously motivate you to meet your goals or set new habits.


When it comes to ourselves, I think it’s our natural tendency to overpromise and underdeliver. Something I encourage clients to do when setting goals is to do the opposite and celebrate their wins when they over-deliver. Setting small goals like I commit to moving my body for 30 minutes 3 times in the next week, of instead saying you're going to work out every day for an hour. Choosing goals that are attainable is huge in being accountable to them.


Being accountable to yourself is huge but is often a big struggle for many. One thing that has really helped me up my accountability (besides setting realistic goals) is to set reminders in my phone or add self-care to my calendar. You can also tie your goal to a reward, for instance, it could be a spa day if you complete 3 things this week.


On the other hand, being accountable to others is often more motivating because you know that person is going to follow-up to see how you’re doing. It is also helpful to have an outside perspective when we are struggling with a goal we set. When choosing an accountability partner, it is best to choose someone that can be counted on for encouragement and to help reinforce what you’re trying to accomplish. Friends, relatives, colleagues, or a coach can all be helpful to keep you accountable.


A good example of an effective accountability partner is a workout partner. If your goal is to get more movement in or if you’ve decided to exercise regularly, it can be a great idea to have a workout partner to join you when you exercise. And on those days that you may not be feeling as motivated, your partner will be calling you to plan a time for your workout. You can also play this accountability partner role with them. If a physical partner is not a possibility currently, simply having someone who shares similar goals who you can talk to on a weekly basis will keep you going, knowing that on Wednesday you’ll be checking in with your accountability partner and you don’t want to report that you skipped yoga or your walk. But this process works well for any goal.


Here are some prompts to help you outline your accountability plan:

  1. Who and what are you accountable to?

  2. What strategies will you use to hold yourself accountable?

  3. Who are three people that may help you stay accountable?

  4. When will you check in with these people?


What to do next...

  1. Need more support? Apply for an individual or group coaching program!

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© 2020 by Jenna Lessner

Calgary, Alberta

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