Friday, August 30, 2013

How Accountability Partners Help You Cross the Finish Line

Your goals are in place.  You feel great about your strategy.  Then, reality sets in.  The obstacles look intimidating.  Self-doubt creeps in.  What do you do to stay motivated?  Maybe it's time to bring in an accountability partner.  Depending on the size of your goal(s), you may want more than one.  You can apply these ideas to any area of your life.  Here are some suggestions:
  1. Surround yourself with people who care about you and your goals.  Make sure you share why your goals are important to you.  Their job is to remind you why you are in the race on days when you feel like giving up.  
  2. Help your accountability partner(s) with their goals.  Your reward is doubled when you cross finish line together.
  3. Be specific about your goals so your accountability partners know what to expect from you.  My first writers group was led by two senior members who clearly defined how each member was accountable.  Everyone was expected to write a minimum of ten pages, distribute enough copies for each group member to critique and then return twice each month with individual critiques.  Every member who joined was expected to complete his or her manuscript.  The success rate was very close to 100%.  
  4. Your deadlines are your mile markers.  You can set any pace you want.  Make sure you share your desired pace with your accountability partners so they can check in to see how you're doing.  My accountability partners read my blog every day.  If they check in at 8:08 AM, Pacific Time, and the blog is MIA, they hunt me down.  I get text messages similar to this:  I didn't see your blog this morning, is everything okay?  They don't want to hear excuses.  They keep me on the race course, one day at a time.
  5. Accountability partners offer a fresh point of view.  If you are working on weight loss, they can share how they overcame specific challenges.  If you are preparing for an event, like a marathon, triathlon, or something really crazy, like a swim from Alcatraz to San Francisco, these accountability partners can help you design a training program they can supervise.
The most important thing to remember about accountability is that it's a two-way street.  It sure is great to have them in your life to help you cross the finish line.  Remember to give back and help others stay on course.  The more you give, the more you will receive.  And don't forget to say thank you.  If you are one of my accountability partners from the business world, the blog world or my personal life, I want you know how grateful I am for your willingness to help out.  Thank you!

Please share how you use accountability partners in your life.  How do you choose them and what areas of your life are you using them for?  I look forward to hearing from you.

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