Due to my respiratory problems, I keep my purse as lightweight as possible. Although I have an iPhone, I usually leave it at home when I’m running errands around town.

That policy was recently changed, however.

On Saturday, my sisters and I spent a lovely morning at the Ojai Lavender Festival. Somewhere along the way, Margaret showed me a feature on my phone I was unaware of. My phone has a step counter? I had no idea.

When I got home late that afternoon, I promptly checked to see how much walking I had done. Seemed like a good idea to challenge myself to walk just a bit farther every day.

That means that I now carry my phone with me when I leave the house. I’ve even been considering how I could carry it when I’m home to get credit for all the steps I take during the course of a normal day.

I’m beginning to understand why so many people are crazy about their Fitbits. After all, they keep us accountable—whether anybody else knows about it or not.

This morning, I had a Skype chat with Joan Jontilano who is currently in the Philippines. We had talked a month ago about her next project. Actually, she didn’t have a project, but we threw around some ideas.

A few days ago, she messaged me asking if we could talk again. “I’ve got a lot of stuff I want to talk about,” she said.

She wasn’t kidding. We had a lively conversation. Not only does she have a great idea, her enthusiasm was quite contagious.

What made the difference in just one month?

Joan told me she’d participated in a one week program that clarified her thoughts. “We had questions we had to write answers for plus a Facebook group that was really helpful,” she said. By her own account, she went from freaked out to focused.

Accountability. It can take many forms. Deadlines. Working with a coach. Group check-ins. Doing what you say you’re going to do.

No matter what form it takes, it always involves action. Or a few more steps everyday.