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Accountability’s Role in Developing Self-Discipline

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

Two female colleagues in office working together. Female executives working together on new project.

Do you want to wake up early but fail miserably every day? Do you want to start eating healthy before leaving for your office, but you just can’t? Or do you put off your work until the deadline approaches?

If your answer to all the questions mentioned above is yes, then you lack self-discipline, my friend. Lack of self-discipline will hold you back throughout your life. Hence, the earlier you start working on it, the better.

And the road to self-discipline goes through accountability. You cannot become self-disciplined without becoming accountable.  Let’s look at the role that accountability plays in developing self-discipline, along with other necessary details.

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What is Self-discipline?

Self-discipline is the ability to drive oneself forward, remain motivated, and act irrespective of how you are physically or emotionally feeling. It restricts you from doing something unimportant and rather helps you focus on the bigger picture.  It clears your vision and energises you to keep moving even when the world seems against you.

In simple words, it enables you to focus on what you should do rather than on what you want to do.

What is Accountability?

It’s about taking responsibility for your actions and following through on your promises. It may also be defined as a person’s reaction when a task they’ve been given goes wrong.

Additionally, it may also be defined as being true to yourself, irrespective of the situation.

It makes people responsible for their actions and attaches a sense of obligation. So, it makes people feel morally wrong and at fault when they don’t do what they are supposed to do.

In short, it is a trait that enables a person to understand the consequences of not being responsible.

How are self-discipline and accountability interrelated?

Self-discipline and accountability are two different concepts/traits, but they are interdependent. Usually, self-discipline is a by-product of becoming accountable.

As defined earlier, accountability attaches a moral responsibility to tasks. Hence, it makes it impossible for a person to escape the feeling of guilt. So, even if a person wants to be undisciplined for a while, their conscience won’t allow it.

For example, suppose you have multiple chores lined up for the day, but you want to sleep for one more hour. In such a case, you might snooze off your alarm, but you won’t be able to get rid of the feeling that follows. Your accountable side would creep in and make you realise the repercussions of not waking up on time. Hence, accountability will act as an inescapable alarm that ensures you stay self-disciplined.

You can think of multiple similar examples, and you will find the same result.

Therefore, calling accountability a conscience alarm that keeps you on the right track won’t be wrong.

How to Become Self-Disciplined?

Self-discipline is a behaviour that you can develop and learn over a period of time. But to become self-disciplined, you first have to become accountable. And once you have imbibed this trait, you will naturally become self-disciplined. However, there are some extra steps that you might have to follow. We have listed those steps for you-

Know your weaknesses

You might want to quit smoking or drugs or any other unhealthy habit, and these are your weaknesses. You must know what your weaknesses are because they will be the target. Getting rid of your weaknesses is the goal of becoming self-disciplined. And having a clear idea about your weaknesses will help you set goals.

Set clear goals

Once you know your weaknesses, the next step is to set goals. Decide a deadline by which you must get rid of them. This will keep you going by giving you the nudge you require.

Additionally, knowing what you need to work on and creating realistic objectives might help you develop conscience over time.

Stay motivated

It is very likely to lose motivation and give up, but you must remember why you actually started.  You must keep revisiting the cause that made you start this journey in the first place. It will help you in gaining back the motivation.

Reward yourself

Reward yourself for your little wins by doing or buying things that make you happy. It will add some fun and excitement to your self-discipline journey.

Learn from mistakes

Don’t feel disheartened if you mess up or unintentionally deflect from the path. Look at the brighter side and try to focus on the takeaway. Remember, every mistake is an opportunity to learn.  

Summing It Up!

The best way to ensure you stick to your self-discipline plans and achieve your goals is to become accountable. Additionally, making a realistic and workable self-discipline development plan can help you along the way.

And now that you know how becoming accountable can make you self-disciplined, start your journey today! If you need any assistance, we are here to help you!