What is an Accountability Partner?
Simply put, an Accountability Partner is someone that you tell your goals and/or actions so that they can “hold you accountable”. It is one thing to say you are going to do something and quite another to have someone who won’t let you off the hook with all the excuses you usually use to justify not meeting your goals. Accountability is one of the reasons that Alcoholics Anonymous is so successful… each person is paired with a “sponsor” who can serve, either directly or indirectly, as an accountability partner through the sobriety process.
How do Accountability Partners work?
Usually partners discuss their goals with each other and commit to hold each other accountable for the (mutually agreed) most important action. The key is to meet on a regular basis so that you and your partner can keep an eye on your progress and “turn up the heat” on the activities leading to your goal as needed.
How do I find an Accountability Partner?
There are online communities that can provide a form of accountability (like http://gentlenudge.me/ or others for specific activities such as writing or spiritual development) but the best Accountability Partner is someone who you see face-to-face on a regular basis. A friend or family member might work but they may be too easy on you and let you use your arsenal of excuses. Someone with a shared interest might be better even if it means setting up specific times to meet and discuss your goals / actions. Another option could be Networking Groups. Check out the one created by Heather Hansen O’Neill called Adventure 2 Connection. She puts together like-minded people for fun activities and networking.
Example of an Accountability Partner…
A friend of mine is part of a Mastermind group in Florida and was working with his accountability partner from the group to determine what sort of “penalty” might be the most effective incentive if he does not meet his declared goal/action. Financial incentives would have to be pretty big since my friend has plenty of money. He is also not easily embarrassed so a public admission of failure probably would not do it, although that seemed to be closer to the answer. What did he choose as an incentive? He promised that if he did not fulfill his commitment that he would go FULL SETH GODIN (and shave his head). As an added bonus, I put together a little audio clip to give him a little remind of what is at stake (click here for Accountability Sound Clip).
When are you going to build Accountability into your life?
The longer you wait, the farther away your dreams become. Only if you are accountable for your actions today will you be able to enjoy the rewards in the future. Get an accountability partner today and start building the habit of being someone that you can count on. You won’t regret it !