Accountability Helps Goals Become a Reality

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We are almost through the year! Can you believe it? The beginning of the year seems so far away and so are the resolutions that were made with a sincere heart on January 1. Statistical analysis tells us that a majority of people who set resolutions (I prefer to call them goals) at the beginning of the new year have given up on them by the time February 1 arrives.

The beginning of the new year brings the same thing – an earnest desire to make some changes and enthusiasm to make it come to fruition.  However, somewhere in between the enthusiasm and actually working toward the goal, momentum is lost. For example, it is common for people to set a goal to lose weight at the start of the new year. (Yes, my hand is in the air.) Stores have sales on workout gear. The grocery stores have every healthy food option imaginable on sale. Fitness centers across the country are filled to capacity.  But by the third week, you start to see a significant drop in attendance. When February rolls around, you can tell that the shift has happened. People have stopped going to the gym. The sales have ended. Most have thrown in the towel.

I have to be honest and tell you that I have been part of that group before. It’s hard setting goals and even harder making them a reality. When setting goals at the beginning of the year, the thought of accountability can make people cringe. Is the same true for you? Friends, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Accountability can be the very thing to help you meet your goals.  If you really want to make achieving your goals a reality, you have to not only have SMART goals but a very solid accountability partner as well.  When working with an accountability partner, I believe there are 3 traits that make the experience great.

1. BE REALISTIC. Be realistic in your expectations of an accountability partner. While an accountability partner is an imperative part of your success, recognize that they are only part of the puzzle. They can’t make you achieve your goals. That part is up to you. You have to be willing to put in the work. It’s hard but IS possible. Consider the time constraints that your accountability partner may have. They likely have work and family obligations as most of us do. This doesn’t mean that a person who may be exceptionally busy can’t help you — quite the opposite is usually true. Just be cognizant of that when you first approach a person to ask them to be your accountability partner and when setting up times to communicate with them. You will want to be aware of their limitations and be intentional with your communication with them.

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2. BE CONSISTENT. Make sure that you are checking in with your accountability partner on a regular basis. Since you are the one setting the goals, it is up to you to reach out to your accountability partner — not the other way around. Your accountability partner MAY check in with you but the expectation should be for you to initiate the contact to discuss progress, address challenges and ask questions. When consistent in your contact with your accountability partner, you will get the feedback that you need. Initiating contact with your accountability partner demonstrates that you are serious about reaching your goals. Click To Tweet

3. BE TRANSPARENT.  If you have struggled in the past with meeting goals, don’t put yourself down about it. Discuss it with your accountability partner. Don’t feel embarrassed. Tell them exactly why you have struggled with meeting goals in the past. Be prepared to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Are you overwhelmed? Overcommitted? Are you not making your goals a priority? Have you dodged accountability? Having the (somewhat) difficult conversations may be uncomfortable at first but will prove to be very helpful down the road. Knowing your strengths and areas of weakness can help your accountability partner help you best. It will also help you to learn more about yourself as you get feedback from someone else who is on the outside looking in.

Well my friend, let me share something with you. Don’t let the struggles that you had reaching goals get you down. Even though we are in the final quarter of the year, there is still time to make progress. There is still time to exercise discipline, find an accountability partner (or two) and make those goals a reality. Give some serious thought to just one goal that you would like to accomplish before the end of the year. With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s easy for all of us to get caught in the busyness and be overwhelmed. Try not to let that happen to you. Choose one small thing that you want to happen, get connected with someone and go for it.

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I’d love to hear about what goals you are going for with two months remaining in the year. Drop a note in the comments and let us all cheer you on!

Let's chat!

Angel Penn

Hey girlfriend! I'm Angel - a deeply devoted follower of Jesus Christ, wife to James, mom to three princes & a ministry speaker.

This counselor turned homeschool mama loves to provide daily adventures for my boys while encouraging them to learn about the big, busy world around them.

With a cold latte in hand and my latest read under my arm, I'm usually seen looking for monster trucks and chasing my little people. In my spare time, you will catch me spending time with family and friends, at live music festivals and on the hunt for a new favorite dessert.
Let's chat!

Author: Angel Penn

Hey girlfriend! I'm Angel - a deeply devoted follower of Jesus Christ, wife to James, mom to three princes & a ministry speaker. This counselor turned homeschool mama loves to provide daily adventures for my boys while encouraging them to learn about the big, busy world around them. With a cold latte in hand and my latest read under my arm, I'm usually seen looking for monster trucks and chasing my little people. In my spare time, you will catch me spending time with family and friends, at live music festivals and on the hunt for a new favorite dessert.

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  • It’s SO important to have good, trustworthy, honest friends who can help steer us toward godliness!
    I especially like the transparency tip. If we’re not honest with ourselves, or with others, there’s really no point. In order to have authentic relationships, we have to learn to be transparent. (Much easier said than done).
    Great tips Angel!

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  • I love, love, love goal setting and list making!! Some of my goals for the next six months include: launching an ebook, spending one-on-one time with my hubby and each boy separately every month, reading 15 non-fiction books, and planning 5 camping trips and a family reunion. 🙂 The SMART goal concept changed my way of thinking! I also love my PowerSheets and Brilliant Life Planner.

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    • I love goal setting and list making too! You’ve got some great goals Rebekah! I love the fact that you included prioritizing time with your family as part of what you are working on. We get so busy with things that it is important that we don’t forget to make time for those who mean the most to us. You’ve got some great tools also. I have the Powersheets as well!

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  • Consistent accountability is so important. And not beating yourself up. Just get up and move forward.
    A few of my goals for the year: blog more consistently, get a household routine down, and get things ready to start homeschooling in the autumn.
    Thank you for sharing!

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    • Hey Robbi! Not beating up yourself is so key in making your goals a reality. Too often, we get hung up on what we may not have done right that we lose sight of the actual progress that we have made. I love the goals that you mentioned. And…welcome to homeschooling! I am a homeschooler as well. It’s a daily adventure but definitely worth it!

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  • Thank you for your list! I have one of these amazing accountability partners in the flesh and feel so blessed to have her. When I am down she helps me with finding the resources to get back up again. When I am up we celebrate each other and are so excited about the amazing things God is going to show us in 2018!

    Go Make His Joy Contagious,


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  • This is really good, some people fall into the trap that having a accountability partner, guarantees success. You are so right you have to put the work in yourself so your accountability partner can help you achieve success. A very good article..

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  • Great post Angel! I have had different experiences with accountability partners, good, and not so much. I think is vital to have a conversation with that person about what your expectations are and to set clear guidelines on how you want them to hold you accountable. Give them permission to be honest with you even if it means it might be hard to hear. We must also be willing to receive the tough advice or else we wont grow.

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  • Such a GREAT post! I have weekly accountability with ladies I call my “Truth Squad” I love that I can be completely honest and transparent with them with no fear of being betrayed. I am a huge advocate for “accountability” in all areas of our lives. I always tell people, “If you really want change in your life, ask someone to hold you accountable to whatever that change is you want to make and give them permission to ask you hard questions about it.” Really great post! I’ll be sharing it! <3

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    • Leslie, thanks so much for checking out my post! Do you know how much I love your “Truth Squad?” And the fact that you check in with them weekly is awesome. Having that openness and trust in those relationships is a blessing. Talk about real change? You and your crew are on to something fantastic! Thanks for sharing…..and spreading the word. YOU ROCK!

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  • I\’ve struggled to reach my New Year\’s goals at times, especially with weight loss. I think talking with people about it helps because I\’m often harder on myself when I fail than others are on me. Having someone else\’s perspective makes what seems terrible at them moment – like that doughnut binge – suddenly seem like just a stumble that I can get past.

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    • Hey Kirstie! Having an accountability partner can help you get through those tough moments. As you said, we are often hardest in ourselves but it’s great to have someone who will address the issue and then say — hey, let’s move on so you can make your goal. You can do it!

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  • I’m one of those that “forgets” about my goals about halfway through the year. I do have lists and I do have plans but somehow I seem to forget to even look at those lists. Thank you for this jumpstart. I’m going to see how much I can accomplish in what’s left of the year.

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  • For a long time, I have begun each year with what I believe is a one-word theme for which I’ve prayed and received from God.
    Then I spend the first few weeks of the year preparing to walk in this theme, fleshing it out, marking dates on a calendar, etc.
    I feel so intentional.
    And fail so big.
    I think I avoid accountability because, having tried it, I have found true partners so difficult to find. It seems they either get angry or else excuse…. Should they not rather check, encourage, commiserate, inspire, etc?
    Love this post, though.

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    • Oh Katharine. I’m sorry you haven’t had a good experience with accountability partners. I’ve been there before. I do believe that they should encourage, inspire and challenge us when we are having a rough time. It’s great to be a cheerleader but I also think it is important that they ask questions when we may seem to be struggling to help identify what the cause is may be. When setting goals, I have found that I need the challenge at times because sometimes I may overlook things or didn’t take certain things into consideration etc…. I will pray that you find the perfect accountability partner for what you need.

      I love the one word from God at the beginning of the year. I do that too.

      Thank you for stopping by to read my post. I truly appreciate it and you sharing.

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  • I have been encouraged by reading this today! I am the world’s worst about setting goals and not meeting them. I finally quit setting goals, which isn’t working either, lol. I shared with my husband just last night my struggle with this. It felt so good to talk to someone about it. He helped me set a few goals to meet by the end of the year. Thanks for being an encouragement!

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    • Oh Amanda! I am so glad. It IS hard to set goals and to work toward them. I’m glad that you were able to speak with your husband about it and to get some things down for the end of the year. Please keep me posted as to how it’s going! You can do it!

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  • *Raises hand for the losing weight in the New Year group.
    It’s funny but I’ve always waited until the new year so that I can indulge during the Holidays. Not this time around. I’m already implementing healthy eating and exercising more. My accountability parter is my Hubby. He’s already lost sooo much weight, I just have to keep up lol. God bless!

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    • Good for you Natalie! That is so awesome. I’m so glad that your husband is an inspiration and is accountability for you. Sounds like he is doing great and you will too. This holiday season will be much different because you have a different outlook. Keep me posted on how things are going for you! Blessings sister.

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  • Having someone to hold you accountable and to cheer you on is key! My hubby is usually my accountability partner in most things and I\’m his. I recently discovered what year end resolutions are I love them. It\’s so much easier to go into the new year with your goals already set and in motion, like the exercise thing. One goal I\’ve set is to start writing down goals for each month so I\’m more accountable and I can see how far I\’m growing from month to month,

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    • Ayanna, I love that idea of writing down goals from month to month. Keeping them in front of you definitely keeps you motivated and helps to see how much progress you have made. Does your husband do the same thing?

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    • I’ve been there Nicole! So often, I’ve had good intentions and have struggled to follow through. I’ve made some strides but have found when I am accountable to someone else, it gives me that extra push that I need to keep going. It’s one thing when I drop the ball but when I have to tell someone else that I am choosing to not make the goal a priority — OUCH! 🙂

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