21 Jan Partner Up & Get Stuff Done
Do you want to achieve something big and audacious this year? Stick to small goals or change a few habits? An accountability partner can help you achieve your goals and change habits more consistently.
I find it especially helpful for the self-employed and entrepreneurial spirits who have the joy of being their own boss. The feedback and coaching a boss offers is missing which can be both a welcome relief and barrier to accomplishment.
Generally I love the beginning of the New Year. I’m super attracted to the idea of a clean slate, new beginnings, etc… This year, I’ve been slower to get started. I needed time to process and re-charge. I don’t know about you, but last year was a little rough. So here I am at mid-month, finally ready to go. Thank goodness I have an accountability partner to ease the process.
What is an Accountability Partner?
An accountability partner is someone that you meet with weekly, monthly, or even quarterly to brainstorm, set goals, follow up on progress, and celebrate when applicable. Consistency in communication and written plans are key. My recommendation is weekly or bi-weekly 30 to 60-minute talks to see a difference in achievement or habit change.
This structure works really well for people who are what Gretchen Rubin describes as an Obliger. Many fall into this category. I know I’m one. She describes an Obliger as someone who readily meets outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectation. They meet deadlines set by others. Essentially, they don’t let other people down, but display procrastination towards their personal goals.
Effective Accountability Partner Traits
- Common Goals
- Professional Relationship
- Decent Listening Skills
- Able to Meet at Scheduled Times
- Positive “Can Do” Attitude
- Relatively Organized
- Can Commit for 6 months to 1 Yr. Min.
Friends and family can work as an accountability partner, however, a less intimate relationship might be better. A classmate, teacher, co-worker, or peer colleague are good choices. It’s ok to pay someone for this as well, such as a life coach, nutritionist, personal trainer, professional networking group, or therapist.
What Worked for Me
Martha Pedersen and I met through a business development class. We had to pick an accountability partner. I knew as soon as I heard Martha speak about her clients that she spoke my language. I liked her which is important. After all, we talk weekly by phone. We have kept each other accountable to our long-range and short-range goals for almost 2 years. Amazing things have happened for both of us because we’re 100% optimistic and supportive for each other.
Martha says, “I like the consistency of an accountability partner. It makes intentionality a habit.”
Totally agree. Meeting her was worth every penny of an over-priced series of classes. Too bad she didn’t collect the fee!
Goals and strategies are set for 2019. We use the 19 for 19 structure we heard on Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft’s Happier podcast last year. There were personal ups and downs last year. Despite that, our professional 18 for 18 goals did not get lost. For me, it was largely due to our commitment to our calls. I don’t flake out if others are involved. If that resonates for you, I highly recommend partnering up.
If you’re interested in adding an accountability partner to your life and aren’t sure where to start, seeing a therapist can be a great first step. Call or email me to schedule a 30-minute consultation via the phone or in person. Together we can figure it out!
Kate Murphy, LMSW
Kate Murphy, a therapist in Chamblee, GA, specializes in helping you decrease stress and anxiety. You can live a more balanced, connected, and meaningful life. Kate works with individuals and couples over the age of 18 to support healing, communicating, and experiencing joy more often.