The Huge Importance of Self-Accountability
Most achievements require some degree of cumulative effort. If you are not consistent about following through with your plans, then you will not be able to maintain long-term success. This is especially true when pursuing more challenging goals. However, people aren’t automatons. You have to intentionally exert effort each day to hit your targets. You can’t expect things in your life to magically change just because you want them to.
So, how do people achieve their goals and maintain their success in the long run? Aside from employing smart strategies and making goals suit their needs, successful people know how to hold themselves accountable. Without accountability, you will have a hard time making your dreams come true, but what is accountability? This comprehensive guide will help you understand all of the most important aspects of holding yourself accountable so that you can more easily improve yourself and live a happier life.
What Does It Mean To Be Accountable to Yourself?When you make a promise, do you do everything in your power to follow through? If you’re like most people, then you probably do your best to stay true to your word. This is a good trait. Not only does keeping a promise mean that you’re honest, but it also means that you value the person on the other end of that promise.
Ideally, you also value yourself. Thus, you should also follow through with your personal goals. If you tell yourself that you are going to accomplish something, then you need to work hard to stay true to your word. After all, you are your greatest asset. You don’t only owe honesty to others, but you also owe it to yourself. This is the basis of self-accountability.
When you’re accountable to yourself, you work hard to consistently take responsibility for your own actions. Sure, some things are outside of your control. However, an accountable person will honestly acknowledge what is within their control, and they will do everything in their power to thrive under those conditions.
Why Is Accountability So Important?It’s easy to make excuses to other people. Even if you have the power to succeed but choose to fail, you can still blame most things on outside circumstances. Depending on the other person and the nature of the excuse, there’s a good chance that they’ll believe you. However, you’re with yourself 100% if the time.
You can distinguish between what’s real and what’s fake. You understand the limits of your circle of influence. When you lie to yourself, in most cases, it’s not a lie that you can believe. You know the truth, and you need to be honest with yourself. If you choose not to be accountable to yourself, then how will you make progress? When you elect to believe your own lies, nothing is holding you to your word. Such a habit makes it impossible to sustain long-term progress.
On the flip side, when you acknowledge your mistakes, you are more ready to face your fears with a reinvigorated sense of determination. Therefore, you should always be honest to yourself about your ambitions, limitations, and performance. Wellness and accountability go hand and hand, and you can only truly be healthy when you are accountable to yourself.
How To Hold Yourself AccountableSet Quality GoalsYour goals must be measurable and achievable. If your goal is to simply read more books, then how can your track your success? Is one book enough? What is the timetable for this goal? If you don’t ask yourself these questions and address them when setting a goal, then you will never know if you have succeeded, and you won’t make meaningful progress.
Instead, a better goal would be to read 12 books by the end of the year. You can further divide this goal into one book per month, a specific number of chapters per week, and a certain amount of time per day. By breaking your goals down in such a way, it's easy to hold yourself accountable with complete certainty. You can apply this system of thought to any other goal or ambition.
You know your limitations, so don’t craft goals that are way too ambitious. Otherwise, you are dooming yourself to failure, and consistent failure will make you want to give up. Continuing with the previous example, with enough effort and planning, most people can read 12 books by the end of the year, but setting a goal of reading 100 books per year probably isn’t reasonable. Unless you’re the fastest reader in the world, you will likely fall very short of this target, and you may give up after only a couple of weeks.
Adjust Your GoalsSetting goals isn’t an exact science. Sometimes, you will set the bar too high, and other times, you will set the bar too low. If you find that your goals are either too difficult or too easy, then you can always adjust them. It is better to adjust your goals according to your circumstances than it is to completely give up or hold yourself to a standard that is too low.
Of course, when modifying your goals, you must practice honest self-reflection so that you don’t set yourself up for failure or mediocrity. If you want to lower the bar, then you should only do so once you’re sure that you cannot reasonably hit the current target under your current circumstances. Similarly, before raising the bar, you need to know that you will have the time, willingness, and skill to succeed.
Track Your ProgressHow can you hold yourself accountable when you have no way to track your progress? To achieve your goals, you have to organize your thoughts and actions. It’s important to consistently write down your goals, make lists, and assess your progress every day. Otherwise, you will lose sight of your ambitions. Therefore, you should record all broad goals and include all relevant sub-goals and timetables with them. That way, you can easily visualize all of your progress towards a certain goal in a single place.
If you find it difficult to stay organized, then you may want to try a few different methods. For example, you may want to set alarms on your phone or mark your digital calendar to remind you to update your checklist. On the other hand, digital technologies may not be so helpful for you, so you might want to carry around a journal to constantly check your goals and make relevant updates. Everybody’s different, and there is no single correct way to stay organized. Thus, you should experiment with a range of different methods to find the one that works for you.
Plan Each Day With a ListYou should carefully plan out each day to ensure that you have enough time to pursue your goals while also fulfilling all of your responsibilities. To do this, you can write a simple list that details all of the most important aspects of your day. First and foremost, you should mark when you expect to wake up, go to work, and go to bed. Then, you should schedule any important errands. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time for meals, travel, and other everyday tasks. Finally, you can see how much free time you have to achieve your goals, and you will be able to plan the rest of your day accordingly.
Follow a RoutineYou will be more successful if you can do certain tasks consistently. This is especially true when it comes to sleep. Unless you work irregular hours, you should be able to wake up around the same time every day, and your bedtime should remain relatively consistent. Otherwise, you may feel groggy and suffer from insomnia, and both of these things can ruin your productivity.
Exercise can take a lot of willpower to carry out. Thus, if exercise is an important aspect of one or more of your goals, then you should strive to exercise at regular days and times. Once you’ve had a routine for a couple of weeks, you will find yourself waking up, exercising, going to bed, and carrying out other tasks with little thought or resistance. Moreover, you will waste less time, so fulfilling all of your goals will be much easier.
Practice Self-AffirmationSelf-accountability is only possible when you have enough self-esteem to know that you are worth the effort that it takes to be happy. You are important, so you need to regularly remind yourself that you deserve love and happiness. To accomplish this, you should set at least five minutes aside every day to practice self-affirmation. During your self-affirmation sessions, you should remind yourself of all of your good qualities and the reasons why you deserve to be happy. You can write these things down, or you can simply tell yourself these things out loud or in your head.
Do It All for the Right ReasonsWhy are you setting certain goals? Are you doing these things because you want to live a happier, healthier life, or is it all to please someone else? Above all else, your ambitions should be rooted in self-love. For example, there are plenty of positive reasons to lose weight. By losing weight, a person can reduce the risk of developing several painful or deadly diseases, improve their self-confidence, enjoy higher energy levels, and so much more.
However, many negative factors may drive someone to lose weight. Another person might have given them an ultimatum, or maybe they feel a deep sense of self-loathing when they compare themselves to others on social media. These reasons for losing weight are not rooted in self-love and self-respect, and they may lead a person to practice harmful behaviors in pursuit of their goals. External validation may feel nice, but it is fickle.
Other people can change their standards or disappear from your life in an instant. Once they’re gone, you won’t have any reason to maintain whatever progress you’ve made. Positive growth can only come from a healthy desire to improve yourself, so don’t base your goals off of what other people want. No matter what, you must do your best to stay true to yourself and maintain self-love in every endeavor.
Why Can Holding Yourself Accountable Seem So Hard?It’s easy to recognize the importance of self-accountability, but it’s also just as easy to fail to be accountable to yourself. This is because self-accountability requires consistent self-discipline, self-honesty, self-awareness, and dedication. While these traits are easy to adopt once you are determined to be as happy as possible in life, you should know how to face the following challenges when holding yourself accountable.
Fear of the UnknownLearning new things can be scary. If your goals require you to learn new routines or skills, then you may be afraid that you won’t be good enough. The fear of the unknown is one of the most common obstacles on the path to self-improvement, but you shouldn’t let it control your life.
As an example, let’s pretend that you have a goal to get a promotion at work by the end of the year. To have any hope of achieving this, you know that you need to learn how to use a particular spreadsheet program. However, this might seem like quite a daunting task. You may not know where to start. You may be afraid that, even if you can break the task down into smaller pieces, you just won’t be able to learn enough to succeed at your goal. Thus, you may decide that it’s not worth pursuing at all.
While it is important to set goals that you can actually achieve, you shouldn’t sell yourself short. Is a task really too difficult to complete, or are you just afraid of all of the hard work that it will take? You know your abilities better than anyone, so it’s up to you take a hard look at your goals and overcome the fear of the unknown.
Unwillingness To Face Reality“I’ve tried everything, but there is simply nothing that I can do.” It’s easy to say this to yourself when you’ve fallen short of your goals, but how true is it? Sometimes, people do legitimately put in the maximum effort and fall short. That is completely okay; it’s just part of the learning process. Nonetheless, more often than not, people come up with bogus reasons for their failures.
For example, Janine's goal was to practice creative writing for at least four hours per week. However, at the end of the month, she found that she had not accomplished this goal. Despite this, she told herself that it was okay because she simply didn’t have enough time to write.
That reason may be good enough for an outsider to believe, but upon closer inspection, such claims can easily fall apart. In Janine’s case, she was constantly hitting her snooze alarm in the mornings and watching TV for two hours every night. She could have easily completed her goal by waking up earlier or reducing the time that she spent on less important activities, but she chose to delude herself by claiming that she didn’t have the time to follow her dreams. Janine was lying to herself, and she stunted her own growth as a result.
To stay accountable to yourself, you need to be completely honest. You don’t like it when others lie to you, so you shouldn’t lie to yourself. You deserve love and respect, so don’t disrespect yourself with dishonesty. By having integrity, facing reality, and holding yourself accountable for all of your actions, you can show yourself that you deserve to succeed.
Comparing Yourself to OthersYou may feel like another person's achievements eclipse your own. As a result, you likely wonder why you should even try when others are so far ahead of you. Almost everybody feels this way about their goals at some point, but focusing on others' achievements is self-destructive. It doesn't matter what they're doing. This is your journey, and if you want to succeed, then you need to stop comparing yourself to others. Their achievements are simply irrelevant to your growth.
You Are Your Greatest AssetThere is only one person who is going to be with you for the rest of your life, and you can see that person whenever you look in the mirror. Therefore, you owe it to yourself to try your hardest to stay happy and healthy. The quality of your life depends on the quality of your choices, and you can only make good choices when you are accountable to yourself. There are roadblocks on any path to success, and you will fail from time to time. Nonetheless, when you practice self-accountability, you can easily pick yourself up and show yourself the love and respect that you need to move forward in life.
If you like this message and want others to succeed, then feel free to share and comment. Also, try your best to encourage someone else with a simple sentence of affirmation today. While it may not take much effort on your part, one good comment can completely turn someone’s day around. Finally, if you find yourself struggling with accountability issues or unhealthy behaviors, then consider booking a free consultation with us today.
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