Tools for Habit Change: How to Hold Yourself Accountable

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

An integral part of making a healthy change is finding a mechanism to hold yourself accountable for taking action. This can be a crucial part of consistently adding in a workout, meditation, or a healthy eating habit. Maintaining this consistency in your actions is what will lead to successful implementation of your desired lifestyle change.

When you intend to make a lifestyle change, but need some help staying on course, it can be helpful to utilize accountability tools. It is important that the tool you choose works for your specific situation and is easy to use.

Here are some tools that you might want to consider to help hold yourself accountable:


Using alarms or nudges on your phone to remind you to do something can be incredibly helpful. For example, if you committed to workout at 9am on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, put it in your calendar with a reminder alert. If it is already scheduled, you are more likely to live up to that commitment. And, if you receive a reminder, you don’t have the excuse of forgetting. Just be careful not to overuse these reminders so that you become accustomed to dismissing them.

Calendar/Journal/To-do List

When you know that you should be adding something to your schedule on a particular day, but might not want to commit to a specific time, using your calendar reminders, journal entries, to-do list, or bullet journal can help to prompt you to action on a certain day.


There are a ton of apps out there that will ping you into action, including the Reminders app that comes with iphone. There are apps that remind you to meditate, to workout, and to keep up your gratitude practice. Many of them also help you to track your goals. There are many options out there (some free of charge and some requiring a paid membership). So, for whatever habit you are looking to start or stop, there is probably an app for that.

Visual Reminders

These can take the form of strategically placed post-it notes, a rubber band around your wrist, a photograph, or anything that will remind you about your developing habit. This is the adaptation of old school practice of tying a string around your finger to remind you of something. It does not require technology, but can be very effective.

Communicating Goals to Family/Friends

Telling the people in your life that you are committing to a new goal can be helpful in keeping you honest. If your spouse knows that you have committed to avoiding eating cookies this month, you will likely be reminded of it if you are spotted digging into the cookie jar. It can also be helpful to have an accountability buddy so that you can support each other through your habit changes.

What Are You Already Using?

If you are already using calendar reminders, alarms, a journal, etc. to stay on top of your to-do list and appointments, try using the same thing to remind you to incorporate your healthy habit. This way, you are relying on a mechanism that is already comfortable and useful to you. There will be less effort on your part.

The path to adopting healthy habits frequently requires some outside reminders to keep you on track. Utilize the tools you need to keep your commitments to yourself and your health!

Wishing you great health and healthy habits. Wear your mask!

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This website contains information for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is not a replacement for medical advice.