Accountability Partner – The Hidden Secret To Reaching Your Goals
2018 is over, well almost over, and it has been quite the year. With the New Year coming up that means one thing is for certain: New Year’s resolutions. Personally, I’m not a fan of the term resolution for the simple reason that I think society has changed the meaning. Instead of it being something that is for sure going to happen, it has become something that we would like to happen. Now I’m not saying this is true for everyone that creates a resolution but for the 75% that quit after the first week, it is.
Instead of a resolution, I like to set a goal. The term goal tends to be overused as well but I believe people understand there is much more behind-the-scenes work to be done to reach a goal. In this article, I want to outline some of the things that must be done to reach a goal. I’m also going to share with you how having an accountability partner has given me the ability to reach most of the ones I’ve set to accomplish over the last three years.
Why An Accountability Partner
Let’s start this article off by going over my last point, my accountability partner. Three years ago, a buddy and I created a spreadsheet to outline things we wanted to complete in the coming year. This list had everything from being able to do a standing back tuck to creating another source of income. I believe last year I had almost 20 goals I wanted to complete. In the spirit of honesty, I didn’t reach them all but I did make pretty solid progress. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather get close on 20 things than fail at 1 resolution.
So why do I think everyone needs an accountability partner? The answer to this is simple; we’re human. I don’t care if you’re the most motivated person in the world, you will have down times. There will be times when you struggle and that is whe your accountability partner steps in. Personally, I can have a couple days or even a couple weeks where I just don’t feel like doing anything. It’s a weird mood that I’m working on being better at handling but it happens and maybe it does for you too.
A couple years ago I wanted to qualify for a national level powerlifting meet. Everything was going great until it wasn’t. My mind was off and this affected my training. My accountability partner and I had a phone call to talk about all of our goals and that one came up. I tried to dance around it but they wouldn’t let me. An hour later I felt the best I had in weeks. My training picked right back up, I then qualified, and ended up having my best meet yet. It was a powerful moment.
How It Works
Having an accountability partner isn’t some groundbreaking discovery. I just firmly believed they are underutilized. Some of you may have a form of an accountability partner and you just don’t know it. A spouse, best friend, or relative may be someone that you communicate your goals too. Every so often they may check in and that’s great. What I’m talking about here is taking it to the next level.
My partner and I will set our goals at the beginning of the year, I’m actually working on mine right now. We then review them and see if they are challenging enough or if they are something we actually want to accomplish.
We then periodically check up on each other and see what progress we were making. This could be anything from
Keys To A Good Accountability Partner
- You MUST be 100% transparent with each other, no secrets or you will fail.
- You need to able to take the feedback and give it. if you come up a little short that’s okay but it is your partner’s job to let you know.
- Offering constructive or creative ideas on outlining your goals is always helpful.
- Having someone local is
beneficalbut not 100% necessary.
How We Track Each Other
As I mentioned in the paragraph above we opted to use a spreadsheet, Google Sheets to be exact. I’m a spreadsheet nerd, my life is practically run by one. They make organization simple, most people know how to navigate them, and they are easily shareable. Especially Google Sheets.
The main benefit we take advantage of is the ability to share it with each other digitally. Either one of us can go in and update something on our list and the other person will know about it. This proves to be super valuable when you aren’t in the same place as your accountability partner. When we started I lived in Georgia while they were in Kansas. Now I’m back in Kansas and they live Michigan. No matter where we were our process never broke and accountability stayed stable.
Now I’m not saying you have to use a spreadsheet. You can use whatever you and your partner want, it just has to work. Maybe you keep a note on your phone or actually use physical pen and paper (who does that anymore?!). Both of your lives are going to change, that’s for certain, but making sure you have a process in place that stays intact through
Below is an actual screenshot on my partners and I’s spreadsheet. I changed some of the numbers because that’s obviously personal. But as you can see we are honest about everything with each other. Doesn’t matter if it’s health or your financials if it’s a goal we want to reach we put it down.
Download your own Goal Google Sheet
Back To The Goals
Okay, let’s get back to talking about how we’re going to reach these goals. To be honest I’ll save you from the long drawn out explanation of what a goal is and how to set them. Yes, I could do an article on this but Michelle over at MakingSenseOfCents.com has already put together a great piece that you should read after you’ve finished this post of course.
Michelle goes over how to make SMART goals as well as other key things you need to consider in order to succeed. Check that article out here.
Why We Succeed
Instead of going over the basics of goals I’m going to let the success of the method we use to speak for itself. My accountability partner and I have been able to accomplish things I never thought either of us could. While we do cover most of SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time) I think we take it a step further. Here’s how we do it.
- Set goals that are a challenge – Yes, we’re realistic with ourselves but I also want to see how hard we can push to get where we want to be.
- Have an action plan – It doesn’t mean anything to say you want to save $10,000 but showing how you’re actually going to do that is where the real value is.
- Have a current status – We update this monthly. It doesn’t matter if you want to do it by the end of the year. Updating the status keeps it on your mind which leads to a great chance of you actually doing it.
- Review monthly – Document what steps you took towards that goal every single month. If you made no progress then put no progress. When you reach the end of the year you will have a story that you can look back on.
- Be Flexible – A year is a long time and your goals will change. Don’t be afraid to add or delete some just make sure you aren’t running from something because it’s a challenge.
Wrapping It Up
We all have things we want to achieve in life and nothing is more fulfilling than reaching a goal. There is no right or wrong way to go about it and I hope this article lights a fire in you to start planning your 2019 now. I will promise you that having an accountability partner will make your path to success much smoother as it has mine.
Hopefully, by now someone has come to mind that you think would be a good match for you. Reach out to them and pitch the idea just make sure they meet the requirements for a good accountability partner that I listed above. If done correctly this should be a win-win for both of you.
I wish you the best and happy New Year!