Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Why Have an Accountability Partner?

I have previously written about accountability partners, but as that was over three years ago, and as this is such a key concept in any personal development strategy I make no apology for doing so again.

If you have a full-time job let me ask you something.  Why do you bother going to work each and every work day?  Why don't you just stay at home on days you don't feel like going to work?  I hope your answer was that you are morally bound to do so, that if someone is paying you to do something then it is a moral imperative to do it!  But there is also probably another answer - you have to keep going because you are accountable to your boss.  If you just decide you won't turn up because the weather is nice and you want to sunbathe in your garden, then probably your boss will question you about this (at the very least!).

If you run your own business then maybe you feel there is nobody to whom you are accountable?  This is not really the case, though, is it!  Your accountant works for you rather than vice versa, but I imagine when you meet with your accountant and discuss what has happened over the year you feel accountable.  You are also accountable to your suppliers.  If you just decide not to turn up and your business goes downhill, you still have to pay your bills, so you are certainly accountable to them.  It is true, though, that this kind of accountability is not quite the same.  You probably don't get words of encouragement for doing the right thing or suggestions that you may be going in the wrong directions - although if you have a good accountant then perhaps you do get this.

If you are studying, then you are accountable to your teachers or lecturers.  They expect you to arrive in time for your lessons and to be fully prepared to learn.  They expect you to do work in between the lessons, and make you accountable for this, perhaps by handing in an essay.  If you have "off" days when you really don't feel like going in, you probably still go anyway - because you are accountable.  Sometimes you may feel you simply aren't making progress and that you might as well give up - but even then you still put in the effort because you are accountable, and the feeling that what you are trying to do is impossible passes.

The truth is, if we have someone to whom we are accountable this almost certainly makes us do what needs to be done.  It makes the employed person get up early every day no matter whether he or she feels like doing so.  Perhaps most days this is simply a habit you don't think twice about, but on those days when you don't want to get on with it then this accountability makes sure you do!

Hopefully you now recognise just how important accountability is.  That it keeps you going, keeps you on target, makes you achieve what you need to achieve even at those times when you really don't feel you can.

Now let me ask you.  Who is your accountability partner for the goals you wish to achieve?  Do you have one?  If not, why not?

Some people at this point tell me they don't have a partner because they don't need one.  Usually they are deceiving themselves.  We all have days when it just seems too much of a challenge.  We have days when we find we are going backwards rather than forwards.  Those are the days we really need an accountability partner to keep us going.

Others tell me that although they would like to have an accountability partner they cannot find the right one.  Certainly it is true that it shouldn't just be anyone.  It has to be someone who will be positive, and certainly not the kind of person who says "I told you so!" when you pull up at the first hurdle.  You should be surrounding yourself with people who are positive and will support you in going for your dreams.  You need those people around you anyway, not just to have accountability partners, but this is certainly the first place you should look.  But if you haven't yet made much headway in creating that "mastermind group" of like-minded people, there are certainly other ways of finding an accountability partner.  For example, go to a forum that is related in some way to whatever goals you have set yourself and ask someone to do an "accountability exchange".  They will be your accountability partner for your dreams in exchange for you doing the same for theirs.  You should find this a very positive experience.  Many people who do this find they become inspired by the goals of their accountability partner and the way their partner works through the barriers stopping him or her from reaching them.

Give it a go!  Get yourself an accountability partner and see what a difference that makes to your ability to make your dreams become your reality!

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