Article Learn 7 optimal tricks that can help you be accountable and follow through with your plans. 0 2022 Life coaching Motivational coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

Hold Me Accountable: Accountability coaching tips to help you follow through on your plans

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If you get one percent better each day for one year, you'll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done. James Clear, Accountability Coaching

While we may already be in the second half of 2022, with another year looming just around the corner, a question if you please…

How good (or bad) have you fared so far with your New Year’s Resolution/s or general plans for this year? 

Before you go into overdrive and think back to all the things you were so intent on changing or wanted to abide by but weren’t able to, know that we’ve all been there. It’s only human nature to be lenient with yourself from time to time, after all. When we hit a snag, it’s fairly easy to resort to hitting the pause button and just putting things on hold. We justify this seemingly innocent trait with a simple “I’ll do it later.”

It’s wise to do so if the situation truly calls for it. But make no mistake, those “laters” you have been casually throwing around can easily pile up and multiply. What’s worse, though, is that without any warning, a mere 'later' can turn into years of you being stuck. 

Before you know it, you’re spiraling. You’re on the angry path of blaming everything and anyone but yourself for what happened — or better put, what didn’t happen.

You don’t want any of that, now, do you? Specifically, you don’t want to be someone who can’t take responsibility for their misgivings and inactions. 

Accountability. Start with this word in mind. So, for all those plans that stayed untouched, you still get to follow through with them, and this article will show you how.

Plans are not made just to be left unacted upon. You create them as stepping stones towards achieving a worthwhile goal. And act on them with the accountability you must.

Breaking Down Accountability

Before diving deep into the tips and ways to hold yourself accountable, let us first define what accountability truly signifies

Usually, whenever accountability is thrown around in a conversation, the first thing that comes to mind is acceptance. I’m sure you’ve heard of the expression, “Acceptance is the first step to healing,” once or twice in your life. But as cliché as that sounds, it rings true. In this case, acceptance is the first step to propelling yourself into action and leaving the inaction behind.

It is acceptance of responsibility because what is accountability if not your willingness to accept responsibility for your actions. Furthermore, accountability stands truer with self-discipline. Is it not the very core of doing, of acting?

You need self-discipline in order to reach your goals. If you're committed to accomplishing something, holding yourself accountable will make working for it manageable and digestible. Accountability reduces the risks of procrastination. You get to tackle goals more effectively, more efficiently, and in a less stressful manner overall.

You must be able to recognize procrastination and extinguish it before it can consume you whole. Procrastination has always been a major hindrance in achieving any goal.


7 Ways to Hold Yourself Accountable

Accountability is rarely entirely innate. It requires patience, time, and, quite frankly, lots of practice. So fear not if you mess it up a few times before seeing actual progress.

That’s what these seven ways are for. The following can help you in staying true to your plans:

1. Stay Organized and On Track

Notebook with a list for today, accountability coaching tipLists can be extremely helpful in staying organized. Making them has a certain appeal that most people cannot simply resist. I mean, why should we if lists help us get the job done? Of course, there’s also that satisfaction when you get to tick off finished tasks.

They’re good for time allocation. Not only that, you can delegate not just your time but resources as well. Effectively at that, mind you.  

Thankfully, there are certain apps available that you can use to make lists (rather than manually write them down) or keep your life organized in general. You can even set these apps to notify you when it’s time to do a particular task.

2. Set Micro and Realistic Goals

Gaming console, accountability coaching tip

Looking at the whole can sometimes (okay, most of the time, who are we kidding) be overwhelming. It’s too much, too large, too daunting for this moment. But breaking that down into smaller portions can alleviate that intense feeling.

Doing so can also spark bursts of motivation along the way. How so? 

See it as levels in a game. The excitement builds up after accomplishing the first level, and the anticipation for the next one propels you to move on to it as soon as possible. When the momentum builds, that once fearsome goal is nothing but another achievement under your belt. Onto the next one!

3. Keep Procrastination in Check 

'WHY NOT TODAY' in scrabble blocks, accountability coaching tip

Recognize procrastination and extinguish it before it consumes you whole. Procrastination is a major hindrance in achieving any goal.

Techniques like Pomodoro timers can aid you in this regard. Using these, though, will require control and restraint on your part. You must be able to comply with that 25-minute work and 5-minute break. It would all be for naught otherwise.

When these are not enough, outside help is always welcome. You can enlist the assistance of a productivity coach. This way, another party can offer support to build awareness of the reasons behind your procrastination. Participating in coaching can also bring forth motivations and other ideas on overcoming procrastination.

4. Reward Wins and Milestones

People cheering, accountability coaching tip

No matter how minor a feat, consider it a win for yourself anyways. You may find yourself focusing on the things that didn’t go according to plan, but pay them no mind. It’s futile to assume that you can plan everything down to the smallest detail. So instead, redirect your energy to patting yourself on the back for putting in the work every day.

Accountability goes hand in hand with consistent effort. You must not be deterred by how long it is taking you to reach a particular goal. Know that something worthwhile awaits you at the end.

Ultimately, consistency trumps perfection every time. To quote James Clear and his book Atomic Habits, “If you get one percent better each day for one year, you'll end up thirty-seven times better by the time you’re done.”

5. Change Your Pace and Your Environment

Woman holding cellphone, accountability coaching tipChange is always good. It can get those creative juices running, and you, charged up to take on what needs taking on (the world even!).

Having a routine is great, of course. But a time will come when sticking to a curated one you have been religiously doing won’t be as effective anymore. When this happens, you might as well change things up.

In addition, distractions can also factor in, which can then lead you back to procrastination. Unfortunately, avoiding distractions is easier said than done. It is better and more effective to cut them out fully. 

For instance, your phone. What would your environment be like without having to scroll through social media constantly? More productive, I’d bet.

6. Evaluate Your Performance 

Box with a red check mark, accountability coaching tipAnd remember to be brutally honest while you’re at it. Because when all is said and done, you are responsible for succeeding or failing at your goals. You must constantly review how you are performing. Is it up to par with what is necessary? 

If not, then take responsibility and make changes where you see fit. You hold the reins in your life. Take charge!

On a side note, you can also always ask mentors for advice on how you can better your accountability. Chances are, they have tried and tested different processes that work for them. It wouldn’t hurt to give those a try, especially if you haven’t found yours.

7. Get an Accountability Partner 

Holding hands, accountability coaching tip

Why is it that people do better when being watched? I’m not saying that everyone is like this because some people just experience pressure when there’s a watchful eye around. But the rhetorical question is rather on point.

A New York Times article supports it so. The article highlights how “accountability works best when it comes from the outside.” And indeed, you are most likely to follow through with a goal when another entity knows about it.

Choosing someone with the same goal as you will prove even more helpful. You will have someone who goes through the same difficulties. According to Dr. Tim Church, a chief medical officer for Naturally Slim (a behavioral health program app), who was interviewed for that very same New York Times article mentioned above, his years of working with many people have proven that a buddy is that one thing that drives accountability more than anything.

If not a friend, then I suggest you approach a personal accountability coach. One might as well be your buddy, right? They would be fully capable and equipped to help you achieve your goals.

Wrapping Up Accountability

In truth, holding yourself accountable is a difficult and frustrating endeavor, even with the seven ways guiding you. But while this is so, personal accountability goes a long way for you and your goals.

It’s not a matter of whether you can or not. It’s about how you must hone this life skill to work for your benefit.

Plans are not made just to be left unacted upon. You create them as stepping stones towards achieving a worthwhile goal. And act on them with the accountability you must.

What about holding someone else accountable? Learn strategies here.

7 ways to hold yourself accountable infographic coaching tip


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The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, recommended treatments, or professional advice. Readers should consult with a licensed professional to get advice for their individual situation. See the Disclaimer and Terms of Use for more information. Copyright Life Coach Hub Ltd 2016. A community of life coaches dedicated to improving your life.
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