Accountability Partners: Find Your Ideal Accountabilibuddy

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Two accountability partners sharing a computer
How to Find Your Perfect Accountability Partner

Whether you’re self-employed, running your own business, or studying for finals, let’s face it — holding yourself accountable is difficult.

It’s all too easy to make excuses as to why you can’t reach your goals right now.

But that’s where an accountability partner comes in.

An accountability partner is a friend, family member, or even an acquaintance who can and will hold you responsible for achieving your aims.

This person should help motivate you from your initial goal-setting process up to, hopefully, fulfilling your loftiest of ambitions.

If you still have some questions about accountability partners, we’re sharing why an accountabilibuddy is important and where to find one.

We’ve also included a few tips for maintaining a good accountability partnership — after all, it’s a two-way street.

Why Finding an Accountability Partner is Important

Have you ever set a goal — something like running a marathon, writing a book, or becoming self-employed — only to fall woefully short of your intended deadline?

Though it may be tempting to wallow in excuses or beat yourself up over your shortcomings, you’re not alone.

As a full-time freelance writer, I’ve often fallen into the trap of making (and then soon forgetting) overly zealous professional resolutions.

But once I started working with accountability partners over the past few years, I quickly started seeing the results I’d hoped for.

Accountability partnerships can help you reach all kinds of goals: professional, physical, academic, even emotional.

But they’re especially helpful if you’re starting and running your own business, as a dose of external motivation will benefit even the most driven among us.

Where to Find an Accountabilibuddy

If you’re not sure where to find an accountabilibuddy, we have some good news — you likely already know them!

You have to make sure that your buddy will, of course, actually hold you accountable (more on this later).

But beyond that, here are some good starting points:

Partner or Family Member

I can confirm from experience, your partner or family members can and will call you out like nobody else.

Generally speaking, you can be at your most honest with them, and they with you, making for an ideal accountability partnership — as long as feelings don’t get hurt.

Friend or Colleague

Admittedly, it might be tricky to find a friend or a colleague in your field who will truly hold you accountable.

But if you can, they could be valuable accountability partners.

Another upside: this will give you more opportunities to catch up with a friend or acquaintance.

Classmate or Coworker

Seeing your classmates and/or your coworkers multiple days a week, often in the same context as your goals, sets a strong foundation for an accountability partnership.

Though it may feel tough to open up to someone from school or work, doing so could benefit both of you.

Online

If you’re still struggling to find your ideal accountability partner, there’s an app for that.

Don’t underestimate the power of an online accountabilibuddy — a digital partnership is often even easier to maintain since you don’t need a physical space to meet.

Tips for a Successful Accountability Partnership

Okay, so you’ve found your accountability partner.

Now, you have to craft and sustain a good partnership that should serve both (or more) participants for quite some time.

Let’s dive into a few suggestions to make that happen:

Pick Someone Who is Reliable

Though it may go without saying, accountability partnerships only work if both parties are actually, well, accountable.

That means you and your partner aren’t skipping or postponing your meetings but showing up at designated times and truly putting in the effort.

Of course, unforeseen events can occur, and you might have to reschedule a meeting or two.

Just make sure it’s not every single one.

As in any kind of relationship, an accountability partnership will quickly disintegrate without active participation from both sides.

Find Someone Who Will Challenge You

We know, nobody enjoys being called out. But there’s no point in having an accountability partner who won’t push you to do your best.

And since you’re bound to slack on your goals at some point, those challenges are an essential part of any accountability partnership.

Ensure your partner both wants to see you succeed and won’t hesitate to ask you tough questions if and when you fall behind in your goals.

As helpful as they may seem, people who give you unconditional excuses for your behavior might not be the best accountability partners.

Set a Specific Day and Time to Meet

When it comes to reaching a goal, studies show that regular accountability appointments can increase the odds of success by up to 95%.

Do your best to set aside a specific day and time to meet — monthly, weekly, or even yearly — and plan the rest of your schedule around it.

As we mentioned above, schedules shift, so be flexible and realistic with your meeting times — but not so flexible that your accountability partnership becomes an afterthought.

To prioritize your goals, start by prioritizing your accountability partner and your meetings.

Set Hyper-Specific Goals

While it can be easy to create generic resolutions like exercising more or reading more books, setting hyper-specific goals will allow you to strive toward a certain destination.

This will also help keep you from procrastinating since you’ll be in a defined time frame.

Turn “I want to write more” into “I’ll write 5,000 words this week” (this is one of my long-standing creative goals with one of my accountability partners).

This will also make it easier for your accountability partner to take you to task when you inevitably stumble.

Set a Variety of Goals

In case you didn’t already know, you don’t have to work on one goal at a time with your accountability partner.

Setting a variety of different goals — physical, emotional, professional, or otherwise — will vastly broaden what you and your partner are able to achieve.

Of course, it could be awkward to chat with your coworker about exercising or ask a friend to help watch your spending.

But there’s no rule against working with different partners to achieve different goals, so you might benefit from multiple accountability partnerships.

Ready to Follow Through on Your Goals?

Now that you’re armed with our guide to accountability partners, you should be ready to get out there and find your very own accountabilibuddy.

As we all know, solo goal setting is very hit-or-miss, and it often enables us to give up when the going gets tough.

Creating a sustainable system to follow through on your goals will help you get more done, including fostering more connections with those around you.

That’s not just important to reach your goals — in an increasingly digital and isolating world, we all need to connect more with others.

Make sure you’re also motivating your accountability partner in return, and you’ll have a long, fruitful partnership ahead of you.


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