Madissyn Fredericks, Licensed Professional Counselor, Symmetry Counseling

Throughout life, we challenge ourselves and create goals to improve our physical and mental health. While our intentions are good, it can feel impossible to hold ourselves accountable as we try to meet the goals we know will make us better. For example, many people make the decision to eat healthier or incorporate meditation into their morning routine. It may feel tolerable for a week or so, but eventually many give up or go back to their old ways. Feeling like you are holding yourself back from being a better version of yourself can feel discouraging, frustrating, and hopeless. So what is getting in the way of you holding yourself accountable for your own goals and life changes? Below are a few things to consider to help you stay committed to your goals and hold yourself accountable to accomplish them.

Have Realistic Expectations

The first part of holding yourself accountable includes understanding your goals and setting realistic expectations to accomplish them. Ask yourself “What do I want the outcome to be?”, “How do I measure my success?”, and “What steps do I need to take?”. Questions such as these help you take the thought of wanting to do something and make it a reality. The expectations you set for yourself should be manageable and realistic so that you continue to stick to your goals and they don’t feel impossible.

Gather Resources and Support

Whether you are going to start making healthier food choices, begin meditation, or starting an exercise routine, it is important to educate yourself on your goal. Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before you get started. Research recipes that seem healthy and easy, exercises that you think you might enjoy, or mindfulness activities you think are a good fit for you. It can also be helpful at this time to find someone who may be interested in joining you or supporting you throughout this process. They may hold you accountable or help find resources to educate yourself on your goal.

Create Rules For Yourself

Once you have set realistic expectations for yourself and have gathered the information and support you may need, it is time to create rules for yourself. Creating rules may include the number of things you can commit to, how long you want to set your goal for, what the consequences of not meeting your goal would be, etc. It can be helpful to write down the rules for yourself at the beginning of each week and evaluate them at the end of the week. How do they need to change? Which ones were more difficult to stick to? Creating and evaluating your rules will help keep your goal manageable and keep you on track for success.

Have Self-Compassion

At the end of the day, accomplishing your goals stems from making it a priority. Realistically, there are going to be days or weeks where you slip up and feel like you can’t do it. Forgive yourself for any disappointments, engage in positive self-talk, and continue to move forward towards your goal. Regardless of where you are at on your journey to a healthier and happier you, it is crucial to have self-compassion. Doing so will help keep you motivated and positive throughout a time of change in your life.

If you are finding it difficult to stick to your goals and would like some support, it may be useful to connect with a therapist. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!