In my most recent newsletter (sign up here), I talked about New Year’s resolutions and some tips
for sticking with your goals. One thing I touched on briefly was accountability partners, and I
want to dive a little deeper into how you can find and be a great partner.
One example that I have heard many times, and have also dealt with, comes when I make a goal
of going swimming at the gym more regularly. A friend, we will call her Susan for this example, will call me and
ask to hang out later that day. “I wish I could, but I have plans to swim during that time. Maybe tomorrow we
can,” Susan responds,“No! Let’s go out for Happy Hour! You need girl time and will feel glad you said yes!”
Pause – let’s take a minute to reflect on how Susan is helping me. You can argue this both ways.
Susan may have the best intentions; she wants to see me, and she wants me to have fun. We all
need a break now and then, but I am trying hard to stick to my resolution. When it comes
to finding the right fit for an accountability partner, it is essential to find someone who has the vision to see
your goal in the long-term. Yes, there are times when you will need to indulge yourself and step
away now and then, but you don’t want someone who
continually tries to capitalize on brief moments of weakness. For every time that
they get you to ditch your swim session and do something else, they should be reminding you of your
long-term vision five times more. An excellent accountability partner will be there to tell you, “You
will feel better after you swim, you always do!” That is the kind of support you
need and deserve when it comes to making goals and seeing them through.
The people in your circle who want to see you succeed and be happy are going to respect your goals
and be supportive. Accountability partners wish for each other to thrive, whatever their purpose might be. They are inspirational and motivating and great at holding you accountable because they can separate their desires from something you are working hard to
achieve. They will have goals that you will support as well; It’s give and take – learning how to balance putting yourself first while still being mindful of your accountability partner and their needs.
Stay mindful of the people who are dismissing or discouraging your goal altogether.
Maybe they are negative and don’t understand the importance of
something you want to do. You deserve love and support.
Many times throughout my life I have had encounters with friends who can be dismissive. I don’t even think it was deliberate. Some people are wired this way and talk to everyone without understanding. I don’t like being alone all these years. The response may be “Why do you worry about being in a relationship?” “I’m not worried,,” “I would just like to add the happiness of sharing my life with somebody.” Then the discouragement carries on, “Well, you aren’t meant to be in a relationship. Maybe you are supposed to be out there helping people instead.” How disheartening, and it lowers your motivation. Not everyone can be our cheerleader it’s a unique role in friendship. They are not what you need as an accountability partner to nurture and support you in the ways you deserve to bring your goals to fruition. They are the friends who are perfect to do general activities together and have lighter conversations with them.
Trust your intuition and the little voice in your head. There is a part
of you, that just knows who is going to help you, and who isn’t.
You already know who inspires you, who lights you up and makes you excited when you are
sharing new ideas with them. It doesn’t sound like they are just telling you what you want to
hear; it’s just this instant flow of communication where you can genuinely feel that they just get you
and want you to succeed. They encourage you in accomplishing at having your hopes and dreams come true. Most of all, you respect and support them as well!