Accountability: The Difference Between Good and Great

Trying to achieve your health goals of any sort is all well and good until something gets in the way of staying on track with your plan.

Finding ways to hold yourself accountable to this goal that you found important enough to set and work toward gives you a sense of ownership over your goal and a plan that increases your ability to achieve your desired outcomes.

Why accountability works

It’s normal for us to lose motivation and interest when we’re trying to set new habits, reach a big goal, or make a healthy lifestyle change.

There’s nothing wrong with you! Finding a way to hold yourself accountable as a part of your plan to reach your health goals helps you view that goal as a priority – even when it’s not new and interesting anymore.

Being accountable adds a level of commitment and motivation after your initial excitement wears off.

How do you do it?

You can be accountable to yourself or to someone else (or do both!).

Research from ATD found that you have a 65% better chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone – that increases to 95% if you have a specific accountability check-in appointment with that person.

Being accountable to yourself:

  • Use a goals contract – Include your goal, actions needed to reach it, time frame, and consequences/rewards if you do or don’t meet them. 
  • Use an app to track – Whatever your goal, there is an app for it.
  • Decide on some rewards for keeping yourself incentivized – Only collect if you are accountable.
  • Track in a visible way – I have a wall calendar in my office where I use a sticker for each day I’ve done something that is in my plan.

Work with others to stay accountable:

  • Share your goals with a friend or family member – They will naturally check in on you out of love and interest.
  • Join an accountability group – Groups are helpful whether they are online or in person.

To find in-person partners, try Facebook groups, message boards,, or gather your friends or coworkers.

  • Hire a coach – Coaches are all about assisting you with figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and they are both interested in your progress and paid to keep you accountable.

You can find coaches who help with setting goals, nutrition, personal training, and much more. Make sure your coach is certified.

Don’t just hope to reach your goals - commit to actions that will move your goals forward.