Holding Yourself Accountable - Definition, How To

What does holding yourself accountable mean? Self-accountability can assist you in achieving your goals, assisting your colleagues, and developing critical self-management skills. Regardless of the sort of work you perform, accountability can be a highly effective career development approach.

It can be beneficial to study and practice certain methods in order to enhance your chances of success.

holding yourself accountable

What holding yourself accountable means

Holding yourself accountable entails managing your work and personal duties, meeting your commitments to coworkers, and self-reflecting on your professional behavior on a frequent basis.

Additionally, you accept the consequences of your decision-making processes and evaluate any future adjustments you wish to make. Individuals who hold themselves accountable are more successful at completing tasks and are more accurate at forecasting results.

For example, if you're debating whether to assist a colleague with an assignment, you can utilize accountability techniques to guarantee that you have time to assist them.

holding yourself accountable

What is accountability?

The first step toward fostering an accountability culture in the workplace is to identify and define accountability.

Accountability is defined by Webster's Dictionary as "the obligation or readiness to accept responsibility for one's conduct."

In other words, the term does not refer to punishment; rather, it refers to an acceptance of responsibility for our own choices and their consequences.

Accountability, as defined by Henry Evans, author of Winning with Accountability, is "Clear commitments that have been kept in the view of others." The term "in the eyes of others" is critical here. Accountability in our companies is about more than making and maintaining commitments; it is also about openness.

When we make our commitments visible to our teammates, we empower them to ask follow-up questions, monitor progress, and contribute to the development of the task.

Tips to be accountable

Simple tips to stay accountable at work:

Work on personal accountability

When you hold yourself personally accountable, you take ownership of the conditions in which you find yourself. You see them through, and you accept responsibility for the outcome, whether positive or negative. If something goes wrong, you do not blame others. Rather than that, you make an attempt to rectify the situation.

Write a personal mission statement

A personal mission statement explains who you are as a person (or as a team member at your place of employment) and clarifies your purpose, whether at work or in life in general. It outlines how you intend to achieve that goal and why it is so important to you.

Live a healthy lifestyle

Work out, do what makes you happy. Write things down that inspire you. Build momentum around your micro-goals, short-term goals, and long-term goals.

holding yourself accountable

Seek feedback from others

Ask what you could be doing better. Figure out exactly what problem someone has and how you could help.

Related: What are your leadership examples?

Have a to-do list

Don't fall short. Complete one task, then start the next. To-do lists are a great way to be accountable.

Why is holding yourself accountable important

Self-accountability is critical because it enables you to prioritize your objectives and have a deeper understanding of why you have them. Accountability techniques might help you motivate yourself and gain a better understanding of your work process.

Quality of work

You have the ability to assess the quality of your work. Self-accountability can assist you in learning how to manage your time more effectively and generate greater outcomes.

Supporting efforts

You can assist others in their endeavors. This can involve assisting coworkers, family members, and people of your community.

Increase self-confidence

You can boost your self-esteem. By identifying the most effective methods for accomplishing your objectives and meeting your commitments, you can boost your confidence throughout the day.

Learn more information

You can acquire additional critical information. By developing your self-management abilities, you can get more knowledge about your job, which will help you prepare for future tasks.

How to hold yourself accountable

Consider the following techniques as you develop a strategy tailored to your specific requirements:

Adjust yourself

Concentrate on the good parts of your life and job so that you can motivate yourself to make required changes. To do this, consider writing journal entries or participating in another form of self-assessment. Consider the present influence of prior choices on your life and make a note of positive events to help you recall them more clearly in the future. Additionally, you can begin each day with an affirmation, such as listening to a favorite song or posting on social media.

Get a long-term goal

The reason you want to keep yourself accountable is to accomplish a long-term objective. It might refer to a general aim, such as enhancing the efficiency of your job assignments, or a more particular one, such as graduating from a master's degree. Make a commitment to yourself to act and plan how you will accomplish the goal. You can choose to conduct extensive studies on all critical areas of your objective in order to strategize successfully. For example, you might begin investigating graduate schools that interest you and taking note of their application criteria.

Set short-term goals

Short-term objectives are weekly chores that will assist you in achieving your long-term goal. Schedule a few chores for the week and select which day you will assess your progress. It can be beneficial to develop short-term goals with a limited scope and few stages. For instance, if your long-term aim is to grow your clientele, a short-term objective can be to contact a new potential customer or to write a self-advertisement for future publication.

Related: SMART goals

Define a set of values

Consider your value system and the factors that inspire you to achieve. This approach can assist you in determining why you established a particular long-term goal, which can result in increased excitement for the goal and the development of new accountability techniques.

Create one or two memorable, actionable phrases that identify an area of your value system on which you wish to focus your attention. This statement might be broad or particular, and you can choose to modify it in the future to fit a different goal.

Set a timeline for yourself

Create a timetable to help you keep track of your short-term objectives and other duties. Consider what you can do within a certain time limit to ensure that you can stay on schedule and create high-quality outcomes. It can be beneficial to begin by compiling all of your tasks into a single timeline sheet.

Following that, prioritize two short-term goals for which you are particularly driven to work and two more projects with approaching deadlines. This exercise can aid in the development of your time management abilities and capacity to make correct estimations.

Create lists

Keep track of facts and organize your day using a spreadsheet program or a paper list. Multiple spreadsheets or lists can be used to categorize distinct tasks, such as tracking your physical activity or managing a monthly budget. Lists can assist you in being organized and increasing your efficiency when pursuing your goals. It can be beneficial to affix a note to things that serve as reminders of certain activities, such as a grocery list on your refrigerator.

Finish one thing before starting another

When you begin a task, dedicate all of your time and attention to completing it before moving on to another. This technique can help you gain a better grasp of a task, revealing how long it can take to accomplish. For example, if you're learning a new software program, prepare to devote all of your attention to the software until you've completed the orientation guide and lesson.

At that point, you'll have a sense of the program's complexity level and how long it will take you to install, practice, and adjust to it.

Tack progress

Behavior monthly self-reviews of your job conduct to serve as your own supervisor. You can model your approach after that of a supervisor or create a plan that is uniquely tailored to your needs. Determine whether you're meeting your deadlines and whether the job meets your expectations. Depending on your interests and skill level, you can also utilize a diary to keep track of your progress or collect statistical data on your long-term objective.

Consider the following questions as you think on your accountability:

  • How have you empowered yourself throughout the day?
  • Which of the following is a long-term aim of yours?
  • What is your week's short-term objective, and how are you going to accomplish it?
  • How long do you devote to each work or activity?

Create a reward system

Create a reward system for achieving short- and long-term goals to assist drive yourself to achieve. You can tailor the magnitude of the reward to the nature of the objective. For example, you might reward yourself for meeting a short-term goal of sending three business-related emails per day by purchasing a favorite snack or watching a television show.

For a long-term objective, you can schedule a trip to commemorate your accomplishment and recharge your energies for future accountability efforts.

Ask for feedback

Contact someone you trust and ask for their assessment of your work behavior, abilities, and talents. Having a distinct perspective from your own might assist you in identifying fresh areas for improvement in the future. Additionally, it serves as a means of being accountable to others. For instance, if you cooperate with a coworker on a project, you can get informal feedback on how your job performance impacted theirs.

Hold someone else accountable

Meet with a coworker, business contact, or friend to establish shared accountability objectives and days for check-ins. It can be beneficial to locate someone who has a similar long-term objective with you so that you can provide specialized feedback to one another. Additionally, you can discuss methods for accountability and serve as a source of encouragement throughout the week. For example, if you and a coworker are both writers, you can agree on a weekly word count goal and meet or communicate to review your progress.

Run a successful day

Anticipate any goods you can require during the day to accomplish your short-term objectives and any extra responsibilities. Preparing things ahead of time minimizes the amount of time and energy required to begin a work, which can assist inspire you to begin.

For example, if you have a business meeting the next day, you can access pertinent documents on a digital device or arrange pertinent materials at your workplace. When you return to your job for the meeting, you can focus on arranging your ideas rather than searching for materials and setting your workspace.

Use software

Numerous computer and mobile programs are available to assist you in being responsible. Some track your health throughout the day, while others keep track of your objectives, time management, and budgeting habits in simple to use forms.

You can utilize an accountability program to automate your goal-setting process by enabling the application to establish a system of organization that works for you.

  • StickK: This app assists you in tracking several goals, such as weekly exercise and budgeting, and provides statistical data on your progress.
  • StayFocused: This extension enables you to restrict access to specific websites, which might help you stay focused on important activities and obligations.
  • SleepCycle: This program monitors your sleep quality and wakes you up during a light-sleep cycle, ensuring that you are prepared and well-rested for the next workday.
  • Beeminder: This application links your existing accountability apps, combining them into a single gateway for tracking your progress and tactics for accomplishing your goals.
  • Coach.me: This app connects you with a personal coach that provides accountability strategy guidance and assists you in tracking your behaviors.
  • Asana: Asana is a project management tool that you and your team can use to keep track of activities, create lists, and organize a timetable.

Create plans

When making a daily plan, try to include different lengths of time for completing a single activity. This method takes into account external elements that can affect your daily workflow and provides you with the freedom to control them. For example, you can intend to do four work reports one morning, but a colleague can require your attendance at an unanticipated meeting.

If you've booked time in the afternoon to work on the reports as well, you can attend the meeting certain that you'll fulfill the deadline.

Design a vision board

A vision board is a poster comprised of images and statements that serve as a motivator for success. Having a visual depiction of your long- or short-term goals might help to creatively reaffirm your passion for your chosen route. This technique can be particularly advantageous if you are already interested in artistic expression.

To construct your own vision board, adhere magazine clippings, internet resources, or personal photographs to any large poster board or piece of paper.

Look for media

Seek for material that piques your attention and instills confidence in you. Engaging in positive media can assist you in meeting your daily job obligations and in framing your overall mentality.

Several examples are a self-improvement podcast, an energetic work routine, or a lighthearted television show that boosts your attitude.

holding yourself accountable

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

Fact checked: Our small and dedicated team rigorously evaluates every article, guide, and reference to ensure the information is accurate and factual. Learn more.


Help us by spreading the word