Author: Alena Mokrzycki
Having someone as an accountability partner can be a valuable addition to any goal, especially if you notice that you could use additional external forms of accountability. This can be true whether the goal is new or it is an ongoing one.
Picking the right person as your accountability partner is important, though. Before you pick someone, it may be beneficial to consider the following:
How would you like to communicate?
Examples: text, phone, in-person
Would you prefer to communicate by text, phone, or maybe even in person? Reflecting on which option will fit into your schedule the best can be a helpful place to start. It can also be important to consider which form of communication will provide you with the most motivation. Based on that, you can then reflect on the specific pros/cons of each option to determine which one will be best for you personally (or maybe even a combination).
|Text||quick, to the point, easier to fit into your schedule, can reply whenever||easier to miss/ignore, messages can be miscommunicated or taken the wrong way|
|Phone||can be as short/long as necessary, can hear the person’s voice/tone||have to set aside a specific time when both of you can talk|
|In Person||more one-on-one attention||have to set aside a specific time when both of you can meet and the time to get there|
How often would you like to communicate?
Examples: daily, a few times each week, once each week
If you need daily support from your accountability partner and depending on the form of communication you selected above, selecting someone that you already have more interaction with can be beneficial. For example, it could work out well to select a family member for daily interaction at home, a coworker for daily interaction at work, and a long distance friend/relative for weekly accountability.
You can also adjust the frequency of your check-ins with your accountability partner based on how your goal is going. Having more frequent interactions when you are starting a new goal might be necessary, while fewer interactions might be fine as your goal starts to become more of a habit.
What do you want/need from your accountability partner?
Examples: support, more directness, or something in between
Understanding what you truly want and need from your accountability partner is crucial to consider. Taking the time to reflect on this will enable you to make sure you are selecting someone who matches your needs. If you need someone who is more direct, picking someone who has a close relationship with you and who feels comfortable doing that is necessary. If not, even if the person means well, they might not be able to provide you with the type of motivation that you need. However, that doesn’t mean this person isn’t a good accountability partner. It just means they aren’t the right accountability partner for you personally, which is fine since everyone has different needs!
You can set yourself up for success by taking the time to reflect on these things (it also helps if the person you’ve selected is both willing AND able to provide that support!).
As you reflect on your current or even a future goal, do you feel you could benefit from adding an accountability partner? If so, who do you think would be the best person to ask based on what you want and need?
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