How to Hold Yourself Accountable in Life and at Work

Here's how to hold yourself accountable. Holding yourself accountable may assist you in meeting your objectives, supporting your coworkers, and developing important self-management skills. Accountability, regardless of the sort of job you conduct, may be an effective approach for professional advancement. It may be beneficial to study and practice certain tactics in order to enhance your chances of success.

how to hold yourself accountable

What does it mean to keep me accountable?

Holding yourself accountable entails managing your work and personal duties, meeting your commitments to coworkers, and self-reflecting on your job performance on a regular basis. You also accept the consequences of your decision-making processes and evaluate any future modifications you wish to make. People who hold themselves accountable are better at completing tasks and predicting results. For example, if you're debating whether to assist a colleague with an assignment, you may employ accountability tactics to guarantee you have time to do it.

Why is it vital to keep ourselves accountable?

Holding yourself responsible enables you to prioritize your objectives and have a deeper understanding of why you have them. Accountability tactics might help you motivate yourself and learn more about your work process.

Take into account the following extra factors:

  • You have the ability to assess the quality of your work. Making yourself accountable might assist you in learning how to manage your time and generate better outcomes.
  • You may help others by supporting their efforts. This might involve assisting coworkers, family members, and community people.
  • You can boost your self-esteem. You may feel more confident throughout the day if you understand the finest approaches to achieve your goals and satisfy your duties.
  • You may gain more vital information. You may discover more important facts about your job and prepare for future projects by developing your self-management abilities.
  • Generally, accountability is one main qualities of strong leaders.

How to hold yourself accountable in life

There are several measures in place to ensure accountability. Consider the following strategies as you create a strategy to meet your specific requirements:

Modify your mentality

Concentrate on the good parts of your life and profession so that you can empower yourself to make the required changes. Try writing journal entries or participating in another chosen technique of self-assessment to accomplish this. Consider how prior decisions are presently affecting your life, and make a note of positive events to help you recall them more clearly in the future. You may also start each day with a positive affirmation, such as listening to a favorite song or sharing your ideas on social media.

how to hold yourself accountable

Set a long-term objective

The reason you want to keep yourself accountable is because you have a long-term aim. It can refer to a broad goal, such as enhancing your work assignment efficiency, or a more particular goal, like as graduating from a master's degree. Make a commitment to yourself to take action and consider how you will achieve your objective. You may want to investigate all of the crucial parts of your objective so that you may strategize properly. For example, you may begin by researching graduate programs that interest you and making a list of their application criteria.

Establish short-term objectives

Short-term objectives are things that you can do each week to assist you reach your long-term goal. Determine a few projects to schedule for the week and when day you will analyze your progress. It may be beneficial to set short-term goals with a limited scope and few actions. For example, if your long-term aim is to expand your client base, a short-term goal may be to contact a new potential client or to write a self-advertisement to be published in the future.

Establish your values

Consider your value system and what drives you to achieve. This method can help you understand why you selected a certain long-term goal, which can improve your excitement for the goal and help you develop new accountability measures. Create one or two memorable, actionable phrases that identify one component of your value system on which you wish to focus. This statement might be broad or detailed, and you may wish to change it in the future to fit a different goal.

Here are a few examples of value statements to get you started:

  • Continue to be giving and compassionate.
  • Work hard every day, no matter what.
  • When possible, save your money. Make a timetable for yourself.

Create a timetable to help you manage your short-term objectives and other commitments. Maintain your schedule while producing high-quality products by being cognizant of what you can do in a given time span. It could be useful to start by compiling all of your duties into a single timeline document. Next, prioritize two short-term goals that you are really driven to work on, as well as two more projects with imminent deadlines. This activity can help you improve your time management and estimate abilities.

how to hold yourself accountable

Make a list

To keep track of facts and organize your day, use a spreadsheet tool or a paper list. Multiple spreadsheets or lists can be used to segregate distinct categories, such as tracking your physical activity or keeping a monthly budget. Lists may help you keep organized and more efficient in achieving your goals. It may be useful to make a note of different activities on things that remind you of them, such as a grocery list on your refrigerator.

Complete one job before beginning another

When you begin a task, strive to commit all of your time and attention to completing it before moving on to the next. This method can help you gain a better knowledge of a task, which can help you estimate how long it will take to finish it. For example, if you need to learn a new software application, concentrate on concentrating solely on the software until you have finished reading the instruction guide and training. At that time, you'll have a better idea of the program's difficulty level and how long it will take you to install, practice, and adjust to it.

Keep track of your development

Every month, act as your own supervisor by self-evaluating your work performance. You can model your approach after a supervisor or create a method that is specific to your requirements. Check to see whether you're meeting your objectives on schedule and if the job meets your standards. You can also utilize a diary to document your progress or gather statistical information related to your long-term objective, depending on your interests and skill set.

Here are some questions to think about while you reflect on your accountability:

  • How have you made your days more powerful?
  • What is one of your long-term objectives?
  • What is your short-term aim for this week, and how are you going to achieve it?
  • How long do you devote to each work or activity?

Create a self-rewarding mechanism

Create a reward system for achieving short-term and long-term goals to assist inspire yourself to succeed. The magnitude of the prize may be tailored to the type of goal. For example, you may reward yourself for completing three business-related emails every day by purchasing a favorite snack or watching a television show. For a long-term objective, you may take a trip to celebrate your accomplishment and recharge your batteries for future accountability efforts.

how to hold yourself accountable

Seek input from reliable coworkers or acquaintances

Contact someone you trust and ask them to provide feedback on your work behavior, strengths, and talents. Having a different perspective than your own might help you uncover fresh places to improve in the future. It's also a technique to hold yourself accountable to others. For example, if you work on a project with a coworker, you may solicit informal feedback on how your job performance affects theirs.

Hold someone else responsible

Set mutual accountability objectives and days you wish to check in with a coworker, work contact, or friend. It may be beneficial to discover someone who has a similar long-term aim as you so that you can provide each other with specialized input. You may also share accountability ideas and give inspiration throughout the week. For example, if you and a coworker are both writers, you may set a weekly word count target and meet or chat about your progress.

Set yourself up for a success

Plan ahead of time for any goods you might need during the day to complete your short-term goals and any additional commitments. Having them ready before you begin decreases the amount of time and energy required to begin an activity, which may assist encourage you to begin. If you have a work meeting the next day, for example, you can access important papers on a digital device or arrange relevant information in your workplace. When you return to your job for the meeting, you may spend your time arranging your ideas rather than looking for materials and preparing your workspace.

Make use of an accountability app

There are several computer and mobile programs available to assist you in being accountable. Some track your objectives, time management, and budgeting habits in user-friendly forms, while others check your health state throughout the day.

You may use an accountability app to automate your goal-setting process by enabling the app to design an organizing structure that works best for you.

Here are some apps that might help you hold yourself accountable:

  • StayFocused: This extension allows you to restrict access to specific websites, which might help you focus on tasks and obligations.
  • SleepCycle: This program monitors your sleep quality and wakes you up during a light sleep cycle, allowing you to feel prepared and well-rested for the job ahead.
  • Beeminder: This app integrates your existing accountability applications, combining them into a single gateway for tracking your goal-setting success and tactics.
  • This app provides you with a personal coach that provides accountability strategy suggestions and assists you in tracking your behaviors.
  • Asana: Asana is a project management software that you and your team can use to monitor activities, create lists, and organize a timetable.

Make backup plans

When designing a daily plan, try to give yourself choices, such as several lengths of time to finish one activity. This technique recognizes outside elements that may affect your workflow during the day and provides you with the freedom to control them. For example, you may aim to do four work reports one morning, but a colleague may require you to attend an impromptu meeting. If you planned to work on the reports in the afternoon, you may go to the meeting knowing you'll be able to fulfill the deadline.

Create a vision board

A vision board is a poster that contains photographs and statements that inspire you to achieve. A creative visual depiction of your long-term or short-term goals can boost your excitement for your chosen route. If you already have an interest in artistic expression, this method may be extremely beneficial. To make your own vision board, glue magazine clippings, online resources, or personal images to a large poster board or piece of paper.

Look for favorable habits and media

Look for material that piques your curiosity and helps you feel secure. Participating in positive media may assist drive you to complete your daily job tasks as well as shape your overall outlook. A self-improvement podcast, an invigorating work routine, or a funny television show that raises your mood are some examples.

Why can't I hold myself accountable?

Set yourself up with micro-goals. These are smaller goals that will steer you in the right direction with the right mindset. Begin small and gradually increase your momentum. Don't expect to be an accountability rockstar if you're just starting out on this road. If you want to start living a healthier lifestyle, start with 15-20 minutes of exercise instead of planning to run 12 miles every morning.

We've all had those jobs that keep being rewritten from one to-do list to the next until we forget about them, and then they come back to haunt us after a time.

How can I improve my accountability?

Here are five ways to improve your accountability:

  • Write a personal mission statement and stick to it.
  • Recognize your own mistakes.
  • Involve your colleagues or friends in the process.
  • Make sure you have the right resources.
  • Go above and beyond "New Year's Resolutions" and set real goals.
  • Stay focused, complete tasks, and make sure you're living a healthy lifestyle.
  • Have an "accountability buddy" who helps to motivate you.

Be willing to take honest feedback. And stay accountable by surrounding yourself around other successful people who can assist you and build momentum being your personal goals (like losing weight, getting a new job, or advancing your career).

What are the four components of accountability?

According to Alnoor Ebrahim, the four core components of accountability are:

  • Transparency, which entails gathering information and making it available and accessible for public scrutiny.
  • Answerability or justification, which entails providing clear reasoning for actions and decisions, including those not adopted, so that they can be reasonably questioned.
  • Compliance, which entails monitoring and evaluating procedures and outcomes, combined with a system of checks and balances.
  • As a result, responsibility is more profoundly linked to corporate purpose and public trust than it is to compliance with laws or industry norms.

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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,, SparkHire,,, FairyGodBoss,, St. Edwards University, NC State University,, Thrive Global,, 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.

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