Example of applying the Accountability Mirror in my bullet journal

The Accountability Mirror In My Bullet Journal

Earlier this year I read David Goggins' book, "Can't Hurt Me.

De accountability mirror in mijn bullet journal doelen stellen

What a remarkable man with a special story. He goes for his goals. So hard, that he has looked death in the eye several times. Okay, that goes a lot too far for me too, but his way of thinking about how you are responsible for your own happiness and how you change your life, that appeals to me enormously.

Example of applying the Accountability Mirror in my bullet journal

I describe my experience and vision from my point of view

That doesn't have to suit you at all, but I'd like to explain a little bit. Who knows, we might be more alike than we think 🙂 If you want to go straight to my spread - click here. If you want to go to examples of the Accountability Mirror, click here.

Over the past 20 years, much of our society has been covered with the cloak of love

Especially the delicate children's souls we try to spare, instead of making them (lovingly) resilient to be able to live in a harsh society. If you were last in a race, you would not have lost, but you would have won last. Did you say about yourself that you were too fat, then you weren't fat, at most a bit chubby. Aaarrrghhh am I the only one who gets itchy from this? Come on, gentle healers make stinky wounds. Towards yourself too! I was too fat and now I'm out of shape. It's the way it is, but it can be changed, by ME and ME ALONE.

What has all the beating around the bush with the vaguest words brought us?

Not much for me, anyway. A different approach then, the well-known kick in the butt, because that's what it comes down to in the end. Get off your lazy bottom, the way I speak to myself 😉.

David Goggins emphasizes in his book the use of an Accountability Mirror

It is a way of looking yourself in the eye, surrounded by a frame of post-it notes (on your mirror, for example), on which you have written down goals and the harsh truth about yourself. Naming and writing down your weaknesses is one thing in itself, but hey, if you want change ... here's why I appreciate his approach.

Physical Tracking

Writing and pasting a post-it is a physical action. Taking the time to think and decide what to write and stick it on has more impact than making an online note in an app. In addition, you hold yourself responsible for what you did that day to achieve your goals.

Every day you look at the post-its and adjust or rearrange them.

Two examples

  • Suppose you want to move more and have decided that you want to walk for half an hour every day. Then the post-it says "half an hour walk every day". You stick this on your mirror / computer screen / wardrobe / refrigerator ... which works for you.

This is how you are reminded of your goal every day. If you don't feel like going for a walk, you go anyway. If you don't, a post-it could be "you're lazy" - yes the hard truth towards yourself - or "screw fatigue".

Example of a post-it note for the accountability mirror method of David Goggins

These are issues you can work on in a way that suits you, but one that results in progress. If you don't go, then you don't go ... but yes, then the mirror is there with you looking back. What have you achieved then, how do you feel? Not good, right? And that's exactly what you wanted to work on.

  • Say, you want to get stronger. You want to be able to do 50 push-ups, but you can only do it once or not at all. Then the first target on your post-it, for example, is 10 push-ups.

Example of a post-it note for the accountability mirror method according to the book Can't Hurt Me

<You work on this every day, because this is your goal, your wish, so you are responsible for achieving it. Nobody else can achieve your goal for you. So feel and own the pain. You will do everything you can to make that wish come true. You can also keep a count, as shown in the example below.

Example of sticky note for motivation according to the book of David Goggins

<This post-it will be placed below your target of 10 push-ups. After you have hit the 10 push-ups goal, remove the post-it and paste a new one back with '20 push-ups'. And so on, you understand the intention.

There's no waiting for a miracle pill, super quote or music to help you reach your goals

Though. It takes blood, sweat and tears. Yes, indeed... PAIN. See into that mirror a solution, 'own' the problem and take action!


In addition to my bulletjournal, I use a few apps to keep track of things, but if I don't feel like it, I just won't look at it. Every morning I look in the mirror and there are my triggers, my frustrations, my responsibilities towards myself. That works motivating, but sometimes frustrating. And that's okay too. What isn't okay is ignorance or just hypocrisy towards yourself. Yeah, I don't feel like going to the gym, I'm doing it anyway.

F*ck my "I’m in no mood" voice.


You can also see your notes when you look in the mirror in the evening when you brush your teeth, for example. It keeps your goals and priorities sharp. Keeping track of your progress on such a post-it at the end of a day - as described above - gives a sense of satisfaction, because you are one step closer to your goal and that sleeps a lot better.

In my bullet journal, I placed my sticky notes in a spread

It changes around my mirror of course. The spread in my bullet journal gives a retrospective from where I started. This way I can 'celebrate' my 'little' successes. At the bottom of this post you can see the creation process of the spread.

The end result of the accountability mirror set-up in my bullet journal

I've read the book several times and I keep going through it

David Goggins knows how to kick my butt again and again in order to take responsibility for my own successes and address myself as it is ... and that can be hard, very hard 😉 A very inspiring man with a no-nonsense story and his unique vision of motivation and achieving goals. No matter how big or small the goals are, he takes the bull by the horns and tells you 'straight to your face' what it's like. I love it.

Motivation is a tricky one... I'm curious how you motivate yourself. Write your tip in the comments below. That would be great!

Build Up Of The Accountability Spread

The layout of the background in my accountability mirror page
The beginning of the page setup in my bullet journal of the accountability mirror method of David Goggins
A close up of the mirror on my accountability mirror spread
The accountability mirror method in my spread
Labels with areas of improvement according to the accountability mirror method of David Goggins
The end result of the accountability mirror set-up in my bullet journal

Used materials

  • Distress Ink
    – fired brick
    – seedless preserves
    – salty ocean
    – mowed lawn

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