How to develop self accountability

What is Self Accountability and Why is the Key to Success

Self accountability is the key to personal growth and reaching your goals.

It’s an essential characteristic that everyone should develop, both in the workplace and in personal life.

It also helps you be seen as a leader from whom everyone can take inspiration.

Since I started working on it, my life has improved, and I have transformed my dreams into reality.

This article will help you understand self-accountability, why it is so important, and how to develop it.

I’ll share tips based on my experience and how you can become accountable for your actions.

Key Takeaways

  • Self-accountability means taking full responsibility for your actions and their outcomes. You need to take control of your life and decisions without blaming others or outside circumstances when things don’t go as expected as high achievers do.
  • Developing self-accountability involves setting SMART goals, breaking down large goals into smaller steps, creating a schedule, tracking progress, finding an accountability partner, rewarding yourself for completed tasks, and consistently sticking to your commitment.
  • Adopting self-accountability leads to professional growth by encouraging careful decision-making and increasing reliability among team members. This helps in building trust with colleagues and superiors at work.
  • A lack of accountability can lead to making excuses for your actions instead of learning from mistakes. This habit can harm personal growth and professional relationships.
  • Improving this skill is vital for personal development and career advancement. It involves owning up to triumphs and setbacks and facilitates effective leadership.

What is Self-Accountability?

What is Self-Accountability?

Self-accountability is the practice of taking responsibility for your actions and their outcomes,

It doesn’t matter if they’re good or bad.

It means you don’t point fingers at other people or external circumstances when things don’t go as planned.

You recognize that you are steering your ship, making decisions that shape your future.

Every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow as a person.

So, why is self accountability important?

By holding yourself accountable, you can transform setbacks into powerful learning experiences.

You stop making excuses and start looking for ways to improve.

This positive mindset is crucial because it encourages self-reflection and resilience.

When something goes wrong, you don’t cry on and complain.

You analyze the situation and ask questions yourself, like:

” What did I do wrong?

“How could I have prevented this situation? “

“What can I learn from what happened?”

What is an Example of Self Accountability?

Imagine you’ve made a mistake at work that affects the entire project timeline.

Instead of finding excuses or blaming your teammates, you take immediate responsibility for your actions.

You approach your manager, explain the error, and you’ve already made a plan to address the issue. 

This action demonstrates self-accountability by owning up to your mistakes and actively seeking solutions.

You also decide to reflect on what led to this error in the first place.

Was it a lack of understanding, poor time management, or something else?

By identifying the main cause and working on it, you’ll react as an accountable leader.

How things go doesn’t matter; it’s about how you react.

How to Improve Personal Accountability?

It isn’t easy to always take accountability, but you can work on it.

Over the years, I have worked a lot on this feature, achieving great results.

And you can do as well, with the right mindset.

Here are my accountability tips to strengthen this skill.

Ready to get started?

Set SMART goals

Set SMART goals

Everything starts with clear goals.

You can have big and small goals, but they must be SMART.

What does it mean?

  • Smart
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Understanding this concept is essential to starting off on the right foot.

For instance, when I started my side hustle as a blogger,  I told myself “I want my blog to be famous within a year”.

This approach was wrong.

What I did was create SMART goals to achieve this bigger goal.

It becomes ” I want to get up to 1000 visitors per month in one year”.

Now, this is a SMART goal because is:

  • Specific: I aimed to reach a specific number
  • Measurable: I can track my progress by monitoring my website analytics 
  • Achievable: I didn’t aim for one million users per month, but I set an attainable goal
  • Relevant:  Growing my blog will help me to improve my copywriting skill and be seen as an expert in my niche
  • Time-bound:  The goal has a clear timeframe of one year, which creates a sense of urgency

Adopting this strategy ensured that every step taken contributes meaningfully to achieving my broader life ambitions. 

Break down large goals into smaller, actionable steps

Start with your end goal and chop it into smaller pieces.

Take it as an accountability exercise.

This makes even the most ambitious targets seem manageable.

 If you aim to run a marathon, begin by running shorter distances and gradually increasing them over time.

Breaking goals down helps keep motivation high because you can celebrate victories along the way.

For instance, if you want to get in shape, you need to break this goal into smaller steps.

It could be something like:

” I’ll train 3 days per week.”

” I won’t have any cheat meals until the weekend.”

” I’ll reach 10.000 steps every day”

Create a clear plan or a to-do list for each step and set deadlines to stay on track. 

Create a schedule and track your progress

Create a schedule and track your progress

Creating a schedule is your road map to success.

Lay out daily tasks, set deadlines, and include specific times for breaks to keep yourself motivated throughout the day.

This method keeps you on track and makes you understand what you can improve.

Use tools like journals, accountability apps, or spreadsheets to track your daily progress toward your goals.

And don’t forget to celebrate your successes to keep you motivated!

Find an accountability partner

Do you want to reach your full potential? Then, you need an accountability partner.

You can dramatically boost your journey to develop personal accountability.

A study found that having specific accountability appointments with someone you’ve committed to increases the chance of reaching your goal by 95%.

This person serves as both a cheerleader and a coach, keeping you on track and encouraging you when things get tough.

They help you stay committed to your goals by regularly checking in on your progress.

Imagine having a friend who celebrates your successes and provides that precious feedback when you fail.

It’s about building a partnership where mutual support increases productivity and job satisfaction.

Who can be your accountability partner?

It can be your friend, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or one of your coworkers.

But make sure he fits for you.

I found the best accountability buddy using the app GoalsWon, where you can get help from a professional coach.

Reward yourself for completing tasks

Becoming more accountable takes time and discipline.

So, when you’re holding yourself accountable, celebrate this win!

Reward yourself for completing tasks to keep your motivation high.

After finishing a task, whether big or small, treating yourself can be as simple as taking a short break, enjoying your favorite snack, or watching an episode of a show you love.

This act of self-recognition reinforces the value of hard work and dedication.

Celebrating milestones was an essential part of my journey to develop this trait.

My accountability coach was enthusiastic about my progress, and it helped me stay on track.

It’s about proving yourself you can do something without excuses and then celebrating these wins.

Keep it creative and personal; these rewards are meant to inspire and rejuvenate you for future challenges.

Be consistent

You must accept you won’t become accountable overnight.

The key is consistency.

Do you learn a language after one session? Of course not.

Sticking to your goals like glue will transform “shoulds” into “musts,” .

And you’ll be closer to realizing personal growth and success. 

It’s about making self-accountability a non-negotiable part of your daily routine.

If you lack consistency, as I did, try using an accountability app where you can find external support.

The Importance of Self Accountability at Work

accountability examples

Self accountability is key for the work environment and a quality every leader should master.

You will show that you are someone you can count on and trust.

This way, you can aspire to important positions and develop stronger teams.

But how can you show accountability at work?

Let’s make an example.

You are an account manager and must work on your key performance indicators (KPIs).

The target is to increase your clients, but you need to set a SMART goal.

So, you aim to acquire 20 % more new clients than you did last month.

You need to create an action plan. In this case, an accountable person would:

  • Analyze the lead generation process: Are you targeting the right audience? Can you improve your prospecting methods? Maybe you need to update your choices
  • Refine Outreach Strategy: Can you personalize your approach more? Seek feedback from your coworkers.
  • Set Mini-Goals and Track Progress: Break your target into smaller, weekly goals (e.g., three new clients per week) to stay motivated and track your progress.
  • Take responsibility for the outcomes: whether they’re positive or negative, you’ll learn a lesson. Maybe you found an excellent strategy or didn’t reach your goal. Review the process so you can improve in the future.

Implement this process next time you need to work on a project or a new task.

You’ll see a huge difference!

Suggested reading: The importance of accountability

Is self-accountability a value?

Certainly, self-accountability is a fundamental value crucial for personal growth and career advancement. 

Individuals who consistently hold themselves accountable set the stage for effective leadership.

This trait encourages you to own your actions and check your performance.

It’s a quality that enhances personal life and is vital in nurturing professional relationships.

It’ll contribute to a positive workplace culture where employees feel valued and understood.

What does lack of self accountability mean?

Lack of self-accountability is when you start making excuses instead of embracing the responsibility for your actions. 

This habit forms a barrier against acknowledging your own role instead of improve moving forward.

Do you find yourself pointing fingers at others or blaming something else? Do you avoid your responsibilities?

Then you’re lacking accountability.

This behavior will stall your growth and prevent you from learning from your mistakes.

Over time, not working on your self-accountability will impact your personal and professional life.

By failing to take ownership of your actions, trust erodes, and opportunities for advancement may slip away.

Others may begin to question your reliability and integrity as an individual who does not take his own responsibility.

Instead of progressing, you risk becoming stagnant.

You’ll be caught in a cycle of blame and excuse-making that shields you from reality.


Becoming an accountable individual is essential for personal and professional relationships.

You’ll grow as a person and move closer to your goals.

When you fail, you’ll seek constructive feedback instead of blaming someone else.

As you keep yourself accountable, watch as doors to growth and success swing wide open for you.

Ready to work on your self accountability? The sooner you start, the better you’ll feel!

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