Accountability is one of the element that keeps us moving towards our goals. Being accountable is a way for us to be brutally honest with ourselves and to admit fault or recognize parts of our working habits that can be (or needs to be) improved upon. However, just because we’re trying to reach a personal goal, doesn’t mean we have to do it on our own. For many of us, asking for help can be difficult. That is why accountability partners are important to have. When I was writing my first book, I had accountability partners help me stay on track with my writing and I found it very effective in helping to motivate me and convince me to find the time, even on busy days. Effective accountability partners help you stay on track with your goals and are honest with you when you need to improve in certain areas of your work.
Great minds think alike
Is there someone you know that is trying to accomplish the same goal as you or something similar in magnitude? It’s easier to hold each other accountable and work together to get the job done when this is the case. As an adult, you don’t have a teacher or parent standing over you anymore with looming due dates or a constant push to finish the job in a timely manner. With an accountability partner, you can be that friendly push (or firm shove) for each other. Friendly competition is always a great way to get motivated as well. For example, maybe you and your accountability partner are both trying to write a book. Challenge each other as to how many pages or words you can write in a week. Once the week is done, compare your progress. Is your accountability partner a few pages ahead of you? Use that as motivation to keep up with them and to fuel your desire to work.
Think of the most supportive people in your life
Is there someone you can trust to motivate you and lead you towards good work habits? An accountability partner needs to be reliable and 100% committed to helping you. Is your accountability partner going to work you to your fullest potential, or are they going to let you slack off? Find people who will hold you liable for your actions and choices. If you have both established a schedule, stick to it and make sure your partner makes you stick to it as well. It’s also crucial that whoever you choose to be your accountability partner isn’t afraid of giving you real feedback. Friends and family are always supportive, but sometimes they can be afraid of giving you criticism to avoid hurting your feelings. Receiving constructive feedback shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing – think of it as an opportunity for yourself to grow. We don’t improve on our weaknesses if we’re told that everything we are doing is right. Make it clear with your partner that you want to receive real, honest advice and that they should not hold back any comments. Going outside of family and friends is good because a third-party will usually be more direct with their notes and won’t have a bias.
Partners with the right expertise
When selecting someone to be your accountability partner (whether they are friends and family or not), look into how much knowledge they have around what type of goal you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re going to a gym to workout, you want a trainer with the right knowledge and experience to help you reach your health goals. You’re not going to ask someone who’s never stepped into a gym before for advice on working out and staying healthy. The same goes for any goal. If you’re going to have an accountability partner you want real advice from, make sure they have the right expertise to give you useful feedback.
Not every goal is accomplished by one person. Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help or guidance when trying to accomplish your goals. If you know that sticking to a schedule and motivating yourself to accomplish even micro-goals is a weakness, consider getting an accountability partner. Find someone who can help you stay positive and be honest with you. Surround yourself with people who have similar interests or dreams and help each other reach the end goal together. By working with other people, you can learn from each others’ mistakes and triumphs.
“If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.”
― Steve Maraboli