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The Key Success Factor Behind Accountability

You have a goal that you’re passionate about.

You have a rockin’ action plan that you’ve mapped out to achieve the goal.

You have tons of motivation in those first few weeks.

And then…things start to fizzle out.  It becomes easier to take the day off from the plan…which becomes a week off…and then a month off…and then, well you get the point.  Another goal collecting dust on the shelf.

You’re not a failure.  And that rockin’ action plan was probably pretty darn good too.

Did you have an accountability structure?

Sounds super boring, I know.  It also sounds like super corporate speak, double boring.  But having an accountability structure is also super key.

I recently heard someone refer to accountability as a skill – that it’s like a muscle that needs regular training to stay at peak performance.  Absent attention or training, accountability will weaken or fade away.


I love the reference and it really got me thinking.  Accountability, just like exercise, will likely become more routine and function most optimally when it’s personalized.

It’s simple, really.

We respond to what resonates with us most – in all aspects of life.  And your accountability structure should be no different.  It should fully resonate with who you are and how you work best.

Your accountability structure should be tailored to you and fit into your plan as any other part of your daily routine fits into your life.  Get up, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth…routine, you get it.

Know what you love and what you despise when you think about how to best hold yourself accountable. 

What you love, or are drawn to, in terms of an accountability structure will stick because it will resonate with how you work best.  That other stuff you despise won’t stick.  It’ll collect dust and derail your success.

I love checklists.  I feel challenged by them, and I get unbelievable satisfaction from crossing something off my list.  It keeps me on track and honest with myself about what I have accomplished versus where I may be slacking.  Creating a daily checklist has become incredibly routine for me – so much so that I typically write them out the night before. I crave the structure that it provides and the accomplishments that result. It has successfully stuck because it’s personalized for me.

What type of accountability structure will resonate best with who you are and how you prefer to work towards your goals? 

How do you prefer to stay on track?  With the help of others, such as accountability partner?  Or more independently?  Perhaps a hybrid of both! Or something completely different!

It doesn’t have to be elaborate.  It could be a daily mantra or a self-imposed question that you answer nightly in a journal.  The point is that it must simply fit you enough to become routine and sustainable, comfortably sticky.

Your goals are personal to you, make sure your accountability structure is just as personal.  Your success is worth it.