Years ago, my friend, Maria, and I confided to one another that each of us was interested in looking for new career opportunities. We’d both had terrific experiences with our then employers, but had separately – and simultaneously – come to the conclusion that it was time to enter the job market. Though our career interests were different, we had common actions to take: Update resumes and bios, get new headshots, research opportunities, and, of course, amp up our networking efforts.
Having jointly documented the general outline and approach that we were going to take, Maria offered up an invaluable gift: She asked if I’d be interested in serving as one another’s “accountability partner.” The unequivocal answer was, “Yes!”
I was reminded of this notion recently – not in the context of a career change, but in the context of health and wellness. My cousin, Amy, and I started talking about our fitness goals – among them, 10,000 steps a day. To urge one another on, to ensure that the goal is met, we’ve agreed to be accountability buddies to “ger ‘er done!” We may or may not walk, run or jog together, but we do check in on one another via text with personal updates and words of encouragement. It’s fun and it makes us both feel, well… accountable to the other. We don’t want to let one another – or ourselves – down by missing a day of steps.
Could you benefit from having an accountability partner for something in your life? Do this:
- Identify your goal. Could be related to home, work or community life.
- Pick a potential partner. Think of trusted friends, family members or colleagues. Can you hone in on one who might make a good accountability buddy? It might be useful if you know that this individual is striving for the same or a similar type of goal so that you can establish a mutual support system.
- Tell ‘em! Once you have selected the person who you want as your partner, tell them about your goal and ask if they would like to partner with you.
Assuming you get a “yes” from your person, begin checking in on one another. Could be a text in the morning, midday or evening… could be a quick call or email… it doesn’t need to be daily, but be sure to touch base a few times a week or a month just to ensure that your partner is meeting their commitment and to remind them that you are there for them. If you maintain a systematic, routine approach, it will become a positive habit for you and your accountability partner.