15 Tips For How To Hold Yourself Accountable For Goals

If you have ever worked toward something big and ambitious for your life, you have probably struggled with how to hold yourself accountable for goals at some point.

Working toward big goals is not supposed to be easy each step of the way. After all, if you aren’t challenged in some way, the results wouldn’t be worth it, would they?

Most of us are able to set goals and maybe even take the first step toward reaching them. But what do you do when you hit that first big obstacle? How do you get into the right mindset to set goals and actually stay accountable to yourself and your plan of action?

Let’s dig into 15 tips for how to hold yourself accountable for goals that seem impossible to stick with!

What Does It Mean to Hold Yourself Accountable?

Holding yourself accountable means using your own self-discipline to stay focused on a goal or task.

Living in a time of unlimited distractions has made this harder than it has ever been before. Social media notifications invade our cell phones, and it is easier than ever to waste an hour without even realizing it.

It takes a lot of effort and energy to resist the temptation of a good distraction, doesn’t it?

Many people find having an accountability buddy helpful because it feels as though someone is watching us. The job of an accountability buddy is to call you out if you don’t reach your goals.

Holding yourself accountable means being your own accountability buddy. It is using your own self-discipline to make sure that you stay efficient and work effectively toward your goals.

Why is Holding Yourself Accountable Important?

When you hold yourself accountable, you give yourself permission to start working toward your own growth. This is a great way to make sure that you are being intentional and all-in with your goal setting. It is a way of telling yourself “I will be checking in on you because this is important!”.

Holding yourself accountable is important because it forces you to give yourself honest feedback on whether or not you are reaching your goals.

It isn’t always easy to trust your own assessment of whether or not you are reaching your goals. For example, did that bowl of chips you just ate really count as junk food? Using a framework of accountability means making it possible to say with certainty whether or not you are reaching your goals.

15 Tips for How to Hold Yourself Accountable for Goals

When it comes to achieving big goals, the bottom line is that you need to hold yourself accountable. But, it isn’t always easy to keep making steady progress. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to set yourself up for success.

Let’s dig into these 15 tips for how to hold yourself accountable for goals that would otherwise seem impossible to reach.

1. Set Value Driven Goals

One of the reasons many people struggle to hold themselves accountable to their goals is that they aren’t truly important to them.

When you set goals, it is always important that they are SMART goals, but they should also be value-driven goals. Spend some time getting to the bottom of what your values are and what your why is. Your why will be what motivates you toward successfully reaching your goals when the hard work starts.

It is also much easier to become passionate about reaching your goals when they are important to you. And passion is a very powerful accountability tool!

2. Adjust Your Mindset

After you have set a value-driven goal, your first step is setting your mindset up for success. Your mindset is the way that you perceive all of what happens to you.

So if you have failed to reach your goals in the past, the only way to avoid repeating that failure is by changing your mindset.

When you have a growth mindset, challenges, obstacles, and goals are all exciting things. People with a growth mindset are inspired by the idea of a difficult long term goal. These are the types of people who don’t fear failure or let it get in the way of their big dream.

Successful people learn from their past failures and use them as direct feedback for improvement the next time around.

3. Design a Vision Map or Vision Board

Sometimes big goals can be hard to picture. Vision boards and vision maps are a great visual reminder of the reasons why we set goals in the first place.

A vision map in particular is a helpful goal setting tool that lays out an action plan for each step of the way. An action plan helps you stay accountable by making it easy to see your progress. Place your vision board or vision map in a visible spot so that you are reminded of it often.

4. Set a timeline for yourself and create a schedule

Part of setting SMART goals is being able to measure your progress toward reaching your goal. Without an action plan, how will you know if you are making progress?

A schedule is helpful so that you can chunk out your big dreams into baby steps that don’t seem as overwhelming. It is easier to stay accountable to smaller targets than an overwhelmingly big dream.

5. Set Short-Term Goals

If you want to learn how to hold yourself accountable for goals that are very big, try to set micro-goals for each step of the way. Small goals are usually easier to measure, easier to reach, and give a powerful motivational boost that will keep you going. Each small step adds up a little bit at a time when working toward big goals and dreams.

6. Determine Your Long-Term Goal

Long term goals can feel overwhelming and even a little bit discouraging. But remember that slow progress is better than no progress when it comes to how to hold yourself accountable for goals.

Sometimes just knowing that you have a bigger vision for your life is enough to hold you accountable to your goals. Whenever you feel discouraged, just picture how it will feel to live out your dream when you finally get there.

7. Finish One Task Before You Start Another

Taking on too much is one of the main reasons people struggle holding themselves accountable to their goals. Even if you manage to break big goals up into baby steps, it can be tempting to try to complete tasks all at once. But this will just make the end goal seem farther away, leaving you overwhelmed and discouraged.

8. Keep Track of Your Progress

It can feel like you aren’t making progress when you are working toward big things that are so far away. An important part of how to hold yourself accountable for goals is keeping track of your progress. Using a habit tracker is great way to keep your progress visible so that you can see how far you have come since your starting point.

Check out our hand-crafted collection of habit trackers to take advantage of one of the best ways to stay accountable to yourself. At Joyful Through It All, this is our favorite personal growth tool for holding ourselves accountable to living a healthy lifestyle!

monthly habit trackers

9. Review Your Performance

Another measure of personal accountability that you can take is reviewing the progress that you have made. Using a helpful tool like a habit tracker not only helps you track your progress, but it also makes it possible to review your performance along the way.

Holding yourself accountable to good habits will help you spot areas that you are struggling with. This way, you can make course-corrections if you find yourself veering too far away from the end goal.

10. Be Honest With Yourself

Being honest with yourself is arguably the only way to truly learn how to hold yourself accountable for goals. Holding yourself accountable means doing what’s right even when no one else is watching.

It’s pretty easy to cheat while no one is watching, isn’t it? Will anyone really know if you skip out on today’s workout?

Learn to practice self-discipline and be honest with yourself when you mess up. Remember that a growth mindset believes in learning from failures, not hiding them!

11. Remove Distractions

If your current lifestyle is filled with distractions, consider simplifying it! Purge your phone of intrusive apps, take a social media hiatus, and enjoy all the extra focus you will now have to hold yourself accountable for goals.

12. Recognize When You Are Procrastinating

Since it is so easy to get sucked into the first social media distraction we come across, many of us don’t even realize when we are procrastinating. Holding yourself accountable means recognizing that you aren’t on task as soon as it happens. If you are someone who struggles to come back after a break, set reminders that hold you accountable to finishing what you started.

13. Prepare Yourself for Success

Putting in the effort to prepare yourself for success is a way to hold yourself accountable that doesn’t take too much work. For example, if you know that you are supposed to be going to the gym today, schedule time in your day to make sure that you have healthy foods and workout clothes ready. That way you won’t have an excuse to skip out!

14. Reward Yourself and Celebrate Small Wins

It is important to celebrate small victories. When you encounter a positive outcome, no matter how small, take time to celebrate and use your success to push you to continue growing.

15. Have an Accountability Partner

Staying accountable to yourself doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone. Put it on yourself to ask a good friend to be your accountability partner. Think of this as another set of eyes that is keeping tabs on you!

The Secret to Learning How to Hold Yourself Accountable for Goals

The bottom line is that no one will be able to hold you accountable to your goals in the same way that you can. You are the only person who can decide what you truly want for your life.

Whether you are looking for financial success, working toward your career goals, or trying to stick with your New Year’s resolutions, these tips will help you stay accountable!

Don’t forget to share this post with your friends and family on social media! If you know someone who struggles staying accountable to themselves, this post could be just what they need to make a positive change in their life!


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