Last time we talked about how you can tell others about your goals, which tends to motivate you. However, you can take it a step further by getting an accountability partner.
Here’s how it works…
You partner up with one other person, perhaps a like-minded friend with similar goals. Then you agree to check in with each other multiple times per week. If needed, you can even check in with each other on a daily basis.
For best results, every time you check in with each other you need to do two things:
1. Tell your partner what you’ve accomplished since you last talked.
2. Tell your partner your goals for tomorrow (or for the next few days). That way, your partner knows what to ask you about when the two of you touch base again.
You can see why this is so powerful. Not only do you have another person who knows about your goals, this person is going to check in with you as often as once a day to ask you what you’ve done to achieve your goals.
If you haven’t done anything to meet your goals, you’re going to feel psychologically uncomfortable telling your partner this. And you certainly can’t lie about what you’ve accomplished, as that too will make you feel uncomfortable. As such, the only thing you can do to avoid this sort of discomfort is accomplish the tasks you said you were going to accomplish. And thus this partnership tends to propel you swiftly towards your goals.
However, in order for this to work you need to choose the right kind of accountability partner. Here are the characteristics to look for:
- Choose a like-minded partner. If you can find someone who’s working towards a similar goal, that’s great. This is because you can not only be accountability partners, you can also become brainstorming and mastermind partners as well.
- Choose someone who’s supportive. Be sure to choose someone who’s 100% supportive of your goals. Avoid naysayers and anyone who says negative things about your goals. If someone says you’re thinking too big, your dreams are unachievable or that you should set a different goal, avoid that person.
- TIP: One way that people tend to sabotage themselves is by purposely (though perhaps subconsciously) choosing poor partners. We’ll discuss self-sabotage as well as how to avoid naysayers in future lessons.
- Choose a partner who won’t let you get away with making excuses. Some people may be extremely supportive of your goals, but they’re also prone to letting you make excuses and rationalize.
Let’s say you tell your accountability partner that you just “ran out of time” today and didn’t finish your goals. The “soft” yet supportive partner may act like a cheerleader and say, “that’s ok, you’ll do better tomorrow.”
You’re not looking for a cheerleader. You’re looking for something closer to a drill sergeant, someone who’ll say something like, “You should have scheduled your work time on your calendar… it’s your fault for running out of time.”
This approach is harsher. It doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy. But it does get you closer to your goals.
That’s it for this time. Next time you’ll find out what to do when you just run out of steam and run out of motivation…