If you are floundering with a goal, spinning your wheels and want to stop saying “it’s too hard,” there are three easy ways to build persistence and accountability that you can start right now.

The thing is, if you want to grow and change, you need to do the work to get there.

And sometimes, that daily work is hard, boring, dull or a nuisance, uncomfortable.

No matter who you ask, they’ll say that persisting toward a goal and being accountable to yourself along the way is tough at times.


It can be way easier to be accountable to others as your level of personal responsibility is much less in those situations.

Being more accountable to yourself means stepping up and taking responsibility, and accepting that certain things are not-negotiable.

The good news is that you CAN start showing up more in any area of your life.

It requires you to develop the skills of both persistence and accountability, and I’ve found three simple ways you can do that.

Note that these strategies will ONLY work if you have deep commitment to yourself in terms of the end-goal and the work required to get there, or, your daily habits (or both).

The three things that create better accountability to yourself, and therefore create persistence are:

1. Set clearer boundaries around the action

Boundaries include the things you need to say no to and the things you need to say yes to. They include consequences for saying yes or no.

So if you want to go to the gym three times, using rewards and penalties is a great way to improve your chance of actually doing it.

Maybe the reward is simply feeling better, or giving yourself a relaxing bath at the end.

Maybe the penalty is going without.

Make sure that the work you need to do, in this case the exercise, doesn’t feature in the penalty, because this would be counter-productive.

2. Plan and schedule your actions 

If you schedule your must-do actions into your diary, as if they were as important as any other responsibility in your life, they will more likely get done.

It’s great to have a plan to do certain tasks – scheduling them in realistic time slots makes them happen.

As boring as it sounds, this is one of the most effective ways to be more accountable to yourself. 

3. Measure your progress honestly and non judgmentally.

There is a saying that goes, “What gets measured gets done.”

Hand-written monitoring such as a food diary, a daily success journal, a daily reflection or a to-do list completed is the most effective way to create self-accountability.

Further, celebrating each win reinforces the value of your actions and builds self-confidence and self-worth.It reminds you why the next action is worth taking.

“What gets measured gets done.”

In summary

Being accountable to yourself means taking responsibility and accepting what is. 

The reward for being more accountable to yourself is persistence, consistency and ultimately, achieving goals. 

The easiest ways to become more accountable to yourself are to set clearer boundaries around your intended actions, to plan then actually schedule your actions, and to measure your progress honestly and non-judgmentally.

Yes, it’s incredibly simple and it gets results.

Ready to be more accountable to yourself?

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