Accountability: the secret ingredient for growth

Sep 22, 2023

Reading time: 3 Minutes

Two men sitting outside discussing the Bible

Unachieved goals are not usually a result of a lack of know-how, but the absence of accountability.


I have had many peaks and valleys with my fitness goals, and expertise has nothing to do with it. I was an exercise science major, a personal trainer, and I competed in fitness competitions. I had plenty of knowledge of “what” to do.


For years, I was surrounded by other fitness competitors, and I was hitting all my physical ambitions. Then I moved away and started focusing on new jobs outside of the fitness industry. Predictably, my fitness levels dwindled. I am not complaining; I had new priorities. However, I can still see as time went by, fewer people knew about my fitness goals, which meant there were fewer people keeping me accountable, and it was too easy to slide.


The same can be true with our faith walk. Years have passed since most were attending weekly church services virtually, but many still remain distant from their physical congregations, justifying virtual attendance as sufficient. However, according to God’s Word, we are not meant to do life alone.


“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)


Hearing the Word, even remotely, is good. However, might we be settling for good while forsaking what’s best? The fellowship and mutual accountability within the church community should not be missed. Let us not overlook the invaluable opportunity to connect with like-minded people.


I noticed a friend had lost some weight recently, and I asked her how she was doing it (tell me I am not the only one intrigued with others’ secret tools of success?). She introduced me to an app she uses to document her food choices. This app reminded me of food journaling with a few technical upgrades. In the app, you can search the food or scan a bar code and select the quantity from a drop-down menu. The app automatically reports where you are with your fiber, protein, and calorie intake for the day.


I have always been a big advocate of food journaling. Why? Accountability! Here is the thing: you do not even have to show anyone. If you are serious about a goal, accountability to yourself will be enough. I am now using the online tool and am amazed. I have already dropped 10 pounds!


It is not that I was introduced to a magical mobile app. The secret is accountability. I knew what to do; I just needed to be honest with myself. I do not want to have to log the calories for a cookie, so most often, it’s easy to say no and choose a healthier alternative.


Did you know spiritual journaling can work the same way? You can even find an electronic version if you prefer. Start journaling for the day by evaluating yesterday and ask for forgiveness if needed. Then write about prayers and goals for the day. Over the years, I have found this to be one of the easiest ways to hear God’s voice. As I write, asking for understanding or direction, I note the ideas that come to mind and can tell you with confidence some of those ideas are fresh and truly divine. Spiritual journaling can serve as accountability for your daily faith walk. It is as simple as being honest about your yesterday and focusing on today, all while reflecting on God.


If you have struggled with setting some goals in your life, start today. That could be as simple as overcoming a negative behavior or growing in your faith. Where is your accountability? Are there others checking in on you? Are you checking in on yourself in a tangible way, like writing it down? Whatever your goals are, add a little accountability to the mix and see what happens.


As seen in the Christian Post.

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