You set a goal and you’ve been doing well. Then you get to the point where it would be just a little too easy to skip a day. You’re contemplating that piece of cheesecake, that cigarette or are seriously tempted to skip the gym today. Your motivation is slacking and the initial excitement is starting to wear off. What do you do to stay on track and make your resolution stick?

You build in some accountability. Any type of accountability will help. Tell a friend what goal you’re hoping to reach, or even better find an accountability partner that’s working on changing similar habits. Make a bet with your spouse that you can reach your goal by the beginning of July. Any type of accountability is good.

My personal favorite is to keep a journal. There’s just something about the act of having to write it down that keeps me on the straight and narrow. You can keep an accountability journal for any goal you make.

Here are some ideas for things you may want to record in your accountability journal:

  • Your Weight and when appropriate body measurements.
  • What you ate and drank today.
  • What you did to get more active.
  • How many times you’ve said no to lighting up a cigarette.
  • Anything motivating that happened during the day that will keep you moving forward.
  • Any challenges you faced and how you’ve overcome them.
  • Any time you’ve fallen off the wagon and what you can do to avoid it next time.
  • How was your mood today and how did it affect your willpower?

This is by no means an extensive list. Make it work for you. If you’re the creative type, add illustrations, get out your scrap booking supplies and make it pretty. If that thought makes you cringe, keep it simple with a plain leather-bound journal and your favorite pen. Heck, you can even steal one of the notebooks from your child’s school supply stock and start there.

If writing isn’t your thing, keep it simple. Start with just a few bullets of what you’ve done to get you closer to your goal and how you felt about it. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than that.

Don’t limit yourself to pen and paper either. If you prefer to write on your computer, keep a digital journal. Heck you could even go public and start a blog. Who knows, your online accountability journal may help and inspire others.

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