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“Accountability separates the wishers in life from the action-takers that care enough about their future to account for their daily actions.” ~ John DiLemme

This Increases the Chances of You Reaching Your Goal

By Andrea Novakowski

One of the things that can hold you back from accomplishing your goals is a lack of active accountability.

Merriam Webster defines accountability as the obligation or willingness to accept responsibility, or to account for one’s actions. Without accountability, we may wander, get distracted, and forget what we set out to do.

Done correctly, accountability provides structure, allows you to work through your obstacles, and energizes you to move forward.

I find that most people benefit from active accountability and the expectations that come with it. Accountability can help when you’re falling behind by giving you a gentle nudge. It can help you to reconnect to the benefits of achieving your goal, or remind you how the goal relates to your values and what’s truly important to you.

Having accountability means that someone is holding your feet to the fire.

Gino Wickman, author of Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, observes that human beings tend to “stumble, get off track and lose focus roughly every 90 days.” Wickman recommends creating a 90-day world: “Stop fighting it and solve the problem by building in accountability.”

Most of my clients benefit from frequent check-ins, from daily to weekly to monthly. The trick is to find the type and frequency that best suits you.

Here are a few of the different kinds of check-ins that may prove useful to you:

Independent: You create your own accountability. No one prompts you. Examples include journaling, prioritizing your to-do list, time blocking your schedule, and setting aside regular thinking time and strategy sessions. All these techniques can help you keep the big picture front and center.

One-on-one: Set up accountability with a friend or colleague. Are you a people-pleaser who hates to disappoint? Harness that energy! Determine rules and roles before you begin, then specify tasks, create deadlines, and build in rewards (or penalties, if that helps you). A coach can be a valuable one-on-one accountability buddy. Instead of working with someone else to help each other achieve your goals, you and a coach are working together to help YOU achieve your goals. This focused, strategic relationship can be very powerful for helping you move forward quickly.

Group: Join a mastermind group and tap into the encouragement and collective wisdom of others. Masterminds meet regularly either in person or virtually to share their successes, raise concerns, and brainstorm solutions to their problems. These groups can be especially powerful if you enjoy being part of a community, as they often build long-lasting relationships.

You know yourself. Which approach is most effective for you: Group or solo? The carrot or the stick? Choose the type of accountability that matches your style and get where you’re trying to go!


Identify the accountability system that fits your style. Do you prefer to go it alone, using your calendar and quiet time, or do you need a larger support team? Do you require tight roles and rules, or do you benefit from more free-flowing connections? Share how you will leverage accountability to make it work for you in the comments below.

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