Keeping Yourself Accountable
Updated: May 26
I have a handful of goals that I haven’t been able to reach in the capacity that I’d like to.
Going to church more. Keeping a healthier lifestyle. Waking up earlier. Doing things before the last minute. Taking more time for myself.
I’m not saying that I haven’t made good progress - I’m doing much better than I’ve ever done with the majority of these things, but I also know that I can be doing better than this.
This is not an excuse, but trying to balance a million things at once makes it hard to remember and work towards all of these goals (on top of others).
I’ve realized that to keep yourself accountable, you have to come up with a plan of action. You can’t just hope that you’ll remember to do everything, or hope that you’ll randomly find the time to do it. You have to do these things with intention. So, I created an accountability plan. I wanted to share it with you guys so you could take some of these tips and adapt them to your life/goals.
But before I share my plan, hear me out on this: You are the only one responsible for your success. You’re also the only one responsible for allowing other things to get in the way of your success. You have to hold yourself accountable because other people won’t - it’s not their job! If it’s something that you want, you have to hold yourself to the standards that get you there.
So, what should you add into your plan of action? Here are a few ideas & how you can apply them.
Forgetting isn’t an excuse anymore.
Set visual reminders on your phone. Put a picture of something that reminds you of your goal as your lock screen. Set timers or alarms to remind yourself that you need to get up and do the work. You can also use the ‘Reminders’ app on an iPhone to keep to-do lists (and more) close by. Follow people on social media who are on the same journey or have mastered the goal you want to achieve.
Leave physical reminders all around your house. Put a quote above your mirror. Have a vision board by your desk. Have a picture, calendar, or checklist on your fridge.
Calendars & Planners
Calendars and planners pretty much have the same effect. I personally use both, but if you aren’t as OCD as I am, just pick the one that you look at most.
In your calendar or planner, write your general goal(s) down everyday. Then, as you go through each day, highlight if you’ve completed the goal or not. I have three categories: done, skipped, or halfway done. Here’s an example!
Setting Time Aside
Set aside a certain amount of time every day to solely work on that one thing. There’s 24 hours in a day, and you can make time for things you really care about. Put in 30+ minutes every day towards your dreams. Set aside time like it’s a meeting that you can’t reschedule.
Daily To Do’s & Accomplishments
Think about each of your general goals. For each one, write down 1 thing that you can specifically do that day to get closer to the finish line.
At the end of the day, write out what you’ve accomplished. If you didn’t finish everything, write that down. If you accomplished more than what was on your list - add those in too!
Checklist: Long Term
Having a long term checklist keeps you in a mindset that shows you what you need to be working towards. It also helps you plan your daily activities. Here’s the checklist I created when deciding to try a half marathon at the end of the year!
Know Your Specific Goals
What are you holding yourself accountable to? If you give yourself super general goals/rules, it gets pretty easy to talk yourself out of what you should actually be doing.
For example, if I just told myself to go out and run everyday (without a plan), I’d probably end up running like 3 miles a day until the last month before the half marathon - and then I’d completely overwork myself trying to compensate for the other 10 I’d have to do. Having a plan helps me build the strength and keep myself accountable for running a minimum amount every day.
Tell people about what you’re working on! Ask your friends and family to support you in whatever way you need. They can do things with you, help you, ask about your progress to make sure you’re staying on track, or even just send some encouragement every once in a while. That’s what friends are for!
Another thing that you can do is create or find a community of people that are interested in the same thing. 3 years ago, I joined a running club. I hated running back then, so I quit shortly after, but it’s a great example. Point is - join clubs, start group texts just for encouragement, follow other people (with the same goals) on social media, ask your friends with the same interest to do things with you.. There are so many ways to find community, you just have to go searching.
With all of this said, be careful with how much you rely on others. In a perfect world, everyone has perfect friends that can dedicate time whenever you need - but that’s not always the case. Other people have lives too, so keep that in mind and make sure that they aren’t your #1 source of accountability.
Talking Yourself Into It
This is the number one way to fuel your accountability. Anyone can make goals, plans, calendars, checklists, etc. Talking yourself into actually doing the work is a whole other ballgame. If you don’t want to do something, learn to do it anyway. If you want something bad enough to dream and plan for it, you owe it to yourself to carry those plans out. Remember that the benefits outweigh the inconveniences.
Alright, that’s all I have for now! I really liked this post - it helped me figure out a good plan for myself and hopefully you guys got something out of it too! If you have any other tips for keeping yourself accountable - send me a DM on Instagram @thesopblog! See you next time :)