Have you ever struggled with consistently working towards your goals?
I think we all have from time to time. The way to overcome this is to develop a system of self-accountability.
When you have a clear way to keep yourself on track to achieving your goals, you’ll not only make them happen, you’ll also feel more confident.
Self-responsibility helps you develop faith in yourself and have peace of mind too since you know you’re moving towards what you want in life.
What are the ways to create self-accountability? Let’s look at some key steps you can take right away to make sure you’re staying on track to going after what matters to you.
Start with the right attitude
Being more responsible starts with the right personal attitude. People who often struggle to meet their goals and stay on track tend to have an external locus of control. This is where one believes that their life is entirely influenced by external factors. They don’t have any control and their actions have little to no effect on how they feel or experience life.
To be more responsible you need to develop (and you can) an internal locus of control. It’s helpful to be more proactive when you face challenges and to really take charge of your own actions.
The first step you can take is to make a firm commitment to be responsible for your goals and actions. Remember that while external events can influence you, the final say about how you feel. Being more responsible can be challenging but it’s also incredibly liberating, which makes the effort worthwhile.
Self-accountability is an ongoing activity. This means that you need to create a system where you’re regularly and consistently doing checks on yourself. You need to develop an awareness of the direction you’re moving in. Take a look at a few ways to create awareness across time.
You can only track a forward movement in your life when you set goals. I’m sure you already know this and already have solid objectives in place. However, here are a few things to consider when setting goals.
- Focus on goals that you really care about. Along with ‘must-have’ goals related to your career, choose goals that are spiritually and personally fulfilling as you’ll be more motivated to go after them
- Make your goals measurable and trackable. Break them down into smaller objectives or shape them to have goal posts that you can reach
Setting objectives that are clearly defined, with timelines and smaller goalposts will allow you to know what stage of the journey you’re in and what to do next.
One of the most cathartic and effective ways to build your awareness and stay self-accountable is to journal. Writing is a powerful tool to express yourself and to explore any areas of self-doubt. You can freewrite to explore problems and find solutions.
It’s important that you commit to journaling every day, for example, before going to bed, so that you build a strong habit. Journaling and self-reflection will help you stay more accountable to yourself.
Use productivity tools
Real change only happens with persistence. And it’s fairly common and easy to forget to do regular check-ins to stay on top of your tasks.
It’s extremely proactive and practical to use tools such as reminders and alarms to help you. Let’s look at some ways you can leverage productivity tools to be self-accountable.
- Create to-do lists on your phone, desktop or on sheets of paper that you can place around your environment
- Set up daily reminders using calendar management to do daily affirmations, goal tracking, and more
- Consider joining a membership site to find an accountability partner, someone you can do regular checks with. You’ll feel more compelled to stick to your goals when you have to explain your actions to another person
It can be difficult to start a new habit or routine in life and so, it’s sensible to use practical aids in the form of technology to be more accountable.
Positive reinforcement is where you support desirable actions with rewards. Whenever your brain expects a reward, it releases dopamine, a hormone that creates the sensation of pleasure, which will compel you to repeat the activity.
The kind of rewards and the milestones where you give them to yourself need to be clearly planned out during your goal-setting session. Here’s an example that will give you more clarity.
If you’ve wanted to make it a habit to do Yoga every morning, then you can give yourself a small present such as a new book to read or something that has meaning to you.
Your rewards should also be life-affirming rather than something that feeds into a poor habit. Giving yourself a sugary treat after working out at the gym is an example of an unhelpful reward system. But done correctly, creating rewards for yourself at each goal post will reinforce your self-reliance and build confidence.
Take Small Steps to Create Self-Accountability
Personal freedom and confidence are a result of being responsible and self-accountable in life. When you’re able to set goals and achieve them you’re on-track for greater personal happiness.
We’ve looked at three significant ways for you to feel more accountable.
Make use of the suggestions given here and you’re sure to meet future challenges with equanimity.