Personal Development

Ways in which being held accountable to others helps you succeed

How to be held accountable

My girls and I are in a small book club. It was started in February and the goal is to read more and hold each other accountable.

On a normal day, I do enjoy reading but lately I had fallen off the wagon, so when it was suggested, I jumped at the opportunity.

The deal is that from time to time, we check in and catch up on what we have been reading that week.

Now, because I know I am accountable not just to myself but to others, my reading game has stepped up.

I have finally gotten around to reading all those books that were sitting in my Kindle, Okada and Play books library.

I also get great book recommendations from authors I do not know.

Accountability is that push you need sometimes to do that thing you always wanted to do. When you know you are answerable to yourself and others, and that your actions or inactions do not only just affect you, it makes you responsible.

It is a great tool that can inspire change, growth and development.

Unfortunately, It does not work for everybody though.

There are people who live for themselves alone. Taking responsibility and being held responsible is a foreign concept and has no place in their life, how much more willingly putting themselves in a situation where they have to be held accountable.

With accountability, you do what you say you will do, in the time you say you will do it. There is also some form of progress report. You are reporting your progress to another.

For accountability to actually work, you don’t just choose to be held accountable when it is super convenient and shy away when it comes to the hard part.

So even when you have not done what you say you will do, you are still answerable to others and you should not run away from admitting, owning up to your wrongs and getting back on track.

It will be a shame, if anytime you are to be held accountable, you throw in the towel and choose the easy way out.

Being held accountable means you keep to your word.

It is a way to build up personal integrity.



I have touched up on some reasons why you need to be accountable. In summary, you need to be accountable because

  1. It helps you to be deliberate about your actions and live life with intention
  2. It helps you measure and keep track of progress made
  3. Accountability builds integrity
  4. Accountability makes you responsible
  5. You are able to receive help from others
  6. You develop valuable relationships along the way



1) Personal responsibility

With accountability, you are the architect of your own failures and success. No one else but you.

You do not see yourself as a victim of circumstances. You do not makes excuses and remain in a constant state of denial.

If you are always passing the buck, you will not be accountable.


2) Honesty

You are willing to give honest report to others who hold you accountable.

There are days, when I am lazy and I do not pick up a book to read. On those days, I have to own up to my laziness and report honestly what went down that I couldn’t do as I said, I would.

Honesty builds trust, and those who you are accountable to, will be in a better position to respond effectively in ways that can help you.

When you lie, you are just deceiving yourself and it shows your lack of integrity. It also a bad reflection on your character and you would lose credibility at some point.


3) Be open to critic

The painful part of accountability is taking criticism. Naturally, no one likes to be criticized.

Correction can be a painful pill to swallow, but it is definitely needed if you desire growth. Ego can often get in the way of real progress, so drop ego aside and accept correction.

From the outside, it is easier for others to be more objective and see what it is you are doing wrong. Listen to them when they tell you, and don’t be in a hurry to dismiss the corrections you get, and be defensive.

When you are criticized, make changes.

If for instance, anytime I am not able to read, it was because I spent the whole time watching TV, and those I am being held accountable to, point it out to me, I should be able to at least, reduce the time I spend watching TV and see if my reading improves.


4) You have to be willing to explain yourself

If you choose to be held accountable, you may find yourself in a situation where you constantly have to explain yourself.

It can be difficult at first, especially if you are someone who is independent and is used to doing things on your own.

Having to share and open up about your bad habits with another takes courage.

It is an expression of vulnerability.


5) Commitment

Staying committed is important.

A lot of people are afraid of commitment. It can sometimes feel like your freedom is restricted.

You have taken the step to be accountable, follow through with it. I would say, If not for anything, for the sake of curiosity.

Be committed to see what progress can be made.

I am actually curious to see how many books I can read before the end of the year, and the effect it will have on my writing, vocabulary and thought process.

Also, come to terms with the fact that in this journey to succeed at whatever it is you are being held accountable for, some days will be easy, and some days will not.



Ways in which being held accountable helps you succeed

With accountability, there is room for feedback and consequences.


“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another”- Proverbs 27 v 17

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