Staying Accountable on Your Goals – Finding Support and Overcoming Obstacles


Accountability helps you stay on track towards your goals and also fosters an adaptive growth mindset by accepting any necessary adjustments that may lead to success.

External structures of accountability can help you join the 8% who achieve their goals successfully. Here are a few strategies:

1. Find an accountability partner.

An accountability partner can be invaluable in keeping you on track with your goals, promises, and commitments. They could be someone in your workplace, a friend, or even a stranger; their presence will keep you accountable to yourself by keeping track of your progress, giving encouragement when necessary, joining goal-related activities as you go, as well as being there when things start getting tough and being there when obstacles appear in your path—potentially making the difference between quitting or persevering towards realizing your dreams!

Finding an accountability partner who fits perfectly can be challenging, particularly if searching in person. Some websites, however, provide solutions: Focusmate pairs random strangers for 50-minute focused work sessions, while Commit Club allows users to form or join challenges designed to reach specific goals.

One of the biggest hurdles when searching for an accountability partner is dealing with someone who does not share your goals. They may fail to call out your flakiness or refuse to offer honest feedback due to fear that it could sting too deeply, which can be very disappointing when faced with difficulties in life.

Find an accountability partner who has your best interests at heart and won’t hesitate to tell you when you’re falling off track. Seek professional counseling. Though expensive, counselors understand confidentiality and offer invaluable support with regard to personal and mental health matters.

Find an accountability partner online or through peer groups; those with similar experiences can provide essential tips for success! Additionally, join an online accountability community that will send reminders and encourage you to meet your goals.

2. Set reminders on your phone.

Before modern smartphones became ubiquitous, people used various tactics to keep track of tasks and appointments: sticky notes around their necks or keeping a note tucked into their pockets were all used as reminders. Now, smartphones serve as an indispensable organizational device—not only can they act as a camera, music player, and communications tool, but they can also function as your personal secretary, calendar, and to-do list all rolled into one device! Plus, you get extras like reminder apps and smart lists to help keep you on track!

On an iPhone, the Reminders app makes it easy to create scheduled reminders that will show up in your calendar. Simply open up Reminders, tap “+ New Reminder,” enter your information, and choose when and how often you’d like your reminder (such as tomorrow morning, daily, weekly, etc.). With Apple Watch, you can even set an alert based on location!

If you use iCloud to sync your reminders, they will appear across all Apple devices (including Macs) with Reminders installed and signed in with the same Apple ID. Furthermore, you can customize your iCloud settings to control which applications can create reminders, the calendars they appear in, and more.

Android makes setting reminders simple with multiple methods for setting schedules, including setting an appointment via Google Calendar or creating lists or notes with Keep. Google Calendar is ideal for setting scheduled events like meetings and appointments, while Keep is an excellent way to set unscheduled ones like remembering to buy milk when going grocery shopping.

Stickk is another fantastic way of tracking and motivating yourself towards reaching your goals, offering features such as mindfulness, gamification, and social media integration to keep you on track with achieving them. Plus, if you need extra motivation to get started on your goals, you could even use Stickk to compete against friends or coworkers!

3. Track your progress.

Once you’ve devised a plan to address obstacles, it’s essential that you monitor its implementation. Doing this will allow you to recognize successes while making adjustments if your strategy is failing—all while keeping yourself motivated and on track toward your goals!

One way of doing this is to create a schedule whereby you meet with one or more friends, family members, or coworkers every week for check-ins, either face-to-face or online asynchronously if that works better for both of you. Strive to maintain this routine, allowing sufficient time for any necessary changes to appointments.

One way to monitor your progress is by setting SMART goals—goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely—for yourself. Doing this will allow you to meet them more easily while making sure that they fit with your individual situation and provide motivation to achieve them. But make sure your goals don’t seem too lofty; too ambitious goals could leave you lacking motivation!

In order to remain accountable, set yourself deadlines. Doing this can help overcome procrastination and motivate you to reach your goal more quickly. Aim for realistic but challenging deadlines; set one for every small task that leads to your larger goal.

At the same time, it’s crucial that you understand why you want to achieve your goal. Knowing why is essential to pushing past self-doubt and staying committed. If you need help finding motivation for pursuing it, try asking others or researching information to discover its importance.

If you need help staying true to your goals, professional assistance may also help keep you accountable. A coach or mentor can offer objective feedback and guidance towards reaching your goal; in addition, they can create an actionable roadmap towards getting there.

4. Reward yourself

Setting goals can be challenging, and making excuses can become all too easy when they don’t go as planned. Practice and accountability support can strengthen your self-discipline muscles. You will begin thinking twice before making choices that could derail progress toward your goals; this makes you a more mature individual and increases self-trust in yourself, which allows you to set and achieve them.

Obstacles are part of life. You must overcome these obstacles to achieve your goals. Don’t be shy about reaching out for help when necessary; friends or family who support you could check in on you periodically so as to prevent any nagging from becoming mutual assistance instead. There are also many online and in-person groups that provide accountability partners who may also offer help if needed.

One way to hold yourself accountable is to publicly publish and track your goals. Doing this can serve as an extra incentive, since if your goals don’t get accomplished, you could risk embarrassment. But remember that accountability partners face similar risks; together, you have more reason than ever to work toward success!

Once you reach your goals, remember to reward yourself. This could include anything from small gifts and activities that bring pleasure to larger rewards, such as trips. Giving yourself something nice will provide additional motivation and make reaching the next milestone easier.

Accountability is an invaluable way to stay on track in life, providing focus, improving decision-making abilities, and helping overcome obstacles. Therefore, whether setting career- or personal-related goals, finding an accountability system that works is imperative to staying on track.

If you need additional support in staying on track, Michigan State University Extension has many resources that can provide the knowledge and tools necessary for success. Educational articles and programs may also help.

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