Get an Accountability Partner
Eventually you will find that you enjoy your meetings and setting goals and deadlines. There will be times you don’t get things done, and that is fine, you will still need to account for any delays. This can often help open up gaps or holes in your plans.
What is an Accountability Partner?
The term accountability partner has been around for a long time and it was often used by Christians who wanted to keep each other accountable for their behaviors. Nowadays this term is associated with finding someone that can help you stay on track to meet your goals.
When deciding if an accountability partner would work for you remember that this is not the same as hiring a coach or mentor. Accountability partners are normally on an equal level and you both agree to help each other out.
No matter how large or small your goal is each person is going to hold the other accountable. Having an accountability partner is not a sign of weakness; in fact it is the total opposite. You have the strength to know that you need to take action to improve your productivity. Many successful business people have accountability partners who they talk to each week.
The main benefit of having an accountability partner is that you have to learn how to set specific goals each time you meet. Your goal may be to write 5 email messages for your auto-responder or you may want to limit the amount of coffee you drink over the next few days.
An accountability partner can help you open your eyes to objections that you may have been too stubborn to see. Sometimes you can be trying so hard to achieve something that you lose total focus or even become out of touch with reality.
Your partner is going to help you stay motivated and this is a huge deal. Lack of motivation is one of the top reasons why goals and resolutions are not met. This applies to both your personal and your business goals. An added advantage is that your partner may be more understanding of your business situation than a close friend or even your spouse.
How to Find Your Accountability Partner
Choosing a suitable accountability partner is not something that you want to rush into. You need to choose a partner that you feel comfortable with. You do not want to feel embarrassed about sharing your fears with your partner, it is important that you are honest with each other.
When looking for a partner you want to understand the ‘why’ and ‘purpose’ you have in mind for them. Make sure that you share this with them as well. It always helps to make notes on the qualities that you are looking for.
You may discover that your accountability is someone that you already know, or you may want to connect with a totally new person. Look around you and see who your business and personal acquaintances are. Are there any possible candidates there?
If not, you may have to look outside of your social circles. If you are looking for a business accountability partner turn to forums and groups that you belong to. Many forums have specific sections for people looking to connect with an accountability partner. You can always post a thread asking the group if anyone has interest in partnering.
You may have certain qualities that you are looking for, make a note of these if you do, so that you can easily compare your responses.
Some qualities people look for include:
✓ Same gender and approximate age
✓ Similar interests
✓ Live in close proximity
✓ Live in same time zone or on same continent
✓ Specific skill set
Once you have selected your partner you can start to set up your accountability meetings. Your first step is to arrange a convenient time for you both, this includes the day and time and the frequency that you want to meet.
Many partners like to start out with weekly accountability meetings and then move to bi-weekly or even monthly. As your meetings progress you will soon discover what suits you both best. You may prefer one longer meeting less often or you may wish to hold shorter weekly meetings.
Some business professionals only feel a need to connect with someone once or twice a year while keep motivation levels high by having a quick check-in with their partner each day.
Your agenda for each meeting depends on your goals. You want to spend the time discussing any obstacles or struggles that you may be having. During the week you should make a note of anything that you want to discuss with your partner. This way you won’t waste any time during your meeting.
At the end of the day your accountability partner will help you with:
- Understanding your task
- Accepting your task
- Setting a deadline for it to be done
You must also be prepared to accept responsibility for not meeting your deadline and explaining this to your partner. If you fail to reach your goal for whatever reason it is important to share the reason with your partner. They may be able to help you uncover a better course of action for reaching your goal. Of course sometimes life just happens and priorities must be set. But don’t get into the habit of finding excuses for not achieving your tasks and goals.
You must always be willing to take ownership for your actions.
Benefits of an Accountability Plan
When you have an accountability plan in place there will be certain benefits that you will see including:
Less Worry – you are finally taking action and making progress towards your end goal. You will accept that you are doing your best each and every day.
Rely on Others – you will discover that using an accountability partner helps you be more objective and allows you to see and consider different options.
Focus – your mind is becoming tuned to staying focused on what is important.
Alert & Attentive – you will find that you are more alert and can deal with friends, family and clients in a much better way.
Of course with any benefits there is usually a downside as well. Your major problem with an accountability plan is simple, it is hard to do! You are opening yourself up to take advice and direction from another person. You must be prepared to not always like what you hear.
Once you learn how to be personally accountable your stress levels will drop and your productivity will increase. People who are not accountable to themselves are normally dissatisfied, unhappy at work and at home and they are just not happy with who they are.