The Accountability of Blogging

Posted: January 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm

I’ve heard about plenty of studies claiming that writing down and then tracking progress plays a key role in successfully achieving goals. The key point in this reasoning is the accountability of a place to look back over goals and progress. This always made me wonder if I didn’t set goals well enough. I don’t have tables and charts with my goals saved on my hard-drive. I don’t have an inspiration board hanging on my refrigerator. I don’t carry around my monthly goals on a 3x5 index card in my purse. The closest I get to written goals is my daily to-do list – which I lately don’t even have the time to write that.

Then, when I thought about it, I realized I do in fact have a place of written documentation – this blog. This blog helps hold me accountable in a variety of ways and I like that. I have fitness goals I shared on the blog. Even though I certainly feel no pressure from anyone out there reading, the fact I am working to achieve them in front of plenty of others never leaves the back of my mind. It undoubtedly will help motivate me at times to get in that workout or try that new recipe because I want to share it here.

The community of support also inspires me to believe in myself and push towards every goal I put out there. Including some scary ones I possibly consider working towards. I haven’t told you yet that I have my eye on a longer race (a 1/2) I would love to do at the end of the year if I end up liking running as much as I started to before getting pregnant. See…blog accountability. I’ve been trying to keep that a secret because its not certain. Then, it feels so good just to put that possibility even out there in public. It holds me accountable to not fearing new goals and dreams, even if those new goals could change.

Blogging also holds me accountable to myself. Every day I write a post I must reflect on myself, my day, my life. How’s that for accountability? I can never forget the blessings of my life when I showcase it post by post for all of you. When I have struggles, posting about them helps me to learn and grow from them much differently than silently allowing it all to swirl around in my head. I have a reputation I like to keep by not giving up on my beliefs and what I present here – like consistent honesty and realness in ALL things.

Sure, I can (and will) always do what works best for me and adapt goals accordingly as I go along. However, simply having the blog as a sounding board of my thoughts and reflections helps to always keep things in perspective. It always puts things into the light for me to clearly see. It always holds me accountable. To my goals? Certainly. But mostly? Mostly to myself.

Question of the Day – Do you feel your blog (if you have one) helps hold you accountable in some way? What about reading blogs?

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73 Comments to “The Accountability of Blogging”
  1. Definitely. Right now I’m doing the 30 day strength challenge… which I would probably blow off if it wasn’t on my blog. And my blog encourages me to keep running, because of the community of other running bloggers and readers. Not in an unhealthy way, but an encouraging way.

  2. If I tracked food every day, I’d be more conscious about making “perfect” choices but I do learn so much about health and nutrition from reading blogs. It also inspires me to try new things and share what I learn with everyone else.

  3. Shannon says:

    There was a time when my blog made
    me feel accountable…when I was experimenting with a gluten free diet, when I said I was going to run a half marathon… Nowadays, I don’t have time , or as much desire, to blog, so it has mostly become a way for me to document Noah James’ antics with family, friends, and blogggers (those who aren’t bored to tears with baby stories!).

  4. Stephanie says:

    I think both reading and writing a blog is a super way to be held accountable. Even though I’m sure readers and blog friends would never make you feel rotten for not achieving a goal…it sure does feel better writing about successes as opposed to perceived failures. Especially when feedback includes helpful suggestions!

  5. Erica says:

    I simply love this community- they are SO supportive. And I agree- the blog is a great place to use to hold yourself accountable. And …its just a great diary of your adventures overall. I hope you have a fantastic weekend

  6. I find that reading blogs has skyrocketed my motivation for keeping my own goals. It has also helped me realize ways I can create and accomplish my own goals. They have even helped me come up with new goals (things I never thought I could do, but then I read about someone else doing it – for example a push-up challenge – and I think, hey I can do that too!)

    I have always been one to write down my goals on paper or in a journal of sorts. While I loved doing that, I found it was very easy to “lose” the paper or alter it and not really keep myself accountable for them.

    There’s something about blogging my goals that has really held my accountable. When I decided to do my first triathlon I was scared. I sorted mentioned the idea on my blog, got amazing feedback and then officially signed up. I kept my entire training program logged on my blog and continued to great feedback and support from commenter’s. Knowing that I had already told myself, and followers that I could do it – not just held me accountable but kept me believing I could.

    I think blogs really are one of the best ways to create, be accountable for, and find support for your goals. Great post :)

    • Tina says:

      I like how you said it held you accountable and kept you believing in yourself. I definitely feel that with blogging too!

  7. Mandy says:

    I don’t have a personal blog… but I do have a blog for my business that helps drive new business to me, so it definitely helps keep me accountable and striving to improve. :)

  8. i think my blog provides a bit of accountability (ie: it can be an extra bit of motivation i need to make it to yoga if i just SAID i was going!) but mostly it’s the processing that i find so valuable: being forced to go through and really think/analyze aspects of my life to identify patterns that could be changed. it seems way too simple, but i think this has really helped improve my happiness levels overall!

  9. I think that I probably hold back a bit on my blog about giving an account of full feelings and desires because I fear disappointing myself. But at the same time by reading other blogs, like yours, I’m inspired to reach for things I probably won’t normally done.

  10. lindsay says:

    most definitely! I was just emailing a blog friend about this. I feel like I have a bunch of virtual pen pals that I can share my joys with, my passions, my struggles, etc. It keeps me grounded and real!
    Big group hug now!
    LC

  11. Writing in my blog definitely helps me hold accountability when it comes to my race training and my overall healthier living. It also helps me connect with others that feel health and fitness are important as well.

  12. I totally agree with this. I post my monthly (and sometimes weekly goals) and its nice to have them in writing to look back on, whether I meet them or not. The blogging community is so supportive and gives great ideas when I have questions too, so it helps me stay on track.

  13. YES! Blogging helps me feel accountable to others – if I say it on my blog, chances are a reader will ask me how it went, so I better follow through! (At least that’s my reasoning.) Plus, getting positive feedback from everyone makes me WANT to follow through. Reading other blogs gives me inspiration – if all these other gals/guys can accomplish these things, why can’t I? Plus they give me workout ideas that I may not have thought of on my own.

  14. I love, love the post about going as far as you can–what a really spot-on perspective.

  15. Yes Yes Yes!! Accountability is one of the main reasons I started the blog :)

  16. I completely agree, and like many above one reason I started my blog was because of accountability. I also don’t feel pressured by my readers to achieve my goals, but it always amazes me when I get an e-mail asking about running, because I hadn’t mentioned it in a while.

  17. I completely agree with this post! Blogging does keep me accountable for my actions, mainly because I have to hink about my day and reflect on what I’ve done before I write a psot!

  18. Jess says:

    I totally agree – blogging for me is cathartic at times, inspirational at times, and holds me accountable at times, and I love that. I also think blogging should be honest and truthful – so yeah, I said I wanted to learn to swim AND to do a sprint tri this year. If I don’t do it, or it doesn’t pan out like I hoped it would this year, that’s ok. I won’t feel like a failure if I don’t get there this year. I will be honest if that happens because I believe honesty in blogging is so important. Hence why I love your blog so much…it’s honest and real and I dig it. I esp dig that you’re considering a half… I think that would be a pretty cool goal to fulfill this year for you. :)

    • Tina says:

      I feel like as I progress I will want a fitness goal to work towards like I did after M. I love having goals related to fitness. I know something like a comp would never suit me again, which is where the idea of a race came into mind. I already have my eye on a 5K in April. :)

  19. So true! When I recorded all my eats and exercises for 2 weeks, I was highly aware of what I was doing and would rethink things. Now I still have that mindset even when I don’t document everything, but still want to portray a healthy living!

  20. This is exactly why I started my blog! Its a great way to hold myself accountable for my goals and I find it even more exciting when I achieve them and can write about it.
    Reading other peoples blogs keeps me inspired and reminds me that my goals are possible. They also provide great tips on how to achieve those goals. :)

  21. Most definitely. My blog holds me accountable for my goals, my eating habits, and my workouts. Every Saturday morning, a typical morning where I don’t work out (or didn’t in the past), I read about someone’s run and before I know it, my shoes are on and I’m out the door. It’s not a bad thing at all – if that’s what it takes to get me going, then I’ll take it :)

    Blog also encourage me to try new foods that I’d never think of trying before. Oh how I love food blogs!

  22. Tina says:

    Yes, blogging can definitely make you how yourself accountable, which is a great thing! Reading other blogs allows me connect to people who share the same interests and passions, and reminds me that I am not crazy, there ARE other health-lovers out there! :)

  23. My blog definitely keeps me accountable when it comes to the food I eat. My blog is dedicated to whole food, healthy recipes, so I can’t spend my time making junk that doesn’t fit in that category! :-) I also have shared my goals on my blog and just putting them out there for everyone to see keeps me accountable.

  24. Blogging has definitely allowed me to be more accountable for my actions and whatnot. If I really do not feel like doing a run or trying something different, I think about my readers. Not that I would really let them down and they aren’t going to come at me with pitchforks, but I would feel like I let them down. Granted there are times when life gets in the way( like an injury) and I can’t do something, but blogging about my training has kept me to it.

  25. Rach says:

    I haven’t really set out any specifics on the blog for things I want to accomplish so it doesn’t really keep me accountable. My husband, however, he definitely keeps me accountable every day. :)

  26. Angela says:

    Yes, I absolutely agree that it helps me to feel more accountable. Not in a negative, pressured sort of way but more in a way that allows me to work towards my goals, share my challenges, and also (sometimes) help others work towards them.

  27. I agree one hundred percent with this! I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without my blog and not only that, but reading so many other blogs moving toward the same types of goals and dealing with the same struggles. I love being able to look back at what I’ve written and where I was at that time and comparing it to where I am now. Thank you so much for sharing, LOVE this post! (as I love all of yours ;) )

  28. Karen says:

    I definitely think that my blog helps to keep my accountable for my goals and my daily actions. That is partially why I started blogging…I need the accountability. I have been known to start things and not follow through with them because I have no one to hold me accountable for my actions. I am hoping that my blog readers and friends will help to hold me accountable to my goals and daily actions!

  29. I feel the same way as you!! I don’t have any of my goals planned out with steps/spreadsheets like a lot of othe rpeople do.. but I still feel like I’m working towards something. I think my blog is helping me feel more excited about my runs, and especially my marathon training!! So yes, I guess my blog does hold me accountable for that! And I loove using it as a reflection board.

  30. I feel the same way as you!! I don’t have any of my goals planned out with steps/spreadsheets like a lot of othe rpeople do.. but I still feel like I’m working towards something. I think my blog is helping me feel more excited about my runs, and especially my marathon training!! So yes, I guess my blog does hold me accountable for that! And I loove using it as a reflection board.

  31. Absolutely!! I take daily pics of my food and I swear I sit and think about healthier choices only because I know I have to post it. :)

  32. Lauren says:

    Blogging and reading blogs really helps me stay accountable to things that matter to me. I started a little push-up challenge for myself and offered the challenge to other people, and I love being able to do it myself, offer encouragement, and receive encouragement. I hope you like running again – a half is a great goal!

  33. It absolutely helps to keep me accountable. I’m a person who keeps her word. So if I’ve said I’m going to do something on my blog, I feel like I’ve made a promise to a lot of people that I need to honor.

  34. Emily says:

    This is a really great post Tina! I think blogging holds me accountable in so many ways. I’m a huge goal nerd, so posting about my goals and my progress toward them helps hold me accountable. And not just reading other blogs, but thinking about fellow bloggers helps motivate me when I’m considering skipping a run or slacking off. I’ll channel my favorite blogger runners and it helps get my ass in gear!

  35. Melie says:

    Blogging has been such a source of inspiration for me! Other people’s blog provide me with inspiration and great ideas. My blog has also been a source for accountability. If I said that I am running a half and you are waiting for a recap, I cannot flake my training now can I? And I can also ramble and rant about whatever I want as well! :-)

  36. Kacy says:

    Reading blogs definitely motivates me. And when I have goals I think my blog does help keep me accountable. I mostly use my blog as a sounding board these days though.

  37. I don’t know if my blog has kept me accountable, but it definitely has a way of…brightening my day? I don’t know. I DO think that it prompts me to workout more, but I don’t feel like working out is something that I have to be held accountable for– it’s just something that I really love, but somehow blogging and being involved in this community kind of…reminds me more regularly of that love. Does that make sense? Eh, I feel like I’m rambling! :-)

  38. Mellissa says:

    What I love most about blogging is the sense of belonging, community and accountability. Have people there to cheer you on and gently scold you when you are going a bit overboard!

  39. My blog is definitely a source of accountability and inspiration for me all the time! I am so grateful for my little space on the internet to spill my guts and receive feedback from all my lovely friends! :)

  40. I just love blogging because it challenges me to conitnue to grow and learn about the field of nutrition. Right, my day job is NOT fulfilling me in the way I intended when I went in to dietetics…through the blog I am able to explore my true passion which is inspiring others to be healthy and trying my best to inform about HOW to eat healthy! I just love blogging! I’m glad you do too!

  41. Yes indeed. I am a visual person and if I see it in “writing” I will feel a stronger need to achieve it.

    Not to mention, reading blogs, they have given me so many new ideas that I may not have explored on my own :)

    Thank you!

  42. Reading blogs definitely makes me feel inspired! Inspired to keep up with my own blog (accountability also comes in here!), to try new foods and meet new people! It’s a wonderful thing all around.

  43. wonderful post. when i first created my blog two years ago, I called it “accountability” for exactly the reasons that you listed here. well, maybe not EXACLTY, but pretty flippin’ close. since then, i have read several posts about people using blogs, twitter, and programs like logyourrun.com and dailymile.com to help keep them accountable to their goals; i can’t agree more.
    thank you for helping me to feel validated.
    win!
    -gene-

  44. I do. That’s sort of why I created it, though I’m not really sure where I’m headed with it at the moment. It started as a “getting healthier, losing this weight” blog. Something I am def. working on. Reading blogs helps too. I have SO many great recipes on hand thanks to blogs–like yours!

  45. Blogging absolutely holds me accountable, but more importantly, it inspires me. Through comments, and reading other blogs I have found so much inspiration, encouragment and support, I can hardly believe it. It helps keep me going.

  46. Ela says:

    I love this! I’m so glad that your blog accomplishes this for you, and find it quite inspiring. Yes, I’m lining up a post about something similar, or at least the fact that this year I’m hoping that I can use my blog to help push me in good directions.

    take great care!
    love
    Ela

  47. Oh I’d definitely say blogs hold some accountability! You’re declaring your goals to the world!! (or just your readers, but hey – you have a lot of readers! :) )

  48. Allie says:

    You are so right on the accountability of blogging. EVERYONE in the world can see what you put on your blog. I am so happy you use it in such a positive and uplifting way. Your blog brightens my day, everyday. :) Happy weekend!

  49. I totally agree…if I say it on the blog then I live it out. No Ida ands or buts!

  50. I totally agree that blogging helps hold me accountable through reflection!

    I am also using a coping skills checklist every day and documenting it on my blog and that is really helping me (even if it bores everyone else ;) ).

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