Goal achievement is NOT an individual sport. While you may be the one who sets the goals and you may be the one who benefits from achieving your goals, you can’t do it alone, no matter what your goal is. It takes a team to help you reach your goals.
The first members of your team should be the individuals who will help you to learn the necessary skills to reach your goals. If you want to get healthy and fit, you might need a personal trainer or nutritionist to help you know exactly what YOU need to do to reach your goal. If you want to get out of debt, you may want to hire a debt counselor to walk you through some of the steps.
The next team members should be your cheerleaders. These are the individuals with whom you share your goals and know that they will be there to support you and lift you up while cheering you on. Cheerleaders may join you on your journey and support you through being a partner as well. You might find cheerleaders in your friends and family or you may need to look to others such as networking groups or uplines.
And finally, you have accountability partners. These individuals are a unique breed and require careful selection. Here are some of the things to consider when looking for a good accountability partner.
- Spouses and/or significant others DO NOT make good accountability partners. There’s just too close of a relationship there to make this work. I have an amazing relationship with my husband and I would NEVER consider ruining that through working with him as my accountability partner. Even if you work with your spouse, it isn’t a good idea. See Business Partners.
- Business Partners do not make good accountability partners. They are too involved in the end goals to be objective.
- Friends and family do not make good accountability partners. They are likely to be either too soft on you or too critical. Accountability partners need to be able to walk a fine line between being understanding and not letting you get away with your BS.
- Colleagues do not make good accountability partners. They are usually great for a week, maybe three if you are lucky. After that, they get distracted with their own objectives and goals and don’t stay in touch with you or follow up when you don’t check in.
- An effective accountability partner should have an ability to determine your motivational style so they can help yo develop a plan that will keep you engaged in your goals long after the initial excitement has worn off.
- An effective accountability partner should be willing to follow up with you when you fail to check in on your goals.
- An effective accountability partner will hold you to your commitments even when you have a “really good reason” for not doing what you committed to.
- An effective accountability partner will be there to help you brainstorm solutions to challenges that are getting in your way.
- An effective accountability partner will help you to see just how far you’ve come when doubt and fatigue are setting in.
It isn’t always easy to find a partner that will truly be committed to helping you achieve your goals. Most people have a lot going on and would love to help but just can’t spare that much of a mental commitment let alone a time commitment to check in with you regularly. If you are able to find someone who is willing to make this kind of a commitment to you and your goals, be sure to write out a clear description of what the expectations are from both parties. This will help to remind you each of what your responsibilities are to be. Also be sure to include a clear end date that may or may not be renewed as agreed upon by both parties.