How To Find An Accountability Partner

Why you need an accountability partner, and the best ways to find one!

The post-pandemic world is different. Remote working (and maybe even self-employment) is the new norm. While remote working is probably the most amazing innovation since Nutella in many ways (does anybody want to spend 2 hours a day commuting?), it does have a few drawbacks, specifically for your productivity. Not everyone thrives productively while working alone.

Some people miss working alongside like-minded individuals or those that challenge them to be better. Also, working by yourself can also make you prone to procrastination, which we know is the bane of productivity. And, without constant feedback and support, you're more likely to get discouraged or give up when things get tough or boring.

But it doesn't have to be that way! And you definitely don't have to choose between the devil's alternative of working on your own and being not-so-productive and having to go in to work and waste time, money, and effort on travel, logistics, and too many meetings.

All you need is a bit of accountability to keep you on track.

Now, internal accountability -- where you make goals and promise yourself to fulfill them -- is sometimes all we need to stay motivated and get us over any slump we're facing. But internal accountability alone may not carry us across the finish line. Sometimes we need a bit of external accountability as well -- very similar to what you get in a regular work environment. People who're depending on you to come through, a certain level of supervision, and accountability scaffolding, to make sure you're giving your best.

What you need to do is find an accountability partner!

Want an accountability partner who will push you, encourage you and hold you accountable to your fitness goals? The simplest way is to join Boss as a Service!
Accountability Partners - for motivation, momentum and the occasional reality check

Why You Need an Accountability Partner

According to research on accountability by the American Society for Training and Development, the probability of a person completing a task goes up with every accountability action they take:

  • If they have an idea or a goal: 10%
  • If they "consciously decide" to do it: 25%
  • If they decide "when" they will do it: 40%
  • If they "plan how" to do it: 50%
  • If they "commit to someone" that they will do it: 65%
  • If they have a "specific accountability appointment with a person they’ve committed to" : a whopping 95%

The stats speak for themselves!

An accountability partner helps in productivity in many ways:

They keep up motivation and discipline

When someone's around and watching, people are less likely to abandon an important task to procrastinate or start working on less important things.

They instill honesty

It's far more difficult to lie to yourself and others about what progress has been made if someone is in a position to verify it.

They challenge you

When working by yourself, it's easy to get bogged down in a routine and stop asking questions on whether there's actual progress and growth happening. Sometimes, you need someone asking you those tough questions! Having someone to share notes with ensures that you don't get complacent.

They provide a support/feedback system

Sometimes things just don't work, no matter how they're approached. When in the middle of a scenario where things are going awry, stepping back to see the big picture isn't always easy. But if someone's already around as an independent observer, they might provide feedback and a different perspective. If nothing else, it's always nice to have a shoulder to cry on when the going gets tough!

They help track progress

Getting better, achieving a goal, change -- these are long-term things. Rome wasn't built in a day! Sometimes, as you're neck deep in the daily grind, it's difficult to see what progress you've made -- or if you've made any progress at all! But it's important to mark your milestones, and more importantly, celebrate them, to keep your own motivation up and momentum going. An accountability partner can show you how far you've come in your journey, just when you could use the pick-me-up!

What makes a good accountability buddy

Before we see how to find an accountability partner, it's important to understand what qualities an accountability partner should ideally have. This doesn't just mean figuring out what you want in an accountability partner, but also how you can be a good partner yourself.

What you should look for in an accountability partner


At the least, a good accountability partner needs to be focused, committed, and punctual to any scheduled time you have together. That makes sense -- after all, procrastination can be contagious, and you want you and your accountability partner to help you stay accountable and raise each other up. You don't want to spend time procrastinating together and watching the Office!


Focusing on your own progress gets even tougher when you have someone constantly trying to rush you or showing negative reactions to how you approach your work. A calm presence is always more helpful than an impatient one.

Support and encouragement

When you're going through a tough time at work or personally, having a sympathetic ear can make a real difference. And if you're feeling nervous or hesitant about something, a bit of positive reinforcement will go a long way. Try to find an accountability partner who's genuinely interested in your journey.

Provides challenges

An accountability partner can also be a coach or mentor of sorts, pushing you to think bigger and aim higher than you are doing when the situation demands it.

What You Should Do As An Accountability Partner

Figure out your goals

You should partner up with someone only after you know what you want to be working on. What's important to you right now? Are you working on a savings goal? Or are you working on fitness? If they have ideas and are ready to go, but must wait for you to catch up, chances are the system won't start well.

Find your accountability level

Do you want a system that just holds you to your goals, or are you looking for someone to discuss, chat and share ideas and notes with, like a work friend? You need to make sure that all the participants are on the same level and page as you about this.

Find your type of buddy

Do you feel more comfortable working with a friend or with a stranger, like in a coworking space? Note the pros and cons of both options.

Fix your time commitment

The time you're willing to give your accountability buddy should match their expectations as well. The point is to work together, so the hours and energies must be in sync. Set expectations clearly -- who will do what? How will you report updates?

Set a strictness level

What do you want your accountability partner to do, when you start flaking on your goals and commitments? Whether you just want someone to let you do your thing or someone who will call you out if they see you slacking, you need to discuss that beforehand for a smoother work experience.

Understand what you have to offer

Discuss whether you're willing to do for your accountability partner what they need in terms of productivity.

Here's more on how you can be a good accountability partner.

Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

How to find an accountability partner

Finding accountability partners is never as easy as just walking down the street and asking someone, "Hey, want to watch me code for two hours?" But with productivity tools and platforms gaining more popularity as people work independently, there are a few avenues to find accountability partners:

Hire a Boss - a perfect accountability partner

While we're admittedly biased, we do believe this is the quickest and possibly best way to find the right accountability partner! At Boss as a Service, we match you with a personal "Boss" who will ensure you're being productive and on track to your goals!

Work gatherings/networking opportunities

Most companies and industry groups have events that allow people to connect with each other. You may find one or several people who are also looking for someone to work with.

If you want to work on a personal goal or habit, rather than a work-related one, lots of hobby groups have meetups too, where you can find a supportive community to connect with. The same goes for breaking bad habits – if you want to stop eating junk food, for example, there are communities and support groups devoted to healthy living, where you might meet someone who might be a good fit for you. Such a community might serve as an accountability group as well.

Social media/online groups

If you think you need more of a virtual accountability partner, look for online communities related to your goals or interests. Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter all have different groups and pages related to just about any topic or subject, and you may find someone interesting enough to build working relationships with. Check out subreddits or Facebook groups for people in the relevant field.

Accountability apps

These are not exactly accountability partners, but check our productivity/anti-procrastination apps like Beeminder, Stickk, and TaskRatchet. They make you commit to a goal, a deadline and pay if you don't follow through -- thus keeping you focused and on the right path! Find the right accountability partner app for you, and things get easier.

Then there are also goal-setting apps, progress-tracking apps and coaching platforms to check out for a more customized experience. Want to know more about these? Check out some of our other blog posts on accountability here.

Virtual coworking: Focusmate pairs people online from any part of the world, to work together online, so that each of them can get their work done in a focused atmosphere.

Focusmate - Virtual Coworking 

Ask a friend / family member

What you might think is the most obvious option is at the end because we think this rarely works. Friends and family sound like great accountability partners only in theory, because sometimes the relationships are too full of personal experiences or complications to let in productivity. And if they are fortunately not so, why risk changing the equation?

If you'd rather skip the search for an accountability partner, try Boss as a Service! It takes a minute to sign up!

Making the accountability partnership work

You've found the right accountability partner for you, awesome! But the whole accountability journey doesn't end here. Rather, just like any other relationship, there are some things you need to do to create an accountability partnership and keep it sustainable:

Check if you have similar goals

This doesn't necessarily mean the goals have to be completely alike, but they should be complementary. It would be difficult to navigate a partnership where one person's goal is to finish a research paper while the other wants to exercise more. It needs to match in terms of intention and logistics.

Take it one step at a time

Even if you've found the right person or platform, don't try to begin working on all your life goals at once with them. Choose one thing to work on, see how the system goes, have success, then ramp it up gradually.

Keep up the commitment

It's natural for the progress to slow down once the initial novelty wears off, but that doesn't mean the spark is gone. Keep your commitment to the process intact, and growth will happen.

Keep your meetings and check ins consistent

Training yourself to anticipate a full afternoon of work with your accountability buddy automatically improves your energy and focus levels, ultimately shutting out all distractions.

Try to establish a habit of checking in

Even if you and your accountability partner are not besties, checking on each other's work and progress will help build a more positive atmosphere for both people.

On the other hand, if you're using an accountability app, check in with yourself--see whether the progress on the app reflects how you're really doing, and whether you're in a good place.

Work on communication

This is more if you're with someone else--communication is a two-way street. Your style might be giving feedback in a brutally honest way, but if theirs is more indirect, that doesn't make it wrong. Keep talking till you reach a communication style that's good for both of you.

Accept support / feedback

Even if you haven't asked for it, getting external accountability includes allowing outside perspectives. Take it constructively and see how you can work on it.

Focus on positive reinforcement

Again, this is a subjective preference -- some people think they work better under pressure and consequences, but since this is also a social relationship, positive reinforcement will always work better.


Every now and then, iterate, think about how it's been going, discuss with the other party and adjust your system accordingly.

Work to improve yourself

Understand the other person's comments on what you can do better. Or, if they provide good examples you'd like to emulate, think of it as friendly competition to see who can go about the approach better.

Make note of their commitment

See if your partnership is really working as a two-way street and if you're getting what you want out of it.

Do not put up with flakiness

If your partner is consistently flaky without good reason, put a stop to the relationship. It's not going to work.

If it's simply not working

If you've realized that your current accountability partner is just the wrong person for you, that's completely okay. Politely end the accountability partnership and evaluate what you want to do next to help your productivity.

How BaaS Works as an accountability partner

At Boss as a Service, you can hire a boss - the perfect accountability partner!

Why is this better than partners that you can find among your friends, family and work group? Read on!

No need to worry about where to find an accountability partner!

Let's be honest, it's really difficult to find a reliable accountability partner who will not forget the whole arrangement in a few days. And it's awkward to go around asking people online or in real life to help you with this. Not to worry, this is exactly what we do, and signing up takes less than a minute.

No need to worry about complementary goals!

At BaaS, our main goal is to get your goals achieved -- so whatever it is you want to do, our work together will focus on that. No need to find the right path with someone with similar goals, or worry about what you can contribute and how to hold the other person accountable--that's our job. You just focus on your goals!

No need to worry about flaky accountability partners!

This is the most difficult, annoying part of finding accountability partners. Everybody is enthusiastic in the beginning. For the first week, everybody starts with great energy, and you feel like you're getting somewhere. But the problem is, the system is only as strong as the weakest link. The moment your accountability partner starts flaking, or making excuses, or forgetting to check in, the system starts to crumble. You lose the sense of accountability that's necessary to keep you going. In a few days, the entire structure is in shambles. Nobody is going to the gym, and everybody is subsisting on a diet of pizza and Doritos. And also, everybody studiously avoids each other out of embarrassment. Quietly and ignominiously, the accountability partner plan dies.

Thankfully, you don't have to go through this when you join Boss as a Service.

We'll keep you honest: Our bosses work with proof -- so you can't get away with slacking off! We'll make sure the work is actually getting done and bug you till it isn't.

We'll help establish a routine: Progress can never be piecemeal, so we'll help you set a good, consistent routine to ensure work is being handled.

We'll keep you motivated/challenged: Our main philosophy is positive reinforcement, so we'll make sure each task is started with a good, focused mindset. We also have tons of tools and techniques for introspection and encouragement in-built in our system to keep motivation and productivity at a good level!

And, with our periodic challenges, we also give you a chance to gamify your goals and indulge in a competition with yourself.

No need to teach your accountability partner how to use the apps you use!

If you have a productivity ecosystem already set up, and you've recruited your friend who doesn't use Trello, or Beeminder, or Todoist, you know the pain. You either have to start using whatever apps they use, and change your workflow, or ask them to do the same for you.

With Boss as a Service, you can stick to your current workflow and favorite apps! We're not automated and run by real human beings, so your Boss can work with you on almost every app out there -- plus, we have an integration with Beeminder.

No need to ruin your relationships!

We think asking your family member or close friends to be your accountability partner is a horrible, very bad, disastrous idea. No, seriously, just don't do it. What happens is usually this:

  • They see that you're being lazy, but don't want to call it out because, well, they like you and they don't want to hurt your feelings.
  • When they do call it out, you get upset with them because it's hurtful coming from someone close to you, and easy to misinterpret as an attack. Sometimes it might escalate into an argument.
  • Honestly, they can't win in this scenario; so don't put them in this awkward situation!

A professional accountability partner works much better -- there's enough distance that you don't interpret feedback as a personal affront. Plus you hired us to call you out!

Final Thoughts

Finding the right accountability partner can really make or break your goal. Find someone you can grow with, and working towards your goals becomes that much more fun!

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