Changing an old habit or starting a new one can be hard. We decide to do it. We schedule it into our routine. For the first few days we stick to it, but after a while, when we think nobody is watching, we skip it once, then twice, then forever. A great way to hold ourselves accountable is to get an accountability partner. A person that will monitor us and ask us regularly, “did you get it done?”
Paid accountability partners
include fitness trainers, financial planners, nutritionists, tutors, private instructors (piano, guitar, etc.), or a yoga teacher that makes you pay in advance for your classes – use ’em or lose ’em!
like Alcoholics Anonymous and Weight Watchers are examples of group accountability partners that have proven to be wildly successful.
A trusted friend
with goals of their own is all you really need. I have three accountability partners. I have my “Get Shit Done” partner in Philadelphia. We text each other when we have tasks that have lingered a little too long on our to-do lists. When I send my list I know she’ll reply with encouraging words, and she’ll celebrate my success when I check in at the end of the day. Without her, my house would be a pig sty, and my family would never eat a home-cooked meal.
I have my professional accountability partner in Oakland. She is also an entrepreneur with self-imposed deadlines that can be put off and pushed out until nothing at all gets done. We chat for 30 minutes every two weeks and report the status of our business plans. Even though she can’t fire me or dock my pay, she’s emotionally invested in me and my business. I don’t want to disappoint her with a bad progress report. If I do have to report a missed deadline, I make sure I have a new plan to present. And I know, she’ll only let me get away with that for so long before she calls me out.
And finally, my best accountability partner of all – Riley. This guy is full of poop! He gets me up every morning and gets me out the door at least twice a day. (I know you were wondering why I was posting pictures, AGAIN, of my cute dog.)
When choosing your accountability partner
choose someone that will hold you accountable. You want this person to be compassionate and understand that sometimes “real life” does get in the way, but at the same time, you want a partner that will poke and prod you when you are not making progress. If your partner is also a close friend or family member, don’t chat or gossip before you get down to business. Make the first 30 minutes of your conversation about your goals. Stick to it until you both have reported your progress and future plans.