See if this sounds familiar:
I think about what I want to accomplish in the coming year.
I write my goals down.
I am extremely excited about my goals and the early success is exhilarating.
I have a few slip ups here and there.
I start to lose interest.
I realize weeks later I’ve stopped working toward my goals.
I decide I’ll do things differently next year.
That was me EVERY, SINGLE year… until 2017. This past year was different. 2017 was the first year that I wrote down my goals and stuck to them for the entire year. I finally did things differently.
It was different was because of everything and everyone that held me accountable. For the longest time, I thought that having others hold me accountable was somehow a weakness. I thought that I should be able to do it on my own and asking for help would make the accomplishments less impressive. But, I knew what I had done in the past hadn’t worked. So, 2017 was the year of accountability.
Telling people your goals is a great start. Friends, family, and even patients would ask how my reading goal was going. Other people asking kept my goals in the forefront of my mind. If I went a week or so without reading, sure enough someone would ask about my progress. I also did not want to have to tell them I had given up.
Besides informing people, some goals required a little more accountability. My goal for increasing my physical activity required weekly check-ins from a friend. Telling people is great, asking close friends and family to hold you accountable is even better.
People are a great way to keep you accountable, but you do not have to depend on them for the entire process. There were other things I used to make sure I did not stray from my goals.
The first thing I did was posting my goals in a spot that was highly visible. For 2017, my goals were posted to my freezer—in plain sight every time I went to get something to eat. The second was a tally app called Done that helped me keep track of new habits. I wasn’t going to text my friend every time I cleaned my apartment, but a silly app did help create the habit.
Accountability was a huge reason that I am happy when I look back on 2017. So, to all of you that have asked me how I’m doing and read the weekly posts- THANK YOU!
With all that being said, in 2018, I will run my first half marathon.
What will you do and how will you stay accountable?