By Leo Babauta
How’ve you been doing with your new habit so far?
If all is well, you’ve gotten off to a great start: your trigger goes off, you have a reminder, and you do the habit.
If not, don’t worry â€” you can still start tomorrow!
Either way, let’s talk about our next habit skill: creating some accountability for your habit.
For some easy habits, it’s not a problem to just set up a trigger and reminders, and do the habit every day for a month or two until it becomes automatic.
But for many other habits, it’s not so easy: we struggle when our minds face inner resistance. The answer is creating accountability, to overcome the resistance.
When you are accountable to others â€” one person, a few, a group, or thousands of people you’ve publicly promised â€” then you’re more likely to stick to the habit. You’ll want to report back to them that you did a good job, and you’ll want to avoid having to report that you forgot to do the habit or were too lazy.
Accountability also helps make the habit more social, which can be fun and motivating.
How to Do It
There are a number of ways to set up accountability:
- Join a Sea Change accountability group (read more, or watch my tutorial) — report to each other daily
- Find a friend or group of friends/family who will hold you accountable (via Facebook, Twitter, email, in person)
- Start a challenge — maybe in a Facebook group — for your friends/family, and report to each other daily
- Make a vow to someone close to you and ask them to hold you to it
- Commit to doing the habit to someone, with a big embarrassing consequence, like having to wash their car in a clown suit
The main thing to remember with this skill is that accountability might be optional, but those who set it up are more successful. So as you start a habit, if you’re serious about it, ask friends or a group to hold you accountable, commit to them, and report to them regularly (daily, weekly, something in between).
I recommend the first option here in Sea Change, but you should do what works for you. So here are your action steps today:
- Pick one of the options, and either join a group or ask friends to hold you accountable. (Note: If you can’t find a group, here’s a thread for finding teams or members for your team.)
- Make a commitment to them â€” What will you do for this month and how often? How often will you report? What consequences are there for success and/or failure?
And once you’ve done that, try your best to report to them regularly (daily or nearly daily are best), whether you do the habit or not.