Keep this word top of mind: accountability. It feels like it is one of several buzzwords for 2018. The first time it caught my attention was when I was watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and the newest member of the group turned out to be an Accountability Coach.

A what? I’m not sure what that is but I’m listening.

What Is an Accountability Coach?

The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of accountability is the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.


Responsible? No one is more responsible than I am. I carried the responsibility for keeping my family together during my long and unsuccessful marriage. It felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders every day. How can I be a person who is not accountable?

I started thinking about the true meaning of accountability and whether I needed a coach for it. But no, I can do that myself, right? I just tell myself I am going to do something, then I do it, easy peasy.

Then why is it that I never follow through with a lot of the important stuff: less food, less alcohol, less sugar, less weight. Read more, watch Netflix less. Walk my dog five miles every day – hah!

First Be Accountable to Yourself

I believe I am smart enough to be accountable to myself. I believe you are smart enough to be accountable to yourself. So why aren’t we, and why are others able to help? If I knew the answer I would write a book about it and get rich and live happily ever after.

Think about all the programs out there that are based on changing behaviors and meeting with ‘helpers’ weekly to keep us accountable. Others get to help us stay on track to reach the goals we say we want to reach, whether it is about food issues or substance issues or career issues or motivation issues.

There certainly seems to be a need for help with accountability.

Then Be Accountable to Everyone in Your Life

I am at the top of the list when it comes to not being accountable for some of the most important issues that I face. I feel so let down when I get up every day, knowing I have not fulfilled my promises to myself the day before. Do you feel the same way?

Here is the answer: I am accountable to everyone else in my life, but not to myself. How terrible is that? To anyone who is depending on me, I am accountable.

I feel responsible for my children’s sadness in their parents no longer being married and I feel responsible for money I lost on a terrible business venture, but that is more like guilt. If I tell someone I am going to do something for them, I do it. The end.

But for myself, to myself, I am not accountable, and I would guess that a few of you are in that same boat. I hate to admit it, but I think it is very much a women’s issue, taking care of others and being accountable to others but not ourselves.

Actually, I feel ashamed of that and I hate carrying that shame around with me like my own invisible scarlet letter.

Start Being Accountable, Now

So what to do about that? If you started the year off with goals and haven’t followed through with them one bit, guess what – you can start now.

You want to be accountable, start being accountable now. That is the good news. Accountability can start on any day of the week, not just Mondays. And if you fail today, you can succeed tomorrow.

The best part is, when you are accountable to yourself, you feel better. You feel inner pride. You exude confidence because you know you can do something that you hadn’t accomplished in the past.

Oh, by the way, I have scheduled an appointment with an Accountability Coach in two weeks!

Accountability… that sounds pretty good, right? What are you wanting to be accountable for and are you ready to dig in? Can’t wait to hear from you and can’t wait for you to become accountable this year. Let’s have a chat!

Paula HarerAfter a 30-year marriage crumbled, Paula Harer found herself single for the first time in 35 years. She felt like she had something to say about her experience, so started writing a blog called Starting Over at Sixty. She addresses everything from loneliness and reinvention and offers ways to create a new outlook on life.

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