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The Accountability Partner

No matter who you are, I’m willing to bet that you, like my clients, friends, and me, could use an accountability partner.

If we’re doing something fun, we always think of bringing company. Shopping, going out for food, going to a show. It’s great to share in the joyful parts of life together.

But I’d argue that we need a partner even more when we’re doing something challenging: an accountability partner.

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER?

An accountability partner keeps you on track. An accountability partner shows up and helps you take care of the things you’ve been putting off. An accountability partner might do your dreaded task with you, or do their own separate dreaded task alongside you.

Here’s a not-at-all-comprehensive list of areas in which an accountability partner can help:

  • Morning workouts. So much easier to follow through when you don’t want to let your partner down!
  • Caring for an ill person. Visiting the hospital with a partner means sharing parking costs, doubling the company you bring to your sick friend, and also having someone with whom to process your worry or sadness after the visit.
  • Learning a language. Many of my clients are learning French, and pairing them up means they’re not just accountable to each other, but they also have someone to practice with.
  • Earning a professional designation or certification. It is so much easier to study, prepare for exams, and attend classes if you have someone in the same boat as you.
  • Finances. Pair up with someone who knows more than you and can point you to great resources and inspire you to keep your own finances in shape.
  • Cooking. Especially for single people—it can be so demotivating to cook for only one person. So have someone come over and prepare multiple meals together to split and freeze for the week. You’ll have fun and eat so much better for it.

My own mysteriously difficult task is going to my art studio. To be clear, I love being at my studio—but for some reason I find it hard to motivate myself to get up every Saturday morning and travel through rain or snow (“Why travel in such bad weather?”) or sunshine (“Can’t I just laze around in my backyard?”) to get there. So I share my studio with an accountability partner, and we meet there every Saturday. Knowing she’s waiting for me forces me to quiet that lazy part of myself and get moving. And then I get the joy of making art alongside a friend every week, which is pretty wonderful in itself. I certainly wouldn’t be making as much art without her.

This may seem like a small tip—until you commit to working with accountability partners for a year and see just how much you get done!

What could you use an accountability partner for?

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