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  • Writer's picturekellysarlocoaching

7 Ways to Build Accountability

Accountability is a tall task for some of us. It can bring about a lot of pride when we have it and it can conjure up a lot of shame when we don’t.

So how can we practice it more with consistency?

Here are 7 ways you can build better accountability in your life:

1. Know Your Why

We usually commit to a task or project for obvious physical (or external) reasons. An example of that might be to avoid divorce. But if this is as deep as we are willing to dig, then it is easy to veer off track from the goal.

The bigger Why refers to the internal and/or philosophical reason for the commitment- in this case, to have a more respectful and supportive relationship (internal), and to build lasting, healthy patterns or habits that feel authentic to who we are (philosophical).

Knowing your bigger Why helps you stay connected, not just to the goal itself, but to the motivating force for each little task or change you are undertaking.

2. Buddy System

Enrol someone in your life whom you 1) trust and know to be dependable and 2) will let hold you accountable. The second part is key.

Often we choose a buddy system with someone who has similar habits or patterns to us and that can be great if you’re already intrinsically motivated or highly disciplined, but not so much if you’re someone who consistently gives yourself a little too much slack.

These next few are actually taken from productivity tips, but lend themselves to accountability quite nicely!

3. Chunk it down

It is far easier to hold ourselves accountable when we chunk tasks down into manageable pieces. This way we see smaller, shorter deadlines instead of one ominous finish-line barely in sight.

This tip also encourages you to celebrate more wins along the way to keep up momentum rather than one big the delayed gratification at “the end”. And who doesn’t like more celebrations?!

4. Use a Calendar

Write that sh*t down. If you followed tip 3, write down your mini-deadlines all along the way so you have a daily visual of what needs to get done. This keeps things at the forefront of your mind and you can time-block your calendar to ensure you’re prioritizing that commitment.

5. Habit Stacking

If you’re already in a routine of a few good daily habits, do your best to stack the new tasks or habits with one that is already in place. For example, if you want to learn more about healthy communication, you might read X number of pages of your book or article during your morning coffee ritual. If you want to incorporate more stretching for mobility into your day, you might double down on your yoga mat while you watch your favourite evening TV series.

6. Declare it publicly

Similar to a buddy system, this tip demands that you make your goal known. You could post about it on social media, write a blog or share at a social gathering what you’re up to. It’s likely that someone will be interested in following up with you and hit you with a “by when?” question!

7. Hire a coach

If all of that felt overwhelming or you heard your own self-commentary that you know you’d never follow through with such things, then hire a coach!

We are skilled at creating accountability in your life over and above the sessions that you attend. We can equip you with healthy reflective questions, empowering belief systems, frequent check-ins that keep up your momentum and practical tools you can implement to build more consistent accountability within your own self.

There is no reason you have to tackle accountability alone, but these are some good ways to start!

Cheers from someone who is still learning,


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