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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Are You Accountable?

In honor of doing my very first podcast last week (woo hoo!) on the topic of Accountability Partners, I’ve decided to devote this blog to the topic of accountability partnerships and being held accountable for our goals in general. Get more info about the podcast below, which I did with my real-life accountability partner, Ana Ottman, from Creatuitive Coaching.

For starters, do you know what an Accountability Partner is? Have you heard this term before? Basically, just like it sounds, an Accountability Partner is someone who holds you accountable for achieving your goals and dreams! You meet with them regularly (usually weekly or bi-weekly), and they help support you and keep you on track in making progress towards those things you are trying to achieve. You can meet with them in-person, over email, or on the phone, but the key is consistency and meeting with them regularly to keep them updated on your progress.

I know when I was completing my ebook , having an Accountability Partner was a huge reason I finished it when I did! Knowing that I would be meeting with Ana and reporting to her on what I had accomplished since the last time we met was a huge motivating factor for sitting my butt down and finishing my book. It was especially motivating on those days when it was 80 degrees and sunny outside and the last thing I wanted to do was stay inside and type away on my computer! No matter how motivated and excited you may be to accomplish a certain task you’ve set for yourself, I know first-hand how difficult it can be when you're distracted by the TV, your family and friends, the phone, social invitations, the weather, etc., not to mention those pesky little voices that sneak into your head and tell you you're not good enough, you'll never get this done, and on and on and on. Can you relate?

If you don't already have one, having an Accountability Partner could be the step you've been missing all along. Trust me, not wanting to appear "lazy" or "not serious about your goals" in front of another person can be a HUGE motivating factor to take steps you might not normally prioritize high on your to-do list. If you know you're going to be checking in with a partner regularly, there's a very high chance you will take action rather than run the risk of looking bad in front of the other person! Like it or not, winning other peoples' approval is still something most of us continuously strive for.

One of my friends on Twitter, @vibejourney, listened to the podcast and thought that Inspiration or Visionary Partners was a better term for this, and I tend to agree! Although Accountability Partners are in place to hold you accountable for doing what you say you will, I think the best partners are the ones who do so much more. For me, I think it’s also extremely important to find someone who will provide you with support, motivation, inspiration, and guidance, in addition to giving you a gentle but firm nudge if you get off track and need help finding your way back. It can also be helpful, although not necessary, to have a partner who's in a similar field as you so they can give you advice and suggestions based on their own experience. Most importantly, you want to find someone who can serve as a sort of cheerleader for when you finally experience success and your dreams come true! In essence, these individuals are there to inspire you and help you along your journey to creating the vision you have for yourself and your life.

I’m curious, have you used Accountability Partners before and if so, what was your experience like? Also, which term do you like better, Accountability Partners or Inspiration/Visionary Partners? I'd love to hear your responses below!

To hear the podcast and learn more tips about selecting the right person to be your accountability partner, as well as how to address any potential issues that may arise, go here.

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