Accountability Partner refers to a person who coaches another person in terms of helping the other person keep a commitment.
That partner can help with multiple types of goals or commitments whether physical fitness, starting a business or personal project or any other goal there is.
Here’s my story:
I used to do everything on my own especially when it comes to finances.
But one day I just knew I need to stay accountable to my goals.
Thus, I made them public!
Unknowingly, I made you all as my accountability partners.
Because of you and your generous response to what I do, staying on track with my personal and money goals became a lot easier.
In today’s post, I hope to achieve the following:
1. Explain to you why an accountability partner matters especially in achieving one’s goal;
2. Share to you the different ways an accountability partner can help you achieve your goals;
3. Enumerate the different characteristics you should look for an effective accountability partner;
4. Provide you with ways you can find your own accountability partner and
5. Give you tips on how to work best with an accountability partner.
Why an Accountability Partner matters
As mentioned in the intro, an accountability partner refers to someone who helps you stay on track with your goals.
Here are the different applications of accountability partner:
1. In work, you have your immediate superior whom you need to provide progress report for a specific project.
2. In professional career, you meet with previous or current workmates to check in on progress and work on what is need to be done.
3. In most Christian community, you have a small group leader as someone whom you stay accountable in terms of your spiritual walk.
Accountability Partnership works simple – you have a goal in mind —> share it to a friend/sibling/spouse/partner/someone else —> work on it and you keep each other accountable.
Mentor vs. Accountability Partner
A mentor is someone who has way more knowledge and/or experience than you in a specific area and guides you.
An accountability partner works together with you.
He or she may not exactly be knowledgeable and/or experienced in the goal you are reaching for but he or she is more than willing to support you along the way.
Unlike mentorship where you are being coached on how you do what you do, partnership is more of working together.
You have a pact between each other on how you will do what you do and you are called to make sure that both are equally accountable.
How An Accountability Partner Can Help You Meet Your Goals
There are a lot of well-known benefits that accountability partners provide:
An Accountability Partner
1. Motivates You
The journey to achieving one’s goal can be tough.
You miss a deadline, you experience technical issue, you face an emergency situation, etc.
When any of this happens it’s good to have someone to emphasize with you and cheer you up.
Someone who will be willing to encourage you and affirm you is always a good.
2. Helps you stay on track
I thought the challenge was simple and doable.
But, after a month or two I lost track of the goal and I missed weeks of saving.
This is where an accountability partner should have been helpful.
Having an accountability partner will urge you to stay on track.
You have another person to remind you of the actions you should take.
An accountability partner will keep you focused on what matters most so you can reach the goal you always wanted to achieve.
3. Watches over your progress
This is also an important factor why an accountability partner is a must.
You want someone to share problems or distractions you are facing and brainstorm solutions with.
Having someone to watch over your progress and bring new ideas in the table regarding that goal you are aiming for is always much appreciated.
Accountability partners are willing to be “brutally honest” with you.
Provide you with honest feedback whenever necessary.
You don’t want to be surrounded by people who will tell you just what you want to hear every time.
What’s more helpful is a good accountability partner who will point out your mistakes and share to you areas where you can improve.
4. Pushes you out of your comfort zone
According to Eddie Harris Jr., “Comfort zones are where dreams go to die”.
Your accountability partner forces you to go out of your comfort zone and do the very things you don’t normally do.
On your own you may have stopped running 1 km but with someone, you will be more likely to run an extra 500 meters more.
The same goes with any other goal like writing.
You may have set the goal to write 500 words a day and accomplish it for a month straight.
Then, your accountability partner challenges you to double the number of words next.
5. Celebrates with you
Another way accountability partner helps in achieving one’s goal is to celebrate the successes along the journey.
If there’s someone who can say to you “good job” or join you in a celebratory meal after you’ve accomplished your goal wouldn’t that encourage you to set a new goal?
Just imagine a runner who is on his way to the finish line.
He sees someone waiting for him there with a bottle of water and towel ready.
An open arms to catch a tired person after the competition.
What to Look For in an Accountability Partner?
Find someone who will be willing to allot time and attention to you.
Someone who will be able to meet you and spend time to discuss or at least text or call you for a quick check-in.
It is good have an accountability partner that can encourage and motivate you but better if he or she is not afraid to hold you accountable of your action.
Your partner must be able to point out where you are lacking and if you slip, inspire you to recommit to your goal.
It’s important that you trust your accountability partner before, during and even after you have achieved your goal.
Partnership is a relationship once and for all and if there’s no trust in the relationship, it may result to fights and disappointments.
Staying accountable is hard especially if the instruction is not clear enough.
It’s best to work with a clear outline on what needs to get done, the expectations set and others.
Your accountability partner should help you in this.
Someone who could offer insights on how to best be efficient in acing your goal.
It’s best to work with someone who compliments your strengths and weaknesses.
If you get easily distracted or fond of procrastinating, partner with someone who loves to plan and work by the hour.
Your accountability partner should fill in the gaps for you and you should be able to do the same for him or her.
For years, I’ve always wanted to visit Seoul, South Korea.
But, I never really acted on the said goal.
I’ve always had a list of excuses:
- I don’t have a passport
- I don’t have money
- I don’t know where to start researching
- I don’t have the confidence that I can achieve it
Then I met a former colleague of mine who share the same goal as mine to visit the Land of the Morning Calm.
We made each other accountability partners in this goal.
We met and made a plan, we researched for itineraries, visa application procedure, budget, etc.
And we did it.
Last May 2018, we spent 4 days and 3 nights visiting the famous landmarks and K-Drama locations in Seoul.
It was truly an unforgettable experience.
Have I not known Nica and coursed her through the said goal, I will most likely put it on a someday maybe file for years.
Nica helped me a lot because without her I will just procrastinate and do nothing.
Read more here: My Seoul Travel Diary
How to Find Your Own Accountability Partner
If you don’t know where to find an accountability partner, then here are my recommendations:
1. Look at the people close to you
The most common people you should tap as an accountability partner are those close to you.
If you are married, it could be your spouse.
If you are single, it could be your friend or sibling.
As long as they fit on the characters of a good accountability partner, go for it.
2. Join a group related to the goal or niche you are aiming
If you are not as comfortable having a person close to you as an accountability partner then you can go find one by joining groups of the same page as you.
If you are into better stewardship when it comes to time, talent and treasures, then join the SavingsPinay Community on Facebook.
It’s a group where you are free to share your ideas and we can grow together.
3. Attend meetups, workshops or seminars according to your niche.
Another way you can meet an accountability partner is taking part in a meet-up, workshop or seminar near you.
This is a perfect opportunity to network with other attendees, connect with those who share the same vision, goal or plan with you and mention you’re looking for an accountability partner.
4. Download Accountability Apps
If you are still having difficulty finding the right accountability partner to reach out for, try accountability apps instead.
There are plenty of Accountability Apps available now for you to try and download depending on the goal you are working on.
Here are some recommendations:
- For money, I recently found out about Olivia PH. The app works in helping you set up a fund for your specific goal. You start by setting up your own goal then the app will find out how much money you need to set aside per month in order to achieve it.
- If you want to form new habits try Coach.me. It’s an app that helps you reach your goals through coaching and community. You simply add a habit on your dashboard and check in daily for the progress or completion.
- There are also a ton of fitness apps you can download to help yourself stay accountable in reaching that slimmer and more toned body. Apps such as PACT, My Fitness Pal and Sworkit App.
How Achieve Your Goals Fast with Your Accountability Partner
Be clear with your goals
Goals are meant to be specific, measurable, attainable, relative and time-bound.
You can’t reach your destination without defining first where you want to be.
Before you even partner with someone make sure you are clear with your goals.
Here’s the shocking truth:
There’s a big difference between New Year’s Goals and New Year’s Resolutions.
In fact the very reason we fail with our goals and resolutions is because we don’t know the difference.
Guilty din ako dito.
Goals are specific, resolutions are vague.
Goals are what you want to achieve, resolutions are what you want to change.
Here’s an example of a New Year’s Resolution:
Save more money.
Rephrasing the above as a goal would be:
I will save 25% of my take home pay every pay day as part of my savings.
I hope this helps you in setting your goal with your accountability partner.
Pick the right schedule that works for both of you
See to it that the day and time you meet works for both you and your accountability partner.
This goes same with the frequency.
Decide whether you will be meeting weekly, monthly or quarterly to check-in together.
And when you agree to a schedule stick to it.
Try not to change the schedule even the time so it becomes a habit and you’re likely to not to forget the appointment.
Be ready to learn
Come to the meet up with your accountability partner excited to learn.
This attitude will help release confidence and positive atmosphere during the discussion.
Speak out any concerns and issues you are experiencing in the process.
At the same time don’t be afraid to share your opinions or suggestions to what your accountability partner shared.
Be understanding and forgiving
Of course, life happens so it is also important to keep an open heart and open mind during the partnership.
Try to be understanding and forgiving at times when things don’t go in the way you want it to be.
It’s more than okay to be honest
Honesty makes any accountability partnership better.
Try to be direct with your partner when you feel disappointed, discouraged or displeased with what’s happening.
If you think your partners is doing something wrong, missing an important step or already lagging behind, tell it.
You should be able to count on each other to be upfront and honest at all times.
Honesty is also an important aspect when you feel like the partnership is not anymore beneficial on your part.
Sometimes the goal we are working on is not anymore attainable or relevant with the current situation.
Breaking the news with your accountability partner is tough but you have to spill the truth.
Final Notes from SavingsPinay
Accountability partners help in reaching every type of goal.
Even Dave Ramsey shares how two is better than one when it comes to budgeting.
My suggestion for you:
1. Find a small goal you want to achieve before 2018 ends.
2. Share it to your spouse, your sibling or a friend.
3. Ask that person if he or she is willing to hold you accountable in the goal you just brought up.
You have yourself your first accountability partner.
If you are curious on which goals to pursue here are few suggestions:
1. Save Php 10,000 as a baby emergency fund by December 2018.
2. Open an Instagram shop and sell 50% of all second-hand books you own.
3. Join a money saving challenges such as 20-pesos Invisible Money Challenge, 52-week Money Challenge and 1% Money Saving Challenge.
4. Save Php 5,000 as initial investment to a mutual fund.
5. Achieve your ideal weight of N kilos.
If you have difficulty doing it on your own, especially when it comes to your most challenging financial goals, find someone who could keep you accountable.
This may be the answer you are looking for.
It even says Proverbs 15:22 –
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.
Do you have an accountability partner?
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Izza of SavingsPinay helps Filipinos bridge the financial literacy gap one content at a time by providing insights and tips on budgeting, saving, investing, side hustle and growing your net worth. Aside from this blog she also writes at www.izzaglinofull.com, a beauty and lifestyle blog for frugal Pinays and manages, www.izzagevents.com, a wedding and event business since 2011. For inquiries, topic suggestions or future collaborations email her at email@example.com