How to Hold Yourself Accountable for Gettin’ it Done

More often than not, I need something to motivate me to get something done. I’ll clean my toilets if I know someone is coming over. I’ll put make-up on if I know I have to get on a video call with someone. And I’ll put gas in my car if I’m running on fumes (yes, I usually wait that long).

I usually have the same problem if I’m working on something for my own business. Meeting client deadlines is a cinch, but getting it done for myself is another matter.

That’s why I put so much value into accountability buddies and other programs that force me to follow through. Don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love what I do (and more so every day). But there’s something about getting paid by clients that has me all over their work and not so much on my own. (And yes, I know…I need to do the behind-the-scenes work to gain that attention that brings more clients. I get it.)

I recently asked some fellow business friends what they do to hold themselves accountable for the work inside their own business. Here’s what they said:

Accountability Groups

Having individuals or groups of people who hold us accountable was, by far, the most popular way to stay accountable to work within our own businesses (and it’s one of my own favorite accountability tools too!).

Like Jamie Marquez-Bratcher of Caffeinated Possibilities says in her blog post about accountability, business ownership can be really lonely. Think about it: You may be coming out of a corporate job where you boss (and colleagues) were down the hall or even in the same cubicle. You better believe you were going to get your work done! But now that you don’t have a “boss” standing over you, it’s a lot more difficult. Jamie uses an accountability buddy instead.

Kendal Keith, a felt florist with K Keith Designs also uses an accountability buddy—someone who is local to her and with whom she can meet up regularly. Basically, she says, it’s the peer pressure that keeps her in line. (Hey, whatever works!)

Personally, I’ve met with Ashely Cox of sproutHR multiple times as part of my CEO Date model. Think: Virtual coffee chat, without the chatting. And it works!

Ashley also has regular accountability calls with a partner to make sure they’re on track. “We celebrate our wins, work through challenges and set daily and weekly goals that lead to our annual goals. We also keep each other on track with our words of the year and make sure we don’t lose focus.”

Planners and Online Tools

Christine Dore Trant, a copywriter for creatives, uses both PowerSheets from Cultivate What Matters and online calendar blocking to help hold herself accountable for her goals.

“PowerSheets keep me on top of my goals. They help me develop good goals and give me a monthly ‘tending’ list to make sure I attain those goals each month,” she says.

But the calendar blocking helps her to make sure she actually gets the work toward those goals done.

“I specify what I’m making an ‘appointment’ for that correlates with my monthly tending list and make sure I set alerts so my phone goes off when I’m supposed to start and stop.”

Ginny Krauss, a brand and marketing strategist for wedding industry creatives, has a similar approach to her calendar. “If it goes into my calendar, then it gets done. I don’t put any ‘maybe’ stuff on my calendar.”

Reward Systems

For some, it’s the reward that drives the accountability. Photographer and hand-letterer Rachel Heckmann takes this approach.

“My rewards are always an afternoon walk or just being done. I find great satisfaction out of crossing everything off my list, so if I am able to cross everything off then I am done for the night and don’t have to try and squeeze anything else in.” (Personally, I don’t think this trait was available in my own gene pool. I missed out!)

Suzanne Brown also relies on rewards. “I set up big goals and then I set the small goals to work up to them,” says the strategic marketing and business consultant. “I keep myself accountable through little rewards like a nice bottle of wine with my hubby or a nice dinner, then celebrate the big stuff with something like a spa outing.”

What’s clear to me is that while there are a lot of different ways to stay accountable to getting the business done within your own business, not every system will work for everyone.

Because I’ve found so much value in my own CEO Dates and accountability groups, I developed the Race to Summer Break to take it one step further.

If you’ve been struggling with trying to get your content written, how would you feel about getting three months ahead on it? This program can help! It’s an 8-week accountability program that will not only show you how to batch-create content; it will also give you the time to get it done. The program starts April 3, so hop on over and check it out.


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