My Love / Hate Relationship With Accountability

alarm clock lying on multicolored surface

From the desk of Kelsey Buell,

As I am typing these words, I have had “write a blog about accountability” listed as “overdue” on my to do list for the past two weeks.


Well, I’m trying to ask myself that same question.

I am a goal-setting maniac. I love setting goals, deadlines, the works…

I get a rush from checking off something on my to do list.

I feel good when I can follow up and follow through at a great pace.

As I think about the word “accountability” I am not really sure what to think, and I’m really not sure what to feel.

Let’s dissect this.

First, when someone else tries to hold me accountable, I feel annoyed. “I can do this myself!” I think. So I have always struggled with that.

But I have always accomplished more when I’ve had someone I am accountable to.

Next, when it comes to holding myself accountable, I feel shame.

Shame that no matter how hard I try to hold myself accountable to….

Not hit snooze on my alarm…

Workout more…

Eat healthier food…

Get that extra blog written…

I don’t always follow through.


In transparency I’ll admit, I don’t know the full answer, but when I peel back the layers I start to notice that it’s when I have a clear reason why I need to accomplish the task,I follow through on the what.

Let me say that one more time…(because let’s be honest, I need to hear it again!)

When I have a clear reason why I need to do something, I follow through on the what!

So how can we hold ourselves and others accountable?

Start by being clear on why something needs to get done!

Then find ways to enjoy the process. It’s okay to reward yourself for accomplishing a task that you maybe were procrastinating on. Maybe dangling a reward in the future will help you check off the box faster.

Here are some additional tips on accountability.

Holding others accountable:

  • They need to first understand why they need to accomplish the task.
  • Then, they need to know why it’s important for them to get it done.
  • It needs to be clear when they need to get it done by and again why.
  • Remember, at the end of the day, you can hold up your end of the deal and “remind” or “request,” but when it comes to holding others accountable, it takes two to tango. It’s ultimately up to them to accomplish the task. If they repeatedly don’t, then there’s likely an issue with them not valuing the “why”

Holding yourself accountable:

  • Why do I want to accomplish this?
  • Ask yourself, “Am I setting the appropriate deadline for this task?”
  • Will I be sad if I don’t follow through on this?
  • What will I have to sacrifice in order to do this? Am I willing to make the sacrifice?

At the end of the day, remember that to-do lists are never ending. It’s okay to be aggressive in your to do lists and want to accomplish a lot, but be realistic about timelines.

There’s nothing worse than trying to hold yourself accountable to getting something done on time and feeling like you’re “failing yourself” because you weren’t realistic about the time it would take.

What does God have to say about accountability? 

We found this great article on “Biblical Accountability.” Check it out: LINK

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