How to build new habits with an accountability partner

Whether it’s a person or an app that sends us reminders, we make better choices when we’re being watched (even by ourselves.)

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

If you want to make positive changes in your life, try building on a lesson many of us learned in 2020: Hold yourself accountable.

The notion of accountability — to yourself and to others — has been an important part of pandemic living. To avoid spreading the virus, we’ve needed to be accountable for wearing a mask, limiting our contacts and keeping our distance.

But accountability can also help you achieve your health goals. Gretchen Rubin, author of “Better Than Before,” a book about forming healthy habits, says that accountability is an important tool for making and breaking habits.

Accountability works best when it comes from the outside. You can create accountability by checking in with a friend every day to talk about healthful eating. You’re more likely to exercise if you’ve made a plan to walk with a friend or scheduled a workout with a personal trainer. You can create public accountability by declaring your intention on social media.

If you prefer to stay accountable only to yourself, you can create accountability by using an app that sends you daily reminders or by wearing a Fitbit or smart watch to track your exercise habits. You can even hold yourself accountable through a daily journal entry.

“We do better when someone’s watching,” Ms. Rubin said. “Even when we’re the ones doing the watching!”

A 2018 North Carolina State University study of 704 people enrolled in a 15-week online weight-loss program found that participants with buddies lost more weight and waist inches than those who took the course without buddy support.

So for today’s Well challenge, think about a health goal you want to achieve and focus on how you can hold yourself accountable. I’ve included a few suggestions for how to do it. Sign up for the Well newsletter to get the 7-Day Well Challenge in your inbox.

Create an Accountability Plan

What is your goal for 2021? Do you want to improve your eating habits, lose weight or exercise more? Or maybe you just want to finish that screenplay you’ve been working on? You’re more likely to succeed if you get some help.

Find an accountability buddy. Choose a friend who wants to achieve a similar goal and make a plan. Accountability might mean meeting each other once or twice a week for a walking date. Or it could be a daily text check-in to see how you’re doing on a diet or a Zoom call to work on a decluttering project together.

“Some people are very accountable to themselves, but not most people,” said Dr. Tim Church, a well-known exercise and obesity expert and chief medical officer for Naturally Slim, an app-based behavioral health program in Dallas. “In my years of working with thousands of people, there’s one thing that drives accountability more than anything else: If you want to keep people doing a behavior, get a buddy.”

While the presence of an accountability buddy adds some gentle peer pressure, the key is to focus on the behavior, not success or failure. For instance, if a person is trying to lose weight, don’t focus on the scale. Instead, check in and remind them to log what they ate, encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables and remind them of the benefits of a regular weigh-in (but you don’t need to ask them the result). If they’re beating themselves up for eating two desserts, talk about what might have triggered an emotional eating binge.

“An accountability partner is there to support you, to problem-solve and to celebrate even the small victories,” Dr. Church said. “Judgment is the quickest way to destroy all that. People are so hard on themselves. You don’t need to be hard on them.”

Use an app. An app is a great way to add accountability to your day. Meditation apps like Headspace and Calm will send daily reminders and track your progress. The weight-loss app Noom asks you to check in for a few minutes each day, complete mini-health courses and track what you’ve eaten. The Fitbit app counts your steps, will sync with your smart scale and vibrates to remind you to get up and move.

Set reminders. Once you set a health goal, hold yourself accountable by creating calendar reminders to help you achieve it. Schedule walk breaks or daily or weekly check-ins with your accountability buddy.

Declare it on social media. Telling your friends on social media that you’re cutting back on packaged foods, or sending a tweet every time you finish a class on your exercise bike creates virtual accountability. Commit to posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or another platform every time you complete a goal, or share your feelings on days you’re struggling. When you declare your goals on social media, you’re likely to find a like-minded friend who will want to join your journey and offer words of support.

Whether it’s a person or an app that sends us reminders, we make better choices when we’re being watched (even by ourselves.)

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

If you want to make positive changes in your life, try building on a lesson many of us learned in 2020: Hold yourself accountable.

The notion of accountability — to yourself and to others — has been an important part of pandemic living. To avoid spreading the virus, we’ve needed to be accountable for wearing a mask, limiting our contacts and keeping our distance.

But accountability can also help you achieve your health goals. Gretchen Rubin, author of “Better Than Before,” a book about forming healthy habits, says that accountability is an important tool for making and breaking habits.

Accountability works best when it comes from the outside. You can create accountability by checking in with a friend every day to talk about healthful eating. You’re more likely to exercise if you’ve made a plan to walk with a friend or scheduled a workout with a personal trainer. You can create public accountability by declaring your intention on social media.

If you prefer to stay accountable only to yourself, you can create accountability by using an app that sends you daily reminders or by wearing a Fitbit or smart watch to track your exercise habits. You can even hold yourself accountable through a daily journal entry.

“We do better when someone’s watching,” Ms. Rubin said. “Even when we’re the ones doing the watching!”

A 2018 North Carolina State University study of 704 people enrolled in a 15-week online weight-loss program found that participants with buddies lost more weight and waist inches than those who took the course without buddy support.

So for today’s Well challenge, think about a health goal you want to achieve and focus on how you can hold yourself accountable. I’ve included a few suggestions for how to do it. Sign up for the Well newsletter to get the 7-Day Well Challenge in your inbox.

Create an Accountability Plan

What is your goal for 2021? Do you want to improve your eating habits, lose weight or exercise more? Or maybe you just want to finish that screenplay you’ve been working on? You’re more likely to succeed if you get some help.

Find an accountability buddy. Choose a friend who wants to achieve a similar goal and make a plan. Accountability might mean meeting each other once or twice a week for a walking date. Or it could be a daily text check-in to see how you’re doing on a diet or a Zoom call to work on a decluttering project together.

“Some people are very accountable to themselves, but not most people,” said Dr. Tim Church, a well-known exercise and obesity expert and chief medical officer for Naturally Slim, an app-based behavioral health program in Dallas. “In my years of working with thousands of people, there’s one thing that drives accountability more than anything else: If you want to keep people doing a behavior, get a buddy.”

While the presence of an accountability buddy adds some gentle peer pressure, the key is to focus on the behavior, not success or failure. For instance, if a person is trying to lose weight, don’t focus on the scale. Instead, check in and remind them to log what they ate, encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables and remind them of the benefits of a regular weigh-in (but you don’t need to ask them the result). If they’re beating themselves up for eating two desserts, talk about what might have triggered an emotional eating binge.

“An accountability partner is there to support you, to problem-solve and to celebrate even the small victories,” Dr. Church said. “Judgment is the quickest way to destroy all that. People are so hard on themselves. You don’t need to be hard on them.”

Use an app. An app is a great way to add accountability to your day. Meditation apps like Headspace and Calm will send daily reminders and track your progress. The weight-loss app Noom asks you to check in for a few minutes each day, complete mini-health courses and track what you’ve eaten. The Fitbit app counts your steps, will sync with your smart scale and vibrates to remind you to get up and move.

Set reminders. Once you set a health goal, hold yourself accountable by creating calendar reminders to help you achieve it. Schedule walk breaks or daily or weekly check-ins with your accountability buddy.

Declare it on social media. Telling your friends on social media that you’re cutting back on packaged foods, or sending a tweet every time you finish a class on your exercise bike creates virtual accountability. Commit to posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or another platform every time you complete a goal, or share your feelings on days you’re struggling. When you declare your goals on social media, you’re likely to find a like-minded friend who will want to join your journey and offer words of support.

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

Franchise Your Business

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

Two years ago entrepreneur Nika Stewart of Freehold, N.J. set a goal for herself: double the sales of her business, Laptop Mom, an information-product consulting firm. She had set lofty goals before, but hadn’t achieved the kind of success she wanted.This time one thing was different: she had an accountability partner who was watching over her.

An accountability partner is a business peer who helps you grow your company by offering guidance and by holding you to your commitments. While it’s similar to a mentor relationship, both partners work on bettering their businesses with the feedback and support of each other.

“Through her input, challenges and encouragement, I ended up taking asmall piece of my old business and turning it into new business — Ghost Tweeting, a social media service for small businesses,” she says. “Within four months, I was earning multiple six figures — quadrupling my income.”

Linda Galindo, author of The 85% Solution: How Personal Accountability Guarantees Success (Jossey-Bass, 2009), says accountability partners are an entrepreneur’s secret weapon for quick growth. “Working with a partner prevents the ready-fire-aim approach that a lot of entrepreneurs use,”she says.

While being nimble is a small-business owner’s advantage,important decisions, such as launching a new service or product, are best made by vetting ideas and thinking things through. An accountability partner can help you identify weaknesses in your business, make plans to overcome them and hold you accountable for action.

Galindo says finding the right partner is the key to your success. She offers four tips for finding a good match and making the most of the relationship:

1. Look outside of your industry.
Galindo suggests choosing a businessperson who lives in your community — in-person meetings can strengthen your relationship. Look for potential partners at events such as Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club meetings, or through networking groups. It can be helpful to find someone outside your field because they will provide fresh thoughts about your industry.

Stewart found her accountability partner through Savor the Success, a New York-based group for women entrepreneurs.

2. Choose someone who will be (brutally) honest with you.
The most important quality in an accountability partner is that they’re straightforward, says Galindo. “You’re not looking for someone who will rescue, fix or save you,” she says. “You want someone who will hold you accountable.”

It’s also important to know your strengths and weaknesses when entering an accountability partnership. “You’re looking for someone who has the qualities you lack,”Galindo says.

A partnership means you’ll be giving back. Identify your strengths that might be helpful to your partner, and make sure you’re willing to provide constructive feedback even when it’s uncomfortable to share.

3. Be clear about your expectations.
Before you get started, be clear about parameters. There are times you want input and times you just need someone to listen; spell this out in the beginning.To ensure your arrangement is mutually beneficial, allot an equal amount of time to spend brainstorming and discussing each partner’s business. Decide how often you will connect and whether it will be in person, over the phone or by email. Plan how many projects and commitments you’re willing to discuss at a time. And be clear that whether or not you take your partner’s advice, each person is 100% responsiblefor their choices.

Stewart and her partner each set one goal for the year and broke it down into weekly steps. They kept in touch via email and phone three times a week: once to set a goal for the week, another time to check in and a final time to report on their results.

4. Agree on consequences.
Finally, Galindo says accountability partners need to hold each other to consequences if commitments go uncompleted.Whether there is a financial risk — you owe me $500 if you don’t complete your goal, for example — or simply having to admit that you fell short, consequences keep you motivated and engaged, says Galindo.

“It helps if you have an accountability partner who is a go-getter because you hold yourself to a new standard,” says Stewart. “I didn’t want to disappoint her.”

“We all can find a million excuses to not do what you say you’re going to do,” says Galindo. “An accountability partner keeps you on track and helps you move your business forward.”

As a business owner, you are your business. And just doing what you’ve been doing before will only make you less productive, less fit, less healthy and you’ll lose your entrepreneurial momentum.

The success of your business depends on you: increasing your output, improving your performance, and focusing more on important things.

So, what’s the solution? It’s to create new, great, and positive business habits. According to Duke University research, habits account for over 40% of our behaviors on any given day. Knowing how to build new positive habits is important for making progress in your health, your happiness, your business, and life in general.

It’s time to clear all those bad habits you have been holding on to, and make way for new and better habits.

Make Things Clean and Clear

This is a problem for many entrepreneurs. Many companies don’t know how to develop healthy policies and practices.

Take the first step and identify the problem. Then implement good policies. Look over your policies. How many of them are out of date? How many need improvement? And how many need to be wiped away? Make a list of what’s important at the moment. Get rid of everything that’s not important.

Check how your contractors are being trained. And for how long? Look at the available resources. What needs to be changed? What needs improvement? And what needs to be taken away? Make a list. Come up with a new policy and create a way for the team to discuss issues that arise.

Start Small

Focus on building new habits instead of worrying about their impact. For example, you may want to start the habit of flossing your teeth every night. To build a new successful habit, start small: flossing just one tooth. This sounds crazy, but it works. If you build the habit of flossing just one tooth each night, three things will happen:

* You’ll feel silly if you don’t do it because flossing a single tooth is easy.

* You’ll likely floss more than one tooth. Starting anything is the biggest hurdle. And once you get started, it becomes easier to keep going.

* You’ll create a habit. Flossing one tooth every night probably won’t make your dentist happier. But after a few weeks, the action will become a habit – something you’ll do automatically without thinking.

Once you build the habit, then you can slowly add to it. In your business, develop the habit of single-tasking. Do you struggle to stay focused? If you want to beat distractions, build the habit of working on one task at a time.

Start by doing that for ten minutes at a time. After ten minutes, take a break and allow distractions. Later, try another ten minutes of pure focus. When ten minutes become easy, work on twenty minutes at a time, and then half an hour. And, soon you’ll be able to spend an hour on a task without struggling to stay focused.

Reward Yourself

Every time you perform a new positive habit, celebrate. Reward yourself for putting in the energy. After building up enough great and positive habits, your brain goes on autopilot; it craves the reward it expects to come at the end.

Clearing the way for new and better habits means focusing on doing something small every day. And rewarding yourself every time you complete a habit reinforces the importance of doing that small thing over and over, instead of reaching for a far-off goal. For instance, if you’re trying to lose weight, daily weigh-ins can be demotivating. But celebrating every time you go to the gym will help you create a lasting habit of exercising regularly – regardless of the long-term goal.

Celebrate in a way that makes you feel good about sticking with your new habit.

Grab an Accountability Partner

Are you still struggling to stay on track? Do you need a bigger reward to stay motivated? Then, grab an accountability partner. Find a friend or relative who will keep you accountable and celebrate you when you succeed.

My accountabilibuddy is Tamala. We have a standing call every Monday afternoon, no matter where we are or what we are doing. 😀

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by making many changes at once. So, just pick one habit to build on at a time. And, once you successfully build one new habit, you have another chance to stack on a new one.

Simple ideas to help you build new habits and turn your dreams into your reality.

Am I the only one that starts a self improvement plan with lofty dreams and then isn’t able to follow through a week or more later?

The crowded gyms the first week of January only to be empty a few weeks later tells me it isn’t just me.

As of this writing I have exercised every day for 125 straight days. It wasn’t easy to do that first month, but now it is such a part of my daily routine that I get fidgety if I have to wait to get started.

This post isn’t just about physical fitness.

It could be any habit you are trying to establish like reading for 20 minutes a day, or praying every night before bed or maybe something business related.

Remember how challenging the first few weeks of the school year were while you were trying to adjust to the work load after a break?

Once you established a routine, things got easier.

The same is true with new habits. Try one or more of these six tricks until you’ve internalized your new positive habit and don’t need them anymore.

Put It on Your Schedule

Sometimes we forget to do that new thing we were trying. Maybe we forget that we’re supposed to be having eggs for breakfast instead of a stack of waffles, or that we need to get that daily walk in.

Schedule your new habits or make them part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically.

You might need to literally plan out time in your day and write it in your planner and even set an alarm.

Share Your Goals

Let family and friends know what new habits you’re trying to establish. They can help keep you on track.

You may consider sharing it publicly on social media or writing a blog about your new journey. Knowing that others read it and know about it might be just enough to keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel.

I get it. This one may not be for everyone.

Some people do not have a good support system. If you fear the response will be negative, DO NOT LET THEM RAIN ON YOUR PARADE. Keep it to yourself until it is done.

I am a rather private person. Yes, I know that is rather ironic considering my profession.

I prefer to post after I have accomplished something, like telling people that I have worked out everyday for the last 125 days versus saying on January 1st I am going to post a picture of my morning cup of coffee every day for a year.

But, when I did a coffee a day Project 365 on Instagram a few years ago people would text me or ask me at school pick up if I forgot to post that morning.

Piggyback On A Habit You Already Have

Whenever possible, add the new habit to one you already have. If you have a cup of tea or coffee at 4 pm, and you want to get in the habit of taking a daily walk, make a new ritual to go for your walk and then come back and enjoy your tea.

It’s much easier to amend an existing habit or ritual than creating an entirely new one.

Break out the Money Jar

Here’s an oldie but a goodie.

Put a jar on the kitchen counter and each time you forget your new habit put five dollars in the jar. Donate the money to charity to help take the sting out of missing the mark.

If your new daily habit is something like making coffee at home instead of overspending at the uber trendy coffee house, put the money saved into a jar so you can see it add up.

Find A Partner

Find someone with the same or similar goals. This could be a workout partner or a diet buddy. Keep tabs on each other and encourage each other to keep going. It’s much harder to skip a walk if you know someone else is depending on you to be there.

I have a blogging accountability partner. We check in on each other if we notice the other hasn’t posted on social media or our blogs in a week. We offer support, bounce ideas of each other and challenge each other to do the things we don’t like to do, but know we need to do.

Find A Group

If one accountability partner is good, a whole group is even better. And they don’t even need to be local. There are loads of online support groups that can be a wonderful resource of strength and knowledge.

My blogging buddy and I met (virtually) through a few larger blogging groups. And as for working out, I couldn’t have gone this far without the support of an online group. We each post our workout for the day, cheer each other’s successes, console each other when things get tough (blankety blank burpees!) and check in when someone hasn’t posted in a bit.

Just Keep Going

While these tricks may seem simplistic, sometimes that is all you need to get through the first few weeks of establishing a new habit.

Once that habit is established you will be that much closer to your goals.

It takes time, effort, and dedication to create new habits. However, it’s never too late to break bad habits, and create new healthy habits in their place.

The Building New Habits: Tips Sheet provides practical guidance for creating and maintaining new habits. This worksheet covers eight tips that are great for individual or group discussion, and easy to start implementing right away. Some of the tips include:

  • Start with small changes.
  • Tie habits to other activities.
  • Celebrate your successes.

Habit-building is a useful way to approach many interventions, such as behavioral activation, relapse prevention, and self-improvement. Try using habits as a way to encourage consistency in new behaviors, or as a way to replace unwanted behaviors.

To learn more about establishing a specific new habit, check out the Habit Plan worksheet.

Download Free Worksheet

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

1. Clear, J. (2018). Atomic habits: An easy & proven way to build good habits & break bad ones. Penguin.

2. Gardner, B., Lally, P., & Wardle, J. (2012). Making health habitual: the psychology of habit-formation and general practice. Br J Gen Pract, 62(605), 664-666.

3. Melemis, S. M. (2015). Focus: Addiction: Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 88(3), 325.

Disclaimer: The resources available on Therapist Aid do not replace therapy, and are intended to be used by qualified professionals. Professionals who use the tools available on this website should not practice outside of their own areas of competency. These tools are intended to supplement treatment, and are not a replacement for appropriate training.

It takes time, effort, and dedication to create new habits. However, it’s never too late to break bad habits, and create new healthy habits in their place.

The Building New Habits: Tips Sheet provides practical guidance for creating and maintaining new habits. This worksheet covers eight tips that are great for individual or group discussion, and easy to start implementing right away. Some of the tips include:

  • Start with small changes.
  • Tie habits to other activities.
  • Celebrate your successes.

Habit-building is a useful way to approach many interventions, such as behavioral activation, relapse prevention, and self-improvement. Try using habits as a way to encourage consistency in new behaviors, or as a way to replace unwanted behaviors.

To learn more about establishing a specific new habit, check out the Habit Plan worksheet.

Download Free Worksheet

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

1. Clear, J. (2018). Atomic habits: An easy & proven way to build good habits & break bad ones. Penguin.

2. Gardner, B., Lally, P., & Wardle, J. (2012). Making health habitual: the psychology of habit-formation and general practice. Br J Gen Pract, 62(605), 664-666.

3. Melemis, S. M. (2015). Focus: Addiction: Relapse Prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 88(3), 325.

Disclaimer: The resources available on Therapist Aid do not replace therapy, and are intended to be used by qualified professionals. Professionals who use the tools available on this website should not practice outside of their own areas of competency. These tools are intended to supplement treatment, and are not a replacement for appropriate training.

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

We all have that vision in our head of who we’d love to be. Fit, active, free from pain and chronic health conditions, surrounded by supportive and loving people, and engaged in rewarding and purposeful work. But getting from here to there is tough, and you may feel like you’ve tried just about everything to get there with no results.

You’re not alone. Americans spend almost $10 billion per year on self-improvement books and products. But even with all the money we’re throwing down and the effort we’re spending, too many people don’t see much improvement in their health and wellbeing.

What is going on?

There are so many reasons why your success may be hampered. Perhaps you’re tackling too much at once, being overly hard on yourself, or just not ready or sure of how to take that first step. You may have given up on your health goals too soon or simply not had a well-developed plan of how to commit to healthy habits.

Getting healthy takes planning, effort and, above all, patience.

Luckily, there is a way to cut through the noise and create a plan that works. Here are 7 strategies to make those healthy habits stick.

1. Start with cognitive goals

When people set out to improve their health, they often think about action. Eat better, meditate, run more. But the truth is that getting healthy starts in your head.

If you don’t feel ready to take an action step forward, don’t worry. Just focus on “cognitive goals”, where you gather information, think about your options, consider the benefits of change versus staying the same, and map out how you might best integrate new healthy behaviors in your life. In due time, you’ll feel ready to take an action step forward, and the cognitive work you’ve done will pay off.

2. Shift your focus to the long-term

Short-term solutions, like seven-day cleanses or 21-day fitness crazes, are designed to jumpstart healthy living and produce rapid results. But they’re often not feasible for the long-term.

The key to getting healthy isn’t having a taste of your ideal self for a few weeks then reverting back to old ways. It’s about creating sustainable change. Consider behaviors you can adopt that you’ll be more likely to stick with over time. This way, your efforts won’t be lost, and you’ll feel the true benefits of change.

3. Realize that small steps make for big victories

Contrary to everything you might hear in flashy advertisements, slow and steady wins the race. Small, incremental steps are the best way to move towards your goals with success.

If you’re trying to get more physically active, start with a 10-minute walk around your block a few times a week. If you want to reduce stress, trying meditating for 5 minutes once a week. You may think this sounds too easy, but that’s the point. Over time, you can increase your efforts and enjoy the benefit of these healthy activities without feeling that the journey was such a struggle.

4. Pick actions that matter

Every effort to get healthy is meaningful, but some actions help pave the way to better health more directly. Take the example of parking farther away from the grocery store. Your intent may be to increase the amount you walk per day, but at some point, the benefit plateaus (as you can only park so far away and shop so often).

An alternative strategy is to identify a long-term goal that you want to work toward, such as spending 1 hour at the gym 5 times a week. Then develop steps that you can build upon to reach that goal. A first step may be to join the gym, then add on working out at the gym for 10 minutes once a week, then 15 minutes twice a week, and so on. These first action steps aren’t just throw-aways. They are building blocks to get you closer to your larger goal.

5. Don’t rely on your motivation

Motivation is essential when trying to build healthy habits, but we also know that it can wax and wane. You can’t always depend on it because some of that initial motivation will wear off and you’ll need other systems in place to keep you on track.

The key to weathering the storm of low motivation is to anticipate and set up strategies in advance to help you cope. Post reminders, ask for social support and create backup plans. And, of course, remind yourself that motivation can plummet and that you just need to roll with it and keep going. The motivation will return, especially as you start to feel the benefits of your new behaviors.

6. Be accountable to yourself

People work harder when they feel accountable to someone. Whether it’s a coach, mentor, friend, family member, or work buddy, having others to report to can provide that necessary push you need to get stuff done. But ultimately you are responsible for your behavior.

There is no more powerful accountability partner than yourself. Rather than relying only on others, set up a system whereby you regularly track your own progress. Ask yourself what helped you succeed versus what might have caused you to get off track. Reward yourself when things go well but don’t beat yourself up when they don’t. As time goes on, you’ll notice patterns of what hinders your progress and what needs to be in place for you to make healthy choices. While it’s helpful to have accountability partners, recognize that it is you who has the most knowledge and experience to set yourself up for success.

7. Find the joy

A healthy life shouldn’t feel like so much damned work. If it does, then you’ll likely not stick with your new behaviors for too long.

Rather than taking some generic route to health, figure out what you can do to support a healthy life that also fits your personality, and empowers and excites you. When you design your life around things you love to do – activities that are uplifting and fun – it will stop requiring so much effort. Once you find the joy in living healthy, that’s when the lifestyle will stick.

Creating new habits isn’t easy. Here are six simple hacks that will make it a little easier.

How to build new habits with an accountability partner

*This post contains affiliate links. See my full disclosure here.*

Schedule It and Put It On The To-Do List

Sometimes we forget to do that new thing we were trying. Maybe we forget that we’re supposed to be having eggs for breakfast instead of a stack of waffles, or that we need to get that daily walk in.

Schedule your new habits or make them part of your daily to-do list until they become something you do automatically.

Make It Public and Be Accountable

Let family and friends know what new habits you’re trying to establish. They will call you out if you don’t stick to your plan and help get you back on track.

You may even go as far as sharing it publicly on Facebook or write a blog post about your new journey. Knowing that others read it and know about it might be just enough to keep you going when you feel like throwing in the towel.

Piggyback On A Habit You Already Have

Whenever possible, add the new habit to one you already have. For example, if you fix a cup of tea or coffee at 4pm, and you want to get in the habit of taking a daily walk, make the new routine to go for your walk and then come back and enjoy your tea.

It’s much easier to amend an existing habit than create an entirely new one.

Make Slipups Costly

Here’s a fun idea heard from a friend . . . Put a jar on the kitchen counter and each time you slip back into your bad habit or forget to stick to the new one you have to put five dollars in the jar. It will quickly help you remember to skip that sugary food and motivate you to go out for that walk.

Find A Partner and Help Each Other Along

Find someone with the same or similar goal. This could be a workout partner or a diet buddy. Keep tabs on each other and encourage each other to keep going. It’s much harder to skip a walk if you know someone else is depending on you being there. A little accountability can make all the difference in the world.

Make It A Group Challenge

If one accountability partner is good, a whole group has got to be better, right? And they don’t even need to be local! Find a supportive group online (hello Facebook group!) and challenge each other to stick to your new habit for the next 30 days or so. Not wanting to be the first one to give up will keep all of you going until you establish that new habit.

Give these simple little hacks a try. Keep using the ones that you find helpful until you have made new habits you can stick with without the help of any tools or support.