Being a busy mama with a million things on our “to do” list is… hectic, to say the least. When it comes to setting our own personal or business-related goals, it seems like those well thought out intentions can easily get pushed aside as little humans need us and we’re trying to balance all the other things in our lives like spouses and friends.
If you’ve set goals only to never see them accomplished, started a new fitness program and never made it to the end, or have only got as far as day 3 on the Whole30, don’t worry, you’re not alone! I’ve been there many times in my life, and there’s nothing more frustrating than feeling that you’re stuck in that constant feeling of “start and stop”.
So, if you’re tired of putting all your energy into starting something new and always struggling to get to the finish line, I’ve got one thing that will change the game for you – an accountability partner.
What is an accountability partner?
An accountability partner is someone who is going to help you keep your goals top of mind. They’re someone you expect to hold you to your word, and even if they’re your friend, they aren’t going to let the excuses get in the way of your goals. Their job is just as it says – to hold you accountable!
Why do I need an accountability partner?
When it comes down to it, the statistics and studies really speak for themselves.
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) completed a study on accountability and found that you have a 65 percent chance of completing a goal if you state your commitment to someone else. But, here’s the part that should stop and make you think – if you schedule a specific accountability meeting, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.
So, having an accountability partner is a good first step, but scheduling regular check-ins with that partner is what will take you from sort of committed to your goals, to ultra committed!
How to find an accountability partner:
When it comes to finding the right accountability partner, take some time to think of who would be the best fit for this role. You may get along with your best friend or sister, but if they struggle with follow-through, you might want to count them out on helping you with this job. Find someone you know that is:
- won’t sugar coat things with you,
- has a strong interest in you achieving your goals.
For example, a hired coach is a great accountability partner, because their job is to hold you accountable and help you achieve your goals. However, a friend that goes to the gym with you might be another great option because they enjoy having you at the gym with them. The more they hold you accountable to working out, the more they get to see you!
How to Be a Good Accountability Buddy:
A great way to find an accountability buddy is to find someone where you can return the favor. If you have goals for your side-gig, find a teammate or other mama in a similar situation that would love to have someone hold them accountable in return. But, being accountability partners is more than just agreeing to it. To make sure you’re doing your job right, you should:
- Proactively schedule check-ins and have an agenda for these meetings — so they don’t turn into chats that never get down to business.
- Follow through on your promises. If you say you’re going to check in with them mid-week, be sure to put it on your calendar so you remember.
- Don’t sugar coat – your partner will get a lot more out of the process if you are honest and give them suggestions for improvement along with acknowledgment for the work they are completing.
- Set an end date – Accountability partnerships can drag on and on and become less effective over time if not set up correctly. Have an initial meeting where you set expectations for working together on this and decide when you should plan to “end your accountability status”.
- Put some skin in the game – a great way to make sure you and your partner are following through on goals and actions is to have to give something up if you don’t do it. For example, maybe it’s donating a certain amount of money to your partner’s organization of choice, or having to buy them lunch. No matter the amount, by putting something small on the line, both of you will be even more committed.
So next time you set out to achieve your goals, think about asking someone to hold you accountable and see where it takes you!