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Near the end of September, I determined October 1st would be New Year’s Day for me. Depending on how you look at it, I’m either extremely late, or a few months early. Let’s go with early. 🙂

So I set myself some goals. There were a few writing goals, a couple personal goals, and some physical goals.

Before I get too far into the story, I need to introduce you to my middle son, Kyle. He’s 16 years old, is extremely fit, and is quite possibly the most disciplined person I’ve ever met. If he decides he will do push ups and crunches every night before bed, he does it. Without fail. (I want to be just like him when I grow up.)

Okay, back to the story. For my writing and personal goals, I simply made a mental list. But for my health/exercise goals, I decided to track my daily progress on the calendar in my bedroom. I didn’t think much of it, as my room is at the end of the hallway. It isn’t a huge gathering place, except for our two cats who think they own my bed.

But by the end of the first week, Kyle noticed the teeny, tiny writing in the corner of each day on my calendar–the notes indicating my exercise for the day. And he started cheering me on.

“Hey, Mum, you jogged a lot this week. That’s great!”

“Wow, you’re getting up early every day? You haven’t missed!”

By the end of the third week, I noticed something. I hadn’t missed a single day with my exercise goals. 

Why? Because I knew someone would be checking the calendar from time to time. And that same someone kept offering words of encouragement along the way.

A little accountability goes a long way. 

When we know someone is going to be checking in with us, we are much more inclined to do what we intended to do.

The same is true with our spiritual lives.

Are you struggling to be faithful in your daily quiet time with God? Find a spiritually-minded friend to help you. If you’ve set 6:30am as your time to meet with God, ask your friend to text you an hour later, asking if you hit the snooze button, or if you got up.

Are you having difficulty with an area of temptation? Confide in a trusted friend, asking for both prayer and accountability. Give them permission to ask you each week how it’s going. Ask them to pray with you and for you in your battle to live righteously.

When you set spiritual goals-whether it’s memorizing Scripture, committing to pray, or studying God’s Word-ask a friend to keep you accountable. Growth in any area of life requires daily, conscious choices. 

Choices which are less difficult to make when accountability is involved.

Christian growth isn’t easy; it’s an uphill battle most days.

But when there’s a friend checking in and cheering you on, the hill becomes a little easier to climb.

“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)