Wellness Wednesday: Accountability

Jessica Sturdy reading on the couch in her living room in Chicago.

Accountability is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. We all know that if we say we are going to do something, we should do it. But that’s not always the case, am I right? One of my goals in this coming year is to hold myself more accountable. (Side note: I’ll be sharing some of my 2018 goals soon! I really do love this time of year… I’m always excited for a fresh start, the reminder to reflect on how the past year went, and do a little planning for the new year ahead.)

So let’s talk about accountability today… Am I the worst when it comes to accountability? Surely not, but I know there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement. And to be totally honest, it’s been witnessing the lack of accountability in others that’s made me more mindful about holding myself to my word. We all know those people that don’t always do what they say they’re going to do, and that’s certainly not a trait I want to be known for. Accountability runs the gamut from small things, all the way up to the deep stuff. From the little things to the big things, I want people to know they can count on me.

When it comes to some small things (like making it to a workout class, for example), you can almost always count on me to show up. Something about pre-booking and paying for that class ensures that’s I’m going to be there! (And booking workout classes I enjoy helps, too!) But, say, when it comes to work events, it’s so easy for me to talk myself out of going after a long day. Even when I’ve RSVP’d! To work on this, I know that I a) need to be more discerning when the invites come through. AKA: I need to be better at saying no! Do I actually want to go? Will it be beneficial for me to go? Can I make the time to go? If the answer is yes to all of the above, I think I’ll have a better chance of following through on my word. And the second part of this is holding myself more accountable to commit to the obligations I’ve put on my calendar. Even if “it doesn’t matter if I’m there or not,” I want to adopt the mindset of following through with what I’ve committed to doing.

For bigger picture things, I think accountability mainly comes down to taking responsibility for your actions and situations, both past, present, and future. Are you unhappy with something about your job? A relationship or friendship? Your body? Holding yourself accountable in these scenarios is simply a) taking ownership of the situation and b) taking action to make necessary changes. There’s no sense in sitting around complaining or wishing things were different than they are… Hold yourself accountable to make a change! (And just like we talked about yesterday… You can only control your own actions and reactions!)

For me personally, there have been certain parts of my life that have felt a little bit stagnant lately. But I know I can’t sit around and wait for XYZ to find me. I know I need to do some digging for the reasons these feelings are coming up and make the necessary changes! For some of my grand ideas to come to fruition, I know I need to make a plan and start putting the plan into action, even if it’s just a small step at a time.

In terms of current situations you might be facing, it’s sometimes easy to blame others for how you wound up there. (A breakup, for example.) Unfortunate circumstances happen to all of us, but taking responsibility for your actions that may have also contributed to the outcome is what holding yourself accountable is all about. And of course I don’t mean staying in a dwelling state or blaming yourself for an outcome, but simply being honest about what happened and learning from the situation. How can learn from your current circumstances? How can you grow from the hand you’ve been dealt? How can you do it even better next time?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on accountability, too!

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10 Comments

  1. 1.3.18
    Rena commented:

    You are right this is such an important topic and personally I appreciate accountability always!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

    • 1.5.18
      Jessica commented:

      For sure! It’s such a good feeling knowing you can count on someone.

  2. 1.3.18

    I was really honest with myself in my NY Resolutions and one of my latest blog posts on going sober. I can occasionally be a very bad and unkind drunk. it’s not often, but it’s often enough. In British culture drinking a lot isn’t unusual at all which is a huge problem. I had to come to terms with the fact that I just didn’t want to risk the relationships with the people in my life anymore for one night of partying, so this year I’ve decided to go sober. I’m hoping it’ll make me more accountable for my actions and will improve my life all around!

    Abigail Alice x

    • 1.5.18
      Jessica commented:

      It’s a very similar culture in bigger cities in the US, too… (Like New York and Chicago, for example, especially when it’s cold and there’s not much else to do.)

      Kudos to you, girl! I’m sure that was not an easy decision to make, but it’s very inspiring to hear of your reflections and holding yourself accountable to make a change. Best of luck! xx

  3. 1.3.18
    Kellie commented:

    I’ve found that if I have a dedicated notebook or something to fill out I’m much more likely to do it. Using a blank notebook or something on my own I think is too easy to skip a day or stop writing- having clearly marked days to fill out in an already made book makes me I guess feel guilty because it’s more obvious when I’ve skipped! Whatever it is, it works!

    I’m also obsessed with the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets. They are great at making you think about what goals you really want in life, putting a plan together each month & then actually reflecting on it. If a goal isn’t reached I can think about why, move it to the next month, change it, or just realize I actually don’t want to do it at all. Again, another book that I can just fill in 🙂

    • 1.5.18
      Jessica commented:

      I’m the exact same way and know exactly what you mean! I love being able to write something down, keep track of something, or cross something off of a list… It feels so much more official for whatever reason.

      Looking into those powersheets now. Thanks for the suggestion! xx

  4. 1.3.18
    Lauren Price commented:

    thanks so much for this post!! keeping myself accountable is literally the hardest thing 🙁 but we can do it together!!

    xx,
    Lauren
    Lauren Elyce

    • 1.5.18
      Jessica commented:

      All about that moral support! xoxo

  5. 1.3.18
    Jordan commented:

    I can relate a lot to not being accountable to things you don’t necessarily “have to do” or be present at. For example reading my bible, I don’t technically have to do it, but I know I should & I do benefit from it!! Thank you for sharing your insight on accountability :))

    xo, Jordan
    jordan-rebeccablog.blogspot.com

    • 1.5.18
      Jessica commented:

      That’s such a good point! Holding yourself accountable for all of those things that you do benefit from… meditating, reading, etc.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment! xx