Accountability is a business ran best with more than one interested party. We’ve all made a million tiny to major promises to ourselves in moments when we’re 100% committed to those promises. But what happens to most of those promises that we don’t share with at least one other person? They fall by the wayside. We let ourselves off the hook.
If we’re talking total wellness and quality of life, we really can’t afford to let ourselves off the hook. One way to stay on top of your wellness game is to find an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who shares your same mindset, understands your strengths and weaknesses, values you for who you are and builds you up and brings you back to reality. They help you get unstuck when you’re in a challenging spot, remind you of your commitment and echo your goals and shine light on new directions that might not be obvious to you.
An accountability partner could be someone in your close circle, but often the best partners need only have a main goal in common and a mutually established bond of deep trust. When it comes to wellness, I have an accountability partner. Her name is Amanda. We have shared goals around wellness and we show up for each other. But that’s only the beginning.
A Journey of Accountability
We started our accountability journey three years ago. Along the way, we’ve kept it fun, interesting, creative and real. We have a ways that we check in with each other –semi-annually through vision boarding and goal setting, monthly through in-person coffee meetings to set calendar check-ins to take action, weekly through emails and goal tracking and daily through texting, voice texting and phone calls.
We’ve also gotten into a routine for our action items so no one goal is left untouched for too long. The things that we track related to wellness include our personal and physical wellness goals and our financial goals. We ask things like Are you doing your exercises prescribed by your chiropractor? Are you setting aside time for morning meditation? Are you setting aside earnings so you can take that trip you’ve been working so hard for? Hmmm?… Now that’s holistic accountability!
We bring up tough questions, challenge each other and continually make every attempt to bring our best selves forward. We’ve been able to model the purpose for accountability partners and as we co-founded Empowering All Wellness two years ago, we brought that vision with us.
Accountability in Action
So what does accountability look like in action? In its most valuable function, it enables us to push through the absolute toughest challenges that are in front of you on the road to achieving your goals.
For example, in an early 2017 vision board session, I told Amanda that I wanted to fearlessly reach out to new connections and build my business. During monthly check-ins, she’d ask just how that was going. I’d have some excuse about being too busy that month and that I’d be able to focus on it the following month, you know, when things slow down. In reality, slowing down may happen to some degree, but when it did I was filling that time with other ancillary business tasks.
Was I quite possibly avoiding being fearless? YES! So mid-year came that heart-to-heart where I could no longer downplay my lack of action. It wasn’t lack of time that was my issue, it was fear and lack of direction to get out of my comfort zone, even though I desperately wanted to. She listened openly and extended her time and a genuine offer to sit down face-to-face and help me get at the root of the issue. I accepted. As a result, she truly pulled me out of my hesitancy and into action. A few months later, I can say that I look forward to those monthly calls asking me about my outreach to new connections.
From Amanda’s perspective, here’s what she had to say: The best part about having Jen as an accountability partner is that she knows my goals, my weaknesses, and my biggest potential pitfalls. I feel comfortable sharing my fears and concerns without being judged. That’s key to any accountability partnership. When I have those days that I just can’t seem to motivate myself to do what I planned to do, I receive her phone call or text on what she has done and it pushes me to take action. I have come to realize that having her as an accountability partner forces me to be specific.
For example, being specific when I share my plans for the upcoming week provides me with the clarity I need to move ahead. Plus, she gives me a swift kick in the rear from time to time. Having someone to remind me of what I’m working towards is priceless. However, I do need to be prepared for a little harsh reality check once in awhile when I’m not doing what I said I would do. A reminder to all your readers that if you aren’t willing to give and take that kind of push, then your accountability partner venture may not work. You need to be okay with being pushed out of your comfort zone to grow!
Find Your Accountability Partner
We encourage you to find your own accountability partner in wellness or whatever goal you’re striving to achieve. Having a partner will help you treat your personal mission like a business. They will be the voice of reason and hold your feet to the fire. Both of these tasks are especially important when you’re your own boss because who doesn’t have the tendency to let themselves off the hook occasionally?
Supportive accountability works. Not to zap all of the fun out of your life, but if you run your personal and professional goals like a leisurely activity void of accountability, any success will most likely be short-lived. Run these aspects of your life like a profitable, goal-oriented business with checks and balances, deadlines, risks and rewards, and it can sustain you for a lifetime.
This post can also be viewed at Shannon Miller Lifestyle here and is a result of a collaboration between Shannon Miller Lifestyle and Empowering All Wellness.