You have great ideas but never seem to get started. You know what you need to do but aren’t doing it. You spend time switching between projects and tasks and to-dos but never really seem to get anything finished. You think to yourself, “Someday I’ll get it all together so I can do what I really want to be doing.”
I know, I used to be that way too.
But recently I’ve been on fire. Okay not literally, but in the getting Big stuff done that I’ve always wanted to do way.
A Trusted Accountability Partner = Phenomenal Results
In the past eight months, I’ve doubled my blog subscribers, delivered a standing ovation worthy TEDxAnchorage talk, published three articles in Alaska Magazine, delivered a presentation at the Women in Aviation Conference, completed a marathon length ski race, and started my first side-business (BLAST).
Pretty freaking phenomenal.
Sure, I may have *eventually* done
all some of those things but not in eight months.
How did I do it?
I’ve had an accountability partner. That’s it. Just one person I talk to on a regular basis.
How to Work with an Accountability Partner
Each week Kurt and I send each other a list of goals. Then the next week we discuss what we accomplished and what we didn’t. We brainstorm ways to overcome obstacles. We celebrate our successes. He nudges me to consider what I haven’t considered. He helps me practice asking for scary things (my first paid speaking fee) as if it were as simple as stating my shoe size. We talk about our “why” to keep our focus on what matters.
Encouragement, support, and a commitment to someone else to take action. It is incredibly simple and yet it feels magical. This is the power of an accountability partner.
There have been a few weeks this summer where fishing, hiking, and spending time with friends has trumped my to-do list (Life balance: A+. Goal list: C-) and I’m perfectly okay with that.
Kurt seems to know that giving me a hard time doesn’t help at all (I’m always hardest on myself) but I also know he might chuck an Altoid at me if I were to really fall off the radar.
Checking in weekly will you give enough frequency to keep up the momentum while providing time to get things done. But there is no “right way” to work with your accountability partner, just find a system that works for both of you.
The Superhero-Sized Power of an Accountability Partner
- Goals written are goals achieved. Yes, that is an oversimplification but writing your goals down causes two things to occur: you clarify your goals and you commit. Research by Matthews found that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals.
- Creates a structure for reviewing goals on an ongoing basis. Each time you talk to your accountability partner you are carving out time to review what you have accomplished (or haven’t and why). Before working with accountability partner, I rarely took the time to reflect on my goals.
- Provides a sounding board. An accountability partner can act as a sounding board for you to get feedback and thoughts on your ideas. Often talking though something is all you need to help you determine the next step.
- Fosters motivation. We know that inspiring people inspire. Seeing others accomplish their goals is fuel for our own motivation.
- Acknowledge success. In our culture we often don’t feel comfortable talking about our successes but acknowledging your success builds momentum. An accountability partner will give you the opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments.
- Helps work through resistance. Whenever you take on a big project you’ll experience resistance. An accountability partner will be there to support you as you work through it.
Having an accountability partner will help you prioritize your time, stay focused, and foster success. You’ll be amazed with your own phenomenal results.
I’m such a believer in the power of having an accountability partner that I’ve set up the Big Life Accountability Support Team (BLAST) as a program to help you achieve your own Big Life. Right now the program is being tested by a group of committed founding members (read rock stars). If you’d like to hear more about BLAST when the next group is available, sign up here.
What are the phenomenal results you’ve been achieving? Share in the comments.
Photo credit: Organic Mind