When setting goals, you are likely looking for the easiest and fastest way to achieve them. In terms of that – consistency is key. But, many factors can help you along the way, and make the journey to achieving your goal a lot easier while staying focus. Whether it is to accomplish your goals as soon as possible or to adapt new habits into your daily life – trust us, an accountability partner might be the last little push in the back that will help you do so.
No expensive coach needs to be involved; just that one person that keeps you on the right track. But, what is an accountability partner, and how do you find yours? In 6 easy steps – we’ll guarantee you to not only find one – but also to know how to be the best accountability partner to someone else.
What is an accountability partner? Why do I need one?
You can see an accountability partner as a tutor that helps you achieve your goals. Someone who holds you accountable for the actions you take to move towards your goal, and – even better – for whom you do the same in return, to stimulate each other, and to keep each other on the right path to success. It will create a certain sense of responsibility that you share.
It’s not a coach, nor a guide or any woolly guru you hire: these partners are often easily found within reach. For example a family member, a close friend, or even a small group of people with the same aspirations as you have. An ideal partner would be someone who enforces consequences – and thus someone who isn’t afraid to push you a little.
How to find an accountability partner
Ok, we have probably convinced you by now – time to get that accountability partner and get one fast.
Step 1: Define your goals
Measurable goals lead to success. It is key to write down and state your goal down in detail. To start off right, using the SMART-method may help to formulate them. SMART stands for the following terms: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Applying this method, you will operate through the different terms to build a goal that states exactly what you want to achieve when it needs to be accomplished, and how you will achieve them.
Keep in mind – goals should be challenging, but still realistic. No one is going to be a five-star chef without any cooking skills. Or run the marathon of New York with zero training. Setting unrealistic goals will only demotivate you. Stay focus on achievable goals. Remember: make those goals concrete – and whether if it’s a personal or a business-oriented goal – write them down.
Step 2: Clarify what you are looking for in an accountability partner and find one
After having your goals written out in front of you, having them taken all in, fresh in your brain, ready to start. It is now time to find a qualified partner to walk the path of goals with. Studies have proven how individuals do perform better when they are supervised, also known as The Hawthorne Effect. Win-win.
A suitable accountability partner is someone close to you (to a certain extent), with whom you feel free to discuss, and with whom you dare to open up. Also, it may be useful if you have a similar goal, in business or personal, – it will help you understand and motivate each other even more. Another option would be to interact with like-minded people you may not know yet. Example: Facebook groups, local communities, or, for example, when sports-related: the gym.
Step 3: Set a specific day and time to meet your partner
Find a day in the week, or if necessary – every day, and a specific time to talk and check in with each other. Prioritize your meetings, establish norms, values, and discuss your expectations and needs from each other. Be consistent, and don’t be afraid to give and get feedback, with respect. There is one important rule to working with an accountability partner: show up!
The more you do, the more your potential partner will do as well. This way, a reliable partnership will be established. Take some extra time with each other the first time you meet (and every time you establish a new goal), to extensively discuss your goals and to set clear what direction you are going.
Step 4: Learn from each other and communicate
How tempting it may be to act like the drillmaster right away (it may be your mutual preference), keep in mind that it is a learning process for you both. Treat each other with respect and find out how your partner wants to be poked when missing out and use that strategy. Cheer on each other in times of success, support each other when things are not going the way they should. Be patient!
Step 5: Plan and look back
Did we already mention that consistency is key? Okay – a helpful tip regarding this: make sure there are always two subjects recurring to share in your meeting. As follows:
- Look back: what did you determine as your goals since the last time you got together and did you achieve what you wanted? If not: what lessons are learned, why didn’t or why did you achieve it? Is there anything that needs to change? Do you need extra support?
- Plan ahead: examine your planning. What will be the next step, what are you planning to achieve before the next time you get together? Set this up clear, for both sides, so both parties know exactly what to pay attention to and talk about during your next encounter.
Monitor each other’s goals – analyze, look for underlying reasons, communicate.
Step 6: Be patient and celebrate success
As we all know – it takes some time to achieve goals. That’s why it’s fundamental to stay patient. But also: celebrate! As far as we’re concerned: celebrating is always better when you’re not alone. Did you achieve your goal? Or did you reach a milestone? Allow yourself time to celebrate – it’s a win-win: a great way to connect with your accountability partner even more.
How to find an accountability partner (video)
Here is a video that will help you finding an accountability partner
Conclusion: an accountability partner has many benefits
Although the term accountability may evoke some negative energy in our brain (because you have to do something), that is actually one of the biggest advantages of having an accountability partner. But teaming up with one has many other benefits to it. To sum up a few:
- No excuses: think of it as peer pressure, but in a good way. When you set your goals and outspeak them – not only to yourself but to another person – you commit yourself even more.
- By working with an accountability partner you simply increase your chances of success.
- An accountability partner can take a fresh look at something you have been running into for weeks. This can lead to new ideas and creative solutions – they will uncover your blind spots. A great benefit when it comes down to a business goal.
- The likelihood of keeping your new habits and sticking to them increases considerably when setting a time to report on your progress to your accountability partner.
- When you have lost your edge (happens to the best), your partner is the one you can turn to – because, a good accountability partner is not just there for success. It is a commitment for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
- There is always someone that cheers on you, which creates a highly motivational effect.
- It can be extremely satisfying to help someone else. It’s a two-way relationship: giving and taking. How good is the feeling of being added value to someone else?
The 3 best accountability partner apps
Aiming to kick it up a notch for even more commitment and a higher chance to achieve your goals? An app can – in contrast to a person – keep sending you those annoying notifications that you simply can’t miss or ignore. Very effective, if you ask us. That’s why we’ve listed the 3 best accountability partner apps for you to step closer towards your goal.
#1: Best allrounder: Strides Habit Tracker
According to the creators of Strides, the app allows you to track everything at once: SMART goals, good habits, bad habits: all together in one easy to-do list. Strides let you track your habits with a streak calendar, it allows you to set milestones, and you can even analyze your journey with personalized progress reports (which work highly motivational). The app offers 150+ templates to customize your trackers to your personal preferences.
If that’s not convincing enough: the developers of Strides even offer Goal Setting courses.
Where to download: App Store
Price: Free, with in-app purchases for pro plans
€5,49 a month, €30,99 a year, or €89,99 for a lifetime plan
#2: Best web-app: Gofuckingdoit.com
This may not be a smartphone app, but the web app Gofuckingdoit.com takes achieving goals with an accountability partner to the next level (as if the name is not promising enough already). The app lets you establish a goal, and a self-chosen accountability partner (‘supervisor’) will hold you accountable and keep track of you. But that’s not it. You have to set an amount of money. then if you don’t reach your goal, you have to pay. The expression ‘when you snooze you lose’ has never been so true…
Where to find it: www.gofuckingdoit.com
Price: Free, apart from the penalty amount you choose
#3: Best app to get fit with: Lazy Jar
The name probably reminds you of the good old swear jar. Close enough: Lazy Jar lets you set fitness goals, connect to your Fitbit or Apple Watch – and just in case you fail to meet your goals (accountability!), you will have to define an amount of money that you are willing to pay. In Lazy Jar’s own words: “It’s like a gym you only pay when you don’t go”.
Where to download: App Store, Google Playstore
Price: Free, but when you quit before the end of your commitment you pay a one-time $9
Have you already partnered up with an accountability partner? What are your feedbacks or questions below!