I get asked this question a lot…when setting goals or adding things to my To-Do List, how do I hold myself accountable? What do I do when I feel resistant to doing the work? I use deadlines!  

Anyone that knows me knows that my brain never shuts off. I am always thinking!  I come up with all kinds of things to do, learn, and achieve. Maybe that is why I am so tired all the time? Huh. With so much in my head and on my plate, you can imagine it can be hard to keep myself on track.  

Using others for accountability

I’ve found a few ways to hold myself accountable. I’ve also learned how to bypass some of these ways as well. Hey, I’m honest! If I want to avoid something, I’ll avoid it. One of the main ways I tried to hold myself accountable before was by involving family and friends.

It can help to have a friend/co-worker/significant other hold us accountable. It did work for me for a while. However, as I’ve gotten busier, I’ve learned to ignore them. It felt like more work to ask the people in my life to keep me on track, so I chose not to ask. (I know, not good at all.) 

Besides, my friends would most certainly stop taking my calls if I had to ask them to hold me accountable for all my goals and To-Do’s now – I have a hard time keeping them straight myself sometimes!

Hold ourselves accountable with deadlines

So, what if we can’t have somebody else keep us accountable? There is a way to hold ourselves accountable. I use deadlines!  

I give myself realistic deadlines to accomplish things. Before I started to use deadlines, I would just keep pushing things off (and maybe I still do sometimes…shhh…let’s just keep that little fact between us.) 

By using deadlines, I add one crucial step to my goal-setting process. Not only do I have my goals, tasks, and appointments organized in my planner, I know when I must have them done by.   

Since I’ve found this process helps keep me on track, I want to share my key tips and tricks with you for using deadlines: 

  • I use deadlines for daily and weekly tasks so I can achieve my goals. 
  • To set yourself up for the most success, choose a realistic time frame to complete each task. Don’t set a deadline that would be difficult or impossible for you to achieve. Be realistic! 
  • Keeping a visual reminder of tasks and goals will help you remember what needs to be done. I use my planner and my whiteboards as quick visual references to remind me of my deadlines.
  • I put reminders in my phone as an additional resource for keeping me organized.
  • Some people may feel pressured by all the reminders but this is part of keeping a realistic deadline. No need to feel pressure, unless you have skipped a few tasks along the way! But, that’s what the deadlines are for: so you don’t get behind and cause yourself more stress. 
  • Deadlines can motivate you. It makes me feel accomplished and on top of things when I complete deadlines early. Knowing I achieved something inspires me to work ahead on my other To-Do’s.
  • I reward myself with little treats when I accomplish my goals by their deadlines. Ice cream is a favorite treat! A new book. A fancy hot chocolate. Extra time outside on nice days! You get the idea. I base the size of the treat on the size of the goal. 

Send me a message and let me know how my tips worked for you. I’d love to hear about it!

Live life on your terms!


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