In last week’s newsletter, I talked generally about the importance of accountability in reaching our goals.
I had a great turnout for my live session last week on How to Use Your Journal as Your Accountability Partner, and received such great feedback that I wanted to continue the conversation.
We know the way to make progress on and reach our goals is through keeping our goals front and center and having systems in place to help us continue working.
Today I want to share with you three tools in my accountability practice:
Daily accountability questions
Weekly accountability check-ins
I keep a habit tracker on a clipboard on the wall above my desk that I use to keep track of new habits I’m implementing.
Last week I tracked five habits: taking my new medication each morning, journaling, moving my body, getting outside, and reading 20 minutes a day.
But even though I had five habits on my habit tracker, there were really just two that I was focused on: getting outside and reading 20 minutes a day. The other three were on there to help me feel successful. (What’s better than a guaranteed win and the hit of dopamine that comes with it?)
Habit trackers come lots of forms - paper and digital, weekly, monthly, yearly. I like to use a weekly tracker so I can adjust the habits I’m tracking from week to week as I build mastery. And also, if I have a week where things didn’t go so well, I don’t have to look at it for the rest of the month!
There’s no best way to do a habit tracker - play around and find what works best for you. I find keeping mine out in the open increases the likelihood that I’ll remember to use it!
I have one client who keeps hers on the refrigerator so her family can share in the fun by tracking their habits there as well!
Daily Accountability Questions
Every morning when I sit down to journal, I answer my accountability questions. These are a set of questions I create for myself each year to help me get closer to my goals.
You may have heard me call them my Intention Setting questions.
In 2022, I used these:
What is the most important thing for me to do today?
How can I show up as my best me?
What does my soul need today?
How will I feed my mind today?
How will I take care of my body today?
Who do I need to connect with today?
What can I celebrate today?
This year I have a new set of accountability questions, created to keep my new goals front and center every day. It’s an opportunity for me each morning to think about my goals and decide on some small course of action that will take me a little closer to them.
Like my habit tracker, my accountability questions live on a clipboard above my office desk so I can see them and keep my answers in front of me so I remember to do them.
(Sometimes when I write them in my journal and close the page, it’s like they no longer exist! Does this happen to anyone else?)
I encourage you to think about the questions you could ask yourself every day to help you get closer to your goals.
And you don’t have to have a whole page of them either - just one or two can be truly magical if they’re the right questions for you!
Weekly Accountability Check-Ins
I started doing weekly accountability check-ins a few years ago. I had developed some goals for the year that I was really excited about and wanted to honor myself by recognizing the progress I make.
So I picked a time each week - Sunday morning because I have a little extra time and it seemed like a good day for introspection - to sit down with my journal and revisit each of my goals.
One by one, I write down my goal and then report to myself the progress I made. What steps did I take? What were my small victories? What were my challenges? What’s the next step?
By doing this, I learned quickly to recognize and celebrate my growth and progress, and to troubleshoot what feels sticky.
There’s nothing sadder than reporting to myself, “no progress” two weeks in a row!
And, as a bonus, through this practice, I create a record of all my accomplishments throughout the year, so I can look back and feel successful without racking my brain in December trying to remember what I did all year.
I shared these strategies in detail in my session last Thursday. If you wanted to make it, but weren’t able to, you’re in luck! CLICK HERE for the recording!
I’d love to hear what you think. Which strategy sounds like it’d be the most helpful to you?
These four clipboards live on the wall over my desk to keep me organized and accountable.
Use these prompts as written or as inspiration to uncover what you need in your life this week. And know that I’m always here to support you and answer questions you have along the way!
Which new habits are you implementing this year?
How could using a habit tracker help you?
What habit tracker format would be most appealing and useful to you?
What question(s) could you ask yourself every day to help you keep moving forward toward your goals?
When can you set aside time to check in with your goals regularly?
What will it do for you to reach your goals this year?
Work with Me in 2023!
I work with clients both 1:1 and in my group programs to journal their way to joy, self-love, and to a life you don’t want a vacation from.
Interested in learning more? Click HERE to set up a time to chat.
I can’t wait to journal with you! 💛
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Fabulous post, Amanda - and I'm LOVING those clipboards!