Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeMotivationHow An Accountability Partner Can Supercharge Your Motivation (With Real-Life Examples)

How An Accountability Partner Can Supercharge Your Motivation (With Real-Life Examples)

So, you want more motivation in your life. Cool. you’re off to a good start. But how do you get more motivation? There’s a simple “hack” that can supercharge your drive toward your goals and ambitions, and that’s to find an accountability partner. It’s ironic… This is a popular concept in the self-improvement world. However, it’s not covered in detail very often. I plan to change that in this article.

Over the years, I’ve had many accountability partners and, as a result, have learned a few ways to make the most of these relationships. In this post, we’ll explore how to find and develop more accountability toward your goals. Keep reading to learn more.

Understanding The Power Of Accountability

In 2007, Gail Matthews (a Psychology Professor at the Dominican University of California) conducted an experiment. She had 267 participants take part in randomized tests regarding goal setting with various conditions. Some of the conditions included participants writing their goals down and developing action plans toward their attainment.

However, there was one group that was asked to do all of that with the addition of one more task: Share their goals with a friend.

According to the study, these participants became significantly more likely to accomplish their goals. In fact, they almost doubled their odds of goal achievement simply by asking a supportive friend to hold them accountable. This is the power of accountability. It can drastically improve your likelihood of achieving your aims in life.

The role of an accountability partner in achieving goals

It can be a struggle to stay on “top of things” when you have big goals and dreams. Sometimes, your own motivation falls short. For this reason, having an accountability partner can be invaluable to your success. An accountability partner is more than just a friend that you share your goals with.

They are your sounding board, the person (or people) who holds your feet to the fire toward the things you want to do in your life. They are another form of incentive to continue pushing forward every day.

This type of relationship has many advantages (which I’ll cover in a moment); however, the most prominent benefit is that it keeps you on the straight and narrow path and helps prevent you from deviating.

Getting started on your journey toward accountability

Your accountability journey begins when you get serious about your goals. Be honest with yourself. How motivated are you toward your aims and ambitions in life? Now, you may argue, “The whole reason I need an accountability partner is to help get more serious about my goals.” That’s putting the cart before the horse.

You first need to get serious about your life. If you’re only making a half-assed attempt to improve yourself, you’ll attract an accountability partner with that same level of “commitment.”

The Benefits Of An Accountability Partnership

Accountability is a game-changer. You’re more likely to follow through on something when someone else is “keeping tabs on you.” But there’s so much more to finding a good accountability partner. Case in point? The photo above. That image is of my friend Charlie and me. I met Charlie in 2017 when I first joined Toastmasters.

Since then, we have run a marathon, trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu in Singapore, lounged at Marina Bay Sands, and are now accountability partners where we hold each other to our future goals and ambitions. This friendship has been among one of the biggest blessings in my life as it has provided numerous advantages such as:

Increased motivation and commitment

I’ve become more adamant about following through on all the deadlines and disciplines I impose on myself. As a result, I feel more confident and self-assured in my ability to get important things done. And a big portion of this motivation comes from the fact that I have to report to the man in the photo above every Sunday afternoon.

If I’m the only one holding myself accountable, it becomes very easy to rationalize (or put off) the things I told myself I’d do. However, I can’t do that when I tell my accountability partners I’m going to do something.

Whether I say I’m going to practice a new habit, take a course for my freelance writing business, or develop a new skill, I have to follow through on what I tell accountability partners (and myself) I’ll do.

Consistent progress toward goals

Every day, I inch a little closer to my goals. One factor contributing to this mentality is that I have accountability partners who won’t tolerate laziness or apathy. You’re well aware that consistency is the key to progress. An accountability partner can help you maintain consistency. I know that’s certainly been the case with myself.

As a result of my accountability partnership, I’ve gained a greater sense of responsibility toward my professional and personal goals. I have more intrinsic motivation, and that’s a huge factor for long-term success in anything.

Constructive feedback and support

My accountability partnerships have enabled me to better receive constructive feedback. We all have blind spots in our lives. An accountability partner will help you see weaknesses that you may currently be unaware of. Granted, this usually happens when rapport and connection are established between the two of you.

I know that was certainly my case with Charlie. He’s helped me see certain aspects about myself that need to be tightened up. Having an accountability partnership can be incredibly introspective at times. Also (and this is a side note), I know that if I need additional support, I have good friends to lean on.

Establishing An Effective Accountability Partnership

accountability partner arsh

Meet Arsh. He and I have been accountability partners for over six months, give or take. He’s a young, hard-working engineer and a go-getter of the highest order. I have so much respect for this guy! Since the beginning, we’ve laid the foundation for how we’ll conduct our accountability partnership. And that step is important.

Why? Because effective accountability can’t be achieved without establishing rules and guidelines for that kind of relationship. The good news is that this is not a difficult thing to do. Here are a few steps to help guide you through the process:

Set clear expectations and goals

Arsh and I established the expectations early on. An accountability partnership is not a regular friendship where you get together occasionally to drink beer and complain about your problems. It’s a solutions-based friendship. We made that clear upfront. As a result, this arrangement has enhanced our growth and development.

How does this apply to you?

Your accountability partnership should be focused on helping one another identify obstacles and take steps to overcome them. This friendship is a sounding board for bouncing ideas off, setting new goals for yourself, and being accountable for the action steps geared toward those objectives.

Create a communication plan and schedule

This step is essential. You need to create a communication plan and schedule with your accountability partner. Decide on a time and date that works for both of you that you can do consistently. The value of an accountability partnership comes from its regularity. It can be any time or date you want. It just needs to be something you both agree on and can do on a consistent basis.

Regular check-ins and accountability appointments

The whole point of an accountability partner is to hold you accountable. It’s a built-in support system. But for it to be effective, you need to have frequent check-ins or meetings to ensure you both remain on course. It doesn’t need to be a constant flood of emails or daily tests—that would be annoying, even distracting.

A 5 or 10-minute weekly call is all you need; even a biweekly call is sufficient. However, you want to have a meeting or accountability check-in at least once every two weeks. Once a week is ideal. But once biweekly is permissible. Here’s how to structure it:

  • Review: When you get on the call, ask your partner how they made out with their commitments over the past week. Practice active listening by genuinely paying attention to their answers. See if they had any difficulties with certain commitments. If they did, then move on to the next step…
  • Dissect: Try to untangle what (if anything) went wrong, and then see if you can brainstorm a few ideas to help streamline the process for next week. In this way, you address challenges
  • Punish: Let’s face it; it’s hard to follow through unless you have an incentive. You need to have some skin in the game if you’re going to take something seriously. It’s human nature; it’s just how we’re wired. So, if your accountability partner fails to follow through on their commitments for the week, assign them a punishment (they get to do the same for you if you fail to follow through). It can be anything. For example, it could be daily cold showers for two weeks, donating $500 to a charity, mowing each other’s lawn for a month, etc. It doesn’t matter… But whatever’s on the line for failing to follow through, it must be sizeable and “painful.”

Choosing The Right Accountability Partner

Having an accountability partner is awesome. However, a couple of questions may come up when you begin marinating on this idea. You may ask yourself, “Where can I find an accountability partner, and what qualities should I look for in this person?” After all, you don’t want “just anyone” to fill this important role—not a chance. Let’s start with…

Where and how you can Find like-minded individuals

So, how can you find the right person to hold you accountable? Look at the photo above; it shows me with one of my accountability partners, Denny. I’ve known this stud since junior high, and we even attended the same high school together. Our lives went in different directions after school. However, we reconnected later in life due to a shared interest in personal growth and development. 

We are members of the same Toastmasters club and connect once a week to discuss our goals and the progress we’re making toward them. What’s the moral of the story? You can find accountability partners anywhere.

Start by looking at your current list of friends—past and present—and seeing what they’re doing.

Are they doing big or interesting things in their lives? Are they accomplishing their goals, making strides in their careers, or trying to level up in some other way? If so, that’s an excellent indicator of someone who can be a great accountability partner. The next step to finding an accountability partner is to get yourself out there. Participate in meetups, events, and activities you love and enjoy.

One of my favorite Self-Help coaches, Coach Corey Wayne, says, “People who like the same things tend to like each other.” I couldn’t agree more. You have to surround yourself with like-minded individuals by attending events, joining clubs, and doing activities where people who share your interests can be found.

Identifying your personal needs and preferences

What type of person can best fill this role based on your own needs and preferences? For example, do you want someone who is direct and gives it to you straight? Or would you prefer somebody who empathizes and relates to you to help you make (and stick to) the changes you’re imposing on yourself?

Decide on the outset what works for you. But regardless of your preferences, there are a few character traits your accountability partner should possess. They are the following:

  • Goal-oriented
  • Solution-focused
  • Empathetic
  • Trustworthy
  • Personal integrity
  • Fair and respectful
  • Honest and reliable

Look for these traits in your prospective accountability partner. These qualities are the driving forces for any self-directed, success-oriented person, so you should consider them necessities. But here’s the caveat… You can’t expect these qualities in a friendship with another person unless you first possess them within yourself.

Therefore, it’s essential you adopt these traits as your own before expecting or demanding them from someone else.

What’s Next? Supercharge Your Motivation With An Accountability Partner Today

Self-improvement can be a lonely journey. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. Find others who are on the same path, who share similar goals and values, and who appreciate you as a person. That should be your standard—not just for an accountability partner but for anyone you give the privilege of allowing into your life.

If you want additional self-improvement tips, tricks, and tactics, be sure to sign up for The Motivated And Disciplined Newsletter below.

accountability partner

Sign Up For The Motivated And Disciplined Newsletter

Receive Breakthrough Personal Development Tips Proven To Help You Build Discipline And Achieve Your Ambitions

We don’t spam!

Sign Up For The Motivated And Disciplined Newsletter

Receive Breakthrough Personal Development Tips Proven To Help You Build Discipline And Achieve Your Ambitions

We don’t spam!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Latest posts