The power of accountability

We often set goals with the best of intentions. We make plans to help us move towards those goals but then for one reason or other we lose momentum. Perhaps other things come up to distract and overwhelm us. Perhaps we lose confidence in ourselves and our abilities to succeed.

Sound familiar?

How could you prevent these obstacles from blocking the route to achieving your goal?

One option is to find someone to hold you to account. To make a commitment to someone to do what you’ve said you will.

How it works

An accountability partner will help you to clarify your goals and follow through on your actions. Through regular check-ins you will report on your progress, discuss issues that arise and agree next steps.

When tackling issues, an accountability partner can help you to gain perspective, challenge your assumptions and uncover blind spots.

They’re also there to support you along the road to achieving your goal. They will celebrate successes with you and help you to move forward when things get rough.

An accountability partner is your champion, your cheerleader and your challenger.

Rules of engagement

Before starting work with an accountability partner you will need to define and agree the parameters of your work together. Some things to consider are:

  • How often will you check-in?
  • Will you meet in person or remotely?
  • How will you record and track your progress?
  • What are the consequences if you don’t follow through on your commitments?
  • How will you celebrate successes?
  • How you will you recognise if the partnership isn’t working and what will you do?

Qualities of an accountability partner

The most obvious person to be your accountability partner may not be who you think. Here are some qualities to look for.

First and foremost, you must trust the person you choose to be accountable to. If you can’t be open with them the partnership just won’t work.

Your accountability partner needs to be able to remain objective. They want to you succeed, but are not invested in the outcome. It may not be appropriate to ask a spouse, sibling or even a close friend.

These partnerships often work best when the relationship is reciprocal. Is there someone you know who’s working towards a similar goal who you can offer mutual support to?

Taking action

Is there an area of your life where you’re struggling to move forward? Is perfectionism, procrastination or a lack of confidence stopping you getting things done? Perhaps sharing the process with an accountability partner will help.

If you have found this post helpful, have questions or would like to explore the topic in more depth, get in touch.

Featured image by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

about emma

I am a coach and facilitator helping people to pause, reflect and make conscious choices about what comes next. In my writing I explore themes of personal development, reflective practice and what it means to live well.

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