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5 Ways to Use Accountability as Motivation to Achieve Your Goals



5 Ways to Use Accountability as Motivation to Achieve Your Goals

Want to know how successful people hit their goals time and time again? They have a secret weapon in their arsenal, accountability. When it comes to creating success in your life, being accountable to someone other than yourself is a real motivator.

Here are 5 ways you can use accountability for motivation to achieve your goals:


1. Know your integrity is on the Line

Do you want to be known as the person who never keeps their word? DWYSYWD, is a well known anagram to remind you that it is critical for you to do what you say you will do when it comes to achieving your goals. Be accountable to yourself first and foremost. If you have no intention of following through with what you say then why even say it? Your word is one of the most important things you have so use it to keep you in check and on track to achieve your goals.

“Accountability breeds response-ability”. – Stephen Covey

2. Group accountability or partnerships

Joining a support group to help you reach your goals can make you feel like you are part of a team and not just out there on your own. Groups can be found easily online and many social media platforms have groups you can join for free. Paid groups are also common and depending on the size of your goal, they could be a worthwhile investment in yourself. When joining a group, ask to trial it initially to make sure that it is a good fit for you and that it will provide the support and accountability features that you need. Never be afraid to walk away from something if it’s not working out for you. There are plenty more options that will be a better match.


3. Fear of failure when goals are made public

Making your goals public can encourage you to stay on track and not give up when things get hard. Just knowing that there are people waiting for you to fail can be a huge motivator to push through and enjoy the victory for all to see. Knowing that people are supporting you and backing you 100% of the way is also a powerful motivator. When you make your intentions public you will find that you receive a combination of responses so use both to fuel your desire to succeed.

“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player”. – Bill Gates

4. Accountability coaches

Coaches are available for just about any area of your life that you could need them. Today many people offer online accountability coaching as well as face to face sessions to keep you on track to reach your personal targets. Prices vary from free to thousands of dollars, depending on the nature of the coaching you require and the expertise of the coach you employ. Make sure that the accountability coach you choose will not tolerate excuses and fail to call you out when you are not following through. You need to find someone that is impartial and focused on getting you to where you want to be, not someone to be your new best friend.


5. Goal setting tools and apps

There are tons of goal setting programs and task management tools on the market to help you set, track and achieve your goals. Wunderlist, Todoist, StickK and Goals on Track are just a few of the free or low cost tools you can use to keep yourself accountable.  A good old fashioned chart on the wall can also be just as effective and much harder to ignore. You can even buy huge wall size post-it notes these days so you can stick them up just about anywhere. Whether you are into the latest technology or prefer simple tools, having your goals and your progression in a place that is visible to you each day will make you aware of how much progress, or lack of progress, that you have made towards achieving your goals. If you can have it somewhere that other people can see it, this can make you feel accountable to them even if you have not directly asked them to provide this support.


Accountability is a great motivator for you to stay on the right track to completing your goals. Most people are uncomfortable making up stories, lies and excuses and having someone to be accountable to is a way to ensure they are being honest with themselves as well as the person they are accountable to.

You’ve been given the tools and now it’s up to you to use it. Pick one of the above as a starting point and take action to incorporate it into your goal achievement strategy today.


  1. Ana De- Jesus

    Oct 7, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I don’t think any comments can do justice to the brilliant post that you have written: I struggle with letting people seeing me at my most vulnerable and failure is a big no go in my books as it makes me feel anxious or depressed. I know that sharing your journey with others should not make you feel embarrassed but relieved that you can learn from mistakes and let others help you.

  2. Shannon Peterson

    Oct 7, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Knowing that my name goes on my work definitely keeps my integrity in the forefront of my mind!

  3. victoria

    Oct 7, 2015 at 5:27 am

    I would really love all your tips but this was caught my attention Fear of failure when goals are made public sometimes when it get harder they will give up. Setting goal was a really great motivation first for myself.

  4. Rebecca Swenor

    Oct 7, 2015 at 4:53 am

    Accountability is big when it comes to achieving your goals. If people know your goals or you make your goals public you are more apt to achieve them for sure. Thanks for the tips.

  5. Liz Mays

    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:56 am

    I’ve been hearing a lot about having accountability partners. That’s probably something I need to start.

  6. Claudette

    Oct 7, 2015 at 3:02 am

    Inspiration comes from within and motivation from external sources. I am tend to have a small circle of friends who knows my goals and help to keep me accountable. That is how I function best.

  7. Chanelle

    Oct 7, 2015 at 2:46 am

    Great information. I really enjoy reading the Covey books. My daughter just read the teen version.

  8. Jennifer Clay

    Oct 7, 2015 at 12:13 am

    I just got promoted into management so I really needed to read this. I have to change my whole way of doing things at work because I have my fellow coworkers looking at me for answers and guidelines.

  9. dana vento

    Oct 6, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I agree with everything you said and naturally I think that motivation comes from within, but when you have others to support it helps give tread

  10. Danii Turnbull

    Oct 6, 2015 at 8:26 pm

    Thanks Thedore. Have seen this method work well for many people including myself. It can be a great way to ensure you stay focused when things get tough and give you the motivation to keep going until the end.

  11. Shaylee

    Oct 6, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Great tips! I love Stephen Covey’s books they are very useful to refer back to from time to time as well 🙂

  12. tara pittman

    Oct 6, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Sharing goals with others is a great idea. They will then hold you to them.

  13. Michelle Liew

    Oct 6, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    Accountability go hand in hand with responsibility….we take responsibility for our successeses or failures!

  14. Tina

    Oct 6, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Your ideas are Spot On. Accountability is vital in the world of business. One must be true to him or herself at all times. I find this in our industry where florists across the country are not people of their words, and we, as a small local florist are forced to use their services on behalf of our customers. Once in a while we find someone who does not fulfill their obligation and we lose that customer’s confidence. It is very difficult to be a small business and lose ANY customer, especially when another business is at fault.

  15. Kristen

    Oct 6, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    Great ideas, I think announcing my goals would definitely keep me motivated because of my personality, I am a people pleaser, so I would want to keep my word! thanks for the advice.

  16. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    Oct 6, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Groups work well for me when I workout. I workout harder when there are other people there.

  17. Joely Smith

    Oct 6, 2015 at 2:40 am

    I love using groups and the whole premise of accountability for keeping up with an exercise routine, or quitting a bad habit too! I have known this to work wonders for others!

  18. Troy Stoneking

    Oct 4, 2015 at 10:59 pm


    This is a fantastic article. Perhaps more than anything accountability is what goads me into action. I think these are all great points. For me the most useful has been hiring an accountability coach. Just knowing that someone is expecting me to produce keeps me motivated. I don’t want to disappoint my coach. Thanks again for a great article Danii! 🙂

    • Danii Turnbull

      Oct 6, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      Thanks Troy. Not wanting to disappoint your coach or accountability partner is something I often here as being a huge motivator for people.

  19. Marquita Herald

    Oct 4, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Great tips, though I do have issues with the traditional advice of sharing your goals with others. While it is true that this works for some, it is not a one-size-fits-all strategy because there are those for whom this tactic does more harm that good.

    For example there’s solid research to back the position that for some the very process of telling others their goals lessens their motivation for actually doing the work, while others use the announcement of lofty goals as a way of getting attention. Even as they fall short or head for failure they use one excuse after another to illustrate how courageous they are even as life conspires to block their efforts. Then there are many more who already struggle with limiting beliefs and the very thought of added external pressure assures they stay won’t even bother to try. As a former life and small business coach I’ve seen each of these scenarios far too many times.

    As a strongly goal oriented person myself, I’m in no way advocating that we should keep all our goals hidden, just that we take responsibility for becoming self aware about what motivates us to do and be our best and to adjust our strategies for striving to achieve our goals accordingly.

    • Danii Turnbull

      Oct 6, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Thanks Marquita. Definitely important to take time and discover what motivates us personally. Limiting beliefs play a massive role in the lives of many and taking the journey into self awareness to uncover and change these is a great starting point.

  20. Thedore Nwangene

    Oct 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Hello Danii,
    This is really a very wonderful post and i agreed with everything point made here. One of the best ways to achieve any goal is really to make it public, knowing that there are people out there who are waiting to hear the result will really motivate you into ensuring that you hit the goal.

    This is because if you fail to make it, you might end up losing your integrity and the trust those people has on you.

    Thanks for sharing.

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