Where to find accountability and motivation

When it comes to making changes, achieving goals and, well, getting s**t done, there are two essential ingredients: accountability and motivation. When we hold ourselves accountable, or we find someone else to hold us accountable, we’re much more likely to follow through on what we say we’ll do. Motivation is the fuel in our engine that propels us forward. Without this, we’re unlikely to get far at all.

If you’re struggling to move forward or find yourself giving up on your goals, ask yourself if these two ingredients are present. If not, it may be just what you need to make the progress you’re craving. But where do you find this elusive accountability and motivation? 

Here we look at the places accountability and motivation like to hang out, and find out how we can tap into them to finally finish what we’ve started. 

In yourself 

The first place to look when it comes to accountability and motivation is in the mirror. We know, not exactly what you were hoping to hear right? Don’t worry, we have some guidance to help you find them. A good first step in your search is to find out how you’re motivated. 

We love Gretchen Rubin’s four tendencies theory where she outlines four different personality types that explain how we’re motivated. There’s the upholders – those who are motivated by both themselves and others, the questioners – those who need to know why they’re doing something before doing it, the obligers – those who are more likely to do something if someone else asks them to and finally the rebels – those who irk as soon as someone tells them they have to do something. 

Gretchen has an online quiz where you can find out which type you are and explore more of her resources with tips for getting things done, your way. 

Many of us need a ‘why’ in order to feel motivated, so this may be the next step in your search. Why do you want to do the thing you’re trying to do? How will it benefit you? How will it benefit others? Try writing down your why and having it somewhere you can see it often to act as a visual prompt. 

To find some accountability within yourself, try setting a deadline. When do you want to get this done? Is this date realistic given the size of your goal? Write this down too and mark it in your calendar. Decide on a reward you’ll give yourself when you’ve achieved your goal and celebrate every tiny win along the way. This will help to lift your spirits and spur you on to the finish line.

Finally, give your motivation and self-belief an extra boost with affirmations. These are positive statements that can help uproot limiting beliefs and quash self-doubt. Learn more about the science behind affirmations and how to create your own in this Happiful article, Do affirmations really work?

In your phone 

We know phones can have a bad rep when it comes to getting things done. Falling into a YouTube rabbit hole or endlessly scrolling Instagram is certainly not going to help, but there are ways our phones can boost motivation and offer accountability.

Try setting yourself calendar reminders for when you said you were going to do something. Having an alert come up on your phone may just be the motivational nudge you need to get started. 

There are also countless apps designed to help you stick to habits and achieve your goals. We love the Habit app where you can log progress on daily habits you want to maintain. If you need some gentle accountability to stay focused, you might also want to try the Forest app. It encourages you to stay off your phone and on task by planting trees and killing them off if you fail to stay focused!

In others 

If you’re not having much luck finding accountability and motivation in yourself or your phone, don’t worry. You’re certainly not alone and you may just need to extend the search to other people. 

There are plenty of ways to do this, why not start by sharing your goal publicly? Telling other people, whether that’s your friends, family or followers on social media can help you feel more accountable and hopefully more motivated to keep your word. 

Joining a group of others trying to accomplish similar goals can be helpful too. Try searching for Facebook communities or set up your own support group. You can cheer each other on and check in regularly to offer accountability. You may even want to set yourself up with an accountability buddy who will be able to hold you accountable while you do the same for them.

Another way of leaning on the wisdom of others for motivation is through inspirational quotes. Now, these will rarely have an impact if you aren’t somewhat internally motivated, but if you simply need a little push forward, you may find the right quote keeps you going. Use Pinterest to find your favourites and make a note of those that resonate and read them back regularly. 

With a coach

There are so many reasons we struggle to achieve our goals. While some of these we may be able to untangle ourselves through self-development work, sometimes we need the expertise and unbiased support of a professional.

This is where coaching can be a real support, helping you tap into your ‘why’ and find the intrinsic motivation to keep going while offering accountability through regular sessions. 

Learn more about coaching and find a coach to help you achieve your goals. 

Article updated 28th November 2022

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Written by Kat Nicholls
Kat is a Senior Writer for Life Coach Directory and Happiful magazine.
Written by Kat Nicholls
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