Great things happen when we begin to hold ourselves accountable for the things we have in life and what we want. We stop blaming others and life circumstances for standing in the way of our dreams. We realize that successes come from the work we put into it. And we discover a bit more about ourselves. The scary part is, when we hold ourselves accountable and move forward (okay, there might be setbacks), we might get what we want!
But that doesn't mean we can't have a little help along the way. Enter an accountability partner or someone besides ourselves to whom we verbalize intentions and check-in. This person listens to our goals, provides support, and shares theirs as well.
An accountability partner can be helpful in any area. Maybe you are an entrepreneur, an artist, a teacher, a doctor, or a student! You might even be working on personal goals. Are you trying a healthier lifestyle, becoming a new mom, or changing careers? Think of your partner as a one-person support group giving you a gentle nudge to get it done.
Consider the scenario. Somewhere inside your head, there's a whisper, I'm going to write a children's book, I'm going to run five miles tomorrow, or I'm going to apply for three jobs this week. But the self-doubt chatter sets in, the series you're binging temps you to watch, or the pile of junk on the desk begs you to clean up. The hopeful whisper gets squashed!
If we're a bit of a self-starter, we do take action. Yes! I came up with an idea for a book. Whew! I got in a mile. Or, Well, I applied for one job. Baby steps are important, right? Yes.
But what happens when you verbalize goals to another person? Then, there are two to share an excuse or celebrate a win. This is not to say that there won't be times that you won't achieve a goal we set for ourselves. The point is that it becomes a habit. And more often than not, we do follow through.
For eight months, I've been meeting once a week with my partner, setting goals, sharing experiences, and checking in about industry-related frustrations and successes. The value in this practice is greater than what meets the eye.
Yes, the goal-setting helps keep me moving forward. Yes, the follow-through keeps me disciplined. And, yes, it is helpful to chat with someone working in the same industry to exchange ideas, get help, and get inspired.
But there have been unexpected benefits I have found by checking in weekly. I discovered that I am productive even when I think I am not. There are times when I beat myself up about one thing that I did not complete. However, when I look back at my list of goals for the week, I realize how much I did accomplish!
I also discovered what I like to do, what feels like a chore, and what realistically I can schedule in a week. I have since reevaluated and restructured my tasks to fit my needs and wants.
Another unexpected benefit is connecting and being inspired by like-minded people. I am encouraged by my partner's optimistic outlook, drive to succeed, and ability to manifest opportunities for herself. Like myself, she is an educator and a children's book author. She is also an inspirational speaker and a true go-getter! Check out Shannon Anderson, my accountability partner, and her new book, I LOVE STRAWBERRIES!
Accountability Partner Checklist
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