Gretchen Rubin, self-professed happiness expert and author of many books on the topic of happiness, describes habits as the invisible architecture of everyday life, and a significant element of happiness. In her book, Better than Before, she describes the strategies we can exploit to change our habits, including… you guessed it!


Gretchen also explains that not everyone will respond to the same kind of accountability, because some people are more responsive to private accountability, and some of us respond better to public accountability.

I am definitely a public accountability kind of gal – an example of this is declaring certain intentions on Facebook or in certain group forums for school. However, I appreciate a mix of public and private because there are certain details I prefer to keep to myself or between a small, select group. You will find the combination of accountability strategies that works before for you – the key, as always, is to put them in place and take action on them.

Find your Sip Sister

Long before I even knew what a health coach was, let alone began studying to be one, I found a friend who became my accountability buddy in redefining my relationship to alcohol. We created a shared google document, and used it to write our intentions, be honest about our challenges, and seek support from one another. We called each other “sip sisters.” Our goal was to learn how to drink in moderation, try out periods of sobriety, and mostly to have a great time without going overboard. Learning how to “sip” seemed like a good metaphor for drinking in moderation, it denotes the ability to slowly savour and enjoy rather than suck back drinks like there’s no tomorrow.

Here are some of the qualities you will want to look for in a Sip Sister:

Non-judgemental – Look for someone who has the ability to be empathetic, understanding and caring. This one might seem like a no-brainer, but what does non-judgemental mean to you? For example, if you have different goals, one person simply wanting to drink less, and the other trying to be sober, it might difficult to understand the other person’s choices.

Shared experiences and goals – It will help your Sip Sister to be non-judgemental if you have similar experiences and goals in mind. Finding someone who also wants to explore the “Drink Less Party More” philosophy is a good starting place.

Firm but loving – Sip Sisters are honest and direct in their feedback and observations, and loving in their delivery. You know that you can count on them to “tell it like it is” while doing their best to show you that you are loved and supported no matter what.

Responsible and resourceful – Your Sip Sister should be good at keeping commitments, showing up for scheduled check ins, sending you texts / reminders when you need it etc. It is also a great help if your accountability buddy helps you find new solutions if you find yourself slipping or repeating the same patterns.

Other accountability strategies:

Talk is cheap – take action

Create specific blocks of time where you are going to put your intentions into action. Set aside 10 minutes a day to practice your gratitudes, brags and desires. Get clear on your intentions by scheduling 30 minutes at the beginning of each week to journal. Remember, as my business mentor Marie Forleo always says, “If it’s not scheduled, it doesn’t exist” – so make sure to actually put these time slots into your calendar.

Set Reminders

Technology can be your best friend at times. I absolutely love setting reminders in my phone that give me a boost during the day or night. If I feel like I’m heading into a situation that might be particularly challenging, I set a reminder for myself with words of encouragement.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to take a techno-break, consider a good luck charm or amulet. It can be in the form of a bracelet, ring or another accessory that you can easily see. Write down your intentions in your journal, and state clearly what the charm will remind you of. Then, every time you see the charm, you will be reminded of your intentions for yourself.

Give yourself a reward

How will you feel after a month of sticking to your intentions? Pretty great, right? And think about all that money you will have saved from spending less money on drinks every week.

Consider setting a monthly or even weekly reward for yourself as an incentive to stick with your intentions. How about a massage, spa date, concert, or weekend getaway? After a month of sticking to your intentions, you deserve it!

Start a Sip Sister Play Group

I read somewhere that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. Understandibly, not all of your friends might be on board with you new intentions for drinking. However, there may be more people than you think in your life who are willing to give it a try.

This group could be online (Facebook groups are great for this, and you can set the private to “secret” if you want to keep in confidential), or in person. I have a dream that someday soon there can be Sip Sister meet-ups in every city!

Host a Drink Less Party More meetup

If you are a public accountability kinda gal, be bold! Make your intentions public by announcing your desire to drink less while still having as much fun as possible, and getting the most out of life! Set up an event, be clear about your intentions in the event invite, and as others to join in.

If you’d like an advance copy of #Drinklesspartymore: How to have a great night (and life!) without getting wasted, make sure to sign up to my mailing list and send me a message saying “yes please!” and I’ll make sure you get one! Free!

Which one of these strategies will you use to stick to your intentions? Have I missed one of your favourite accountability strategies? If so, let me know in the comments.

Can’t wait to hear from you,