Simple Accountability Tools
It’s June, which means we’re halfway between meeting this year’s resolutions and setting next year’s. If you’ve already given up on your goals for 2016 (or are considering abandoning them), check out some of these accountability tools to help you accomplish what you set out to do.
Don’t Break the Chain
One of my favorite tools for daily goals is don’t break the chain. Invented by Jerry Seinfeld, this technique works by creating a “chain” of days to accomplish a goal. The chain can be represented as days crossed off of a calendar, Legos stacked on your desk, or can exist online or in an app. Just set your goal, work on it daily, and don’t break the chain!
If you’re motivated by money (and who isn’t?), 21Habit can help you incorporate your goal into your daily routine. When you sign up for 21Habit, you pledge $21 that you will achieve your goal every day for 21 days (the amount of time it allegedly takes to make something a habit). Every day you succeed, you get $1, but every day you fail, $1 is donated to charity.
There’s also a free mode, where you check in every day and can see your progress but without the money.
For quantifiable goals (weight loss, running, amount of to-dos accomplished, time spent on Facebook, etc.), Beeminder can help you define a path to your goal and sting you when you get off track. Set your goal and then check in daily. Beeminder creates a graph that shows the ideal path to your goal and a “yellow brick road” to allow for variance around it. Veer off the road once and you’ll get a warning. Get off track again and you’ll get stung, starting at $5.
The perks of Beeminder are that it allows you to see a graph of your progress and that some devices will automatically update Beeminder (such as Garmin, Twitter, and RescueTime).
It’s hard to accomplish your goals alone. Having an accountability partner (either one working on the same or a different goal than you) can help you both to persevere when things get tough. Your accountability partner can be someone you live with, a friend, or even an online group like HabitForge. You can also use an app like stickK to create a plan and let your friends know how you’re doing.
Sometimes we don’t accomplish goals because they get forgotten or tossed aside in the business of day-to-day life. One of the simplest things you can do to help accomplish a goal is remind yourself. You can set reminders on your phone, schedule time to work on your goal on your planner, and put reminders around your home, on your desktop, and on your New Tab page to keep you focused.
Whether you’re still working on your resolutions from January, starting work on new goals, or looking forward to next year, try some of these tools for increased longevity.