Having an accountability partner (or a success partner) helps you to stick with your goals.
Does the phrase accountability partner bring to mind thoughts of career-minded business people? Are you thinking, “But I’m just a mom! Why would I need an accountability partner?” Let me ask you a question first: do you have areas of your life that you want to improve? If you answered “yes,” then having an accountability partner can benefit you.
Accountability partners are for everyone who wants some help to further their goals, whatever those goals may be. It is that simple.
Do you want to eat better? Work harder to not lose your patience with your kids? Read the Bible more? Exercise more? Whatever your goals are, having an accountability partner can help you.
Simply put, an accountability partner can be defined as a person who you hold yourself accountable to or who helps you to be accountable to yourself in what you say you will do.
If you want to improve your patience with your kids and your goal is to not raise your voice at them, having an accountability partner to check in with can help you to keep this goal more in the forefront of your mind and therefore help you to be more successful in accomplishing it.
An accountability partner can help you to keep pushing forward with your goals even when you don’t feel like doing so. Since you know you will need to let your partner know how you are doing (and none of us like to say that we did not do what we set out to do!) this can help you to stay motivated in working toward your goals.
Some people prefer to use the term success partner since you are helping each other to achieve success in accomplishing your goals. The term “success” can sound more motivating than the term “accountability.”
No matter what term you prefer, there are some simple steps to follow to help you get going in working with an accountability partner.
Be clear about your goal.
Deciding on your goal is the first step. What is it that you are working towards?
Being clear about your goal will help you to know how you want to work to achieve it and what type of accountability you will need.
For example, let’s say you set a goal to exercise more.
What does this look like to you?
Will you exercise every day or three times a week? Will you go to the gym for an hour or will you take a walk in your neighborhood with your kids?
When you will you do this?
Will you exercise in the morning or evening? Will you exercise at the same time every day or be flexible depending on the day’s activities or weather?
How will you make sure you stick with your goal?
Besides having an accountability partner to check in with, what else motivates you to stick with your goal? Do you want to set a good example for your kids? Lose weight? Be healthier?
Why do you want to have this goal?
Determining your why is important. It will help you to stick with your goal on days when you may not feel like working on it.
Does your goal have a time frame?
Is this a goal you will keep doing until further notice (like exercising) or is this a goal that has an end time (like completing a project for a deadline)?
Use the what, when, how, why, and time frame questions above to help you narrow your focus as you define your goal so you can make a realistic plan. Having a solid, well thought out plan will make it so much easier for you to follow through and achieve your goal.
Find someone to check in with.
Finding your accountability partner is the next step. Now, it may take a little time to find the right person.
Side note: You don’t need to wait to start working on your goal until you find a success partner! Just get started.
Do you have a friend who has a similar goal? Perhaps you can work on it together or watch each others’ kids while you take turns working on your goal. You can also encourage and support each other as you work on your goals.
Are you in an online community? You can post there that you are looking for an accountability partner. (This is how I have found two accountability partners myself.)
Is there someone you’ve seen at church or in a group you are in that you want to get to know better? You can ask her if she would like to be accountability partners.
Sometimes a good friend is an ideal partner. Other times it is a better choice to have someone you don’t know very well as your accountability partner. Decide what will be best for you.
Decide how often you will check in with each other.
Now that you have your goal and accountability partner, decide how often you will check in with each other and what you will check in about.
You can check in with each other briefly every day, every few days, or once a week. It is up to you two to decide what will work for you.
For example, on Monday you can e-mail, call, or text each other to check in with your goal for the week. On Friday you can touch base about how well you each did on sticking with your goals.
Or, you can check in weekly to report on the previous week and plan for the next week.
You may also want to help and encourage each other as well. You may be able to help each other get over a lack of motivation hurdle or hiccup in your journey to stick with your goal.
These a just a few ideas. There are many different ways you can set up an accountability partnership. It depends on you, your partner, and what you want your partnership to look like.
Know that as time goes on, you may both want to change how often you check-in.
Now it is time to get started! You can start right away or set a date when you will begin.
Now, if you are already working on your goal, this date is not a date to begin working on your goal, but rather a date to start checking in with your success partner.
Reevaluate if/as necessary.
A reevaluation may be necessary now and again.
Let’s say you began by checking in with each other every day. As time goes on and working on your goals is now more ingrained in your daily routine, checking in every day may not be necessary anymore and you may want to scale back to checking in once a week instead.
Perhaps you are both doing well working on your goals, but need more encouragement or help to get past slumps you encounter.
Be open and honest with each other about how you are doing and what help you need so you can both gain the most benefit from your accountability partnership.
Having an accountability partner can help you to be successful in completing your goals. Define your goal, ask the right questions, find the right partner, have an agreement with your success partner about how often you will check in with each other, and then get started!
Accountability and goal setting resources to help you out.
Inc.com has an article you may find helpful about this topic.
Here are some other posts that you may find helpful about goal setting and goal achieving: