As we are nearing the end of another year, it is a great time to figure out how you can amp up your accountability with yourself. As you reflect back on the year, did you reach all of your goals? If not, it is time to amp up your accountability. One of the best ways to do this is with an accountability partner.As social animals, we feel a responsibility to each other, not as much to ourselves. We don’t want to let people down. By having an accountability partner it helps you achieve a goal that you otherwise would not. A great example of this is if you made a commitment to yourself to go running every day, but you wake up and don’t feel like it. You can make an excuse to yourself and skip the run, but if you have an accountability partner, you are much more likely to get up and go for that run because you don’t want to let them down.
I have found so much more success in both my personal and professional life with accountability partners, so I wanted to share some of what I have learned to help you amp up your accountability in the upcoming new year.
First, think about what you want to improve or really focus on. What is really important to you in the next twelve months. Of these items, what is the thing that you think you may have trouble accomplishing without an accountability partner? This is the thing you will talk yourself out of easily unless you have to answer to someone.
Next, think of a person that would make a great accountability partner for this specific thing. When selecting an accountability partner, there are a few things to consider. Your accountability partner should be non- judgmental, genuinely caring, and should understand that a relapse is part of the process and can help you get back on track without shaming you.
Now that you have your goal it is best to have a discussion with them about the specifics, so for the running example, you may talk about what time you will meet on which days to run. Once you know that, also discuss the method of communication for checking in. Do you prefer a text or phone call to reach each other? As accountability partners, you are there to cheer each other on and help keep each other on track.
To take this to the next level, talk about what to expect from each other. This may include how often you will check in or how you plan to help motivate each other. Be sure to push gently with your partner and not be too aggressive. I have found it is important to give feedback more often than to receive it and to be respectful and kind always. Be consistent. Honor your commitments with your partner and always own your mistakes.
I have a group of amazing accountability partners that have been in my life for decades. We share our big goals and check in with each other weekly to see how we are doing. We make plans together to help us reach our business goals. My business accountability group meets every Friday on Zoom. We are all in different states, so this is the best way for us to connect. Before zoom was a thing, we had a group phone call. We talk over the smaller goals we set each week and how they roll up to our bigger goals. We help each other when we miss the mark and always celebrate each other’s success. I have found much success with having them as accountability partners. We also now hold each other accountable for personal goals and even track each other’s fitness rings on our apple watches. We are great friends and now help each other with all aspects of our lives, take vacations together, and meet twice a year to set our business goals and work through potential obstacles.
Now, it is time to get started, pick your goal, select your partner and get to work. You will be glad you did and will see more success in the upcoming year. Whatever your goal is, an accountability partner will help you amp up your own accountability.
I want to also translate this for dance as I know that as a dancer it would be very helpful to have an accountability partner. Let’s say you want to improve your flexibility, if you selected a teammate to meet you before your class to stretch together, you will be more likely to arrive early and stretch, which will improve your flexibility than if you just told yourself you were going to do that.
This concept can be translated to dance teachers, managers, studio owners, or any other career as well. Remember, when you have to answer to someone else, you don’t want to let them down, so you will show up and do the work more often than you will for just yourself. If you have never done it before, I urge you to give it a try.
Pam Simpson is the founder, president, and driving force behind Forte Arts Center, which was established in Morris, Illinois in 1993. In addition to building her business from a small, one room studio to a large, multi-location organization that offers dance, tumbling and cheer programs as well as private music lessons, Pam is a leading force in the realm of small business ownership in the dance and tumbling industries as she travels all over the country speaking to and educating for large organizations such as Rhee Gold Company, Dance Teacher Summit, and More Than Just Great Dancing. When not working on her businesses, Pam enjoys spending time with her family and visiting her daughter, who is a performer at Walt Disney World.