How to Be An Accountability Partner

Start an accountability partnership on the right foot to help all parties reach their goals

If you're looking for a way to set and achieve clear, focused goals for work, school, or your personal life without falling into the trap of procrastination, then you need accountability. Having someone tracking your actions will ensure you do not deviate from your path, get discouraged, or worse -- abandon your goals altogether.

And if you're a regular reader of this blog, you'll probably already know what an accountability partner is (because we never tire of singing the praises of accountability partners)-- someone who helps their partner set goals for work, fitness, good habits, or whatever else agreed upon. A good accountability partner checks in to review progress on the goals and exchange notes on whether things are going as scheduled, and if there's any space to optimize or make things more efficient. Some important parts of being a good accountability partner are calling it out if you see your partner slacking off -- and providing encouragement and support when needed.

Remember -- a partnership goes both ways. An accountability partnership --no matter what you set it up for -- requires commitment, trust, and a willingness to accept opinions and to work on them.

So if you're ready to commit to this strategy to help yourself and others achieve their goals, learn how to be the best accountability partner your partner can find!

Find a partner for your goal journey!
Find a partner for your goal journey!
Searching for a good accountability partner service? Look no further than Boss as a Service. Our real, human Bosses will hold you accountable to all your goals, and ensure you're making daily progress. Join us today!

How You Can Be a Good Accountability Partner

If you have already found your accountability partner, you need to make sure you start working with the right strategy, so you can best help your friend. Here are some key points to keep in mind as you get going:

Identify your Action Plan (With Patience! Let Them Talk!)

It's more than likely that when you're just starting, you and your accountability partner don't have a game plan ready, even if you have a general idea of your goal. So, sit together to discuss how to get started -- bounce off ideas on your specific goals, how you would break them into measurable tasks and outcomes, and where you need to be held accountable. This will make sure you both start on the right foot.

One of the most important things to remember while making your plan together is to be non-judgemental and encouraging with your partner. Be patient, let them talk, and understand their real goal. Hold off on offering feedback till you fully understand their priorities. Your job at this point is to provide a judgment-free space for them to brainstorm, and plan their goals.

Set SMART Goals Together

Once you know your big goals, it's important to break them into measurable milestones that you and your partner can keep track of. So try to decide on SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, Timebound) goals for each other.

For example, if both of you are trying to create or start up a new business of your own:

Your goal: To complete the paperwork

Your SMART goal: File all legal paperwork within three weeks by completing two forms a day and reviewing and signing one affidavit.

Your partner's goal: To find an office space

Your partner's SMART goal: To find an office space within one month by contacting a realtor and seeing at least three spaces a week.

At this point, a good accountability partner would ensure their partner's goals are SMART to maximize chances of success. Nudge your partner in the right direction where their goal is too high-level or too vague. You can offer feedback and suggestions if your partner is comfortable with that.

Breaking down goals needs some discussion!
Breaking down goals needs some discussion!

Still confused about setting SMART goals? Try our helpful tool, Crunch, here!

Schedule Regular Check-Ins. No Flakiness!

Once you've started working on your goals, stay in touch with your partner while you work on them. Make sure you schedule a meeting or communication as consistently as possible and touch base outside of these if necessary.

At this point, the most important thing is to not be flaky! Be as committed as possible, and your partner should reciprocate the same commitment. But a good accountability partner starts the process by themselves. If you've committed to meeting each other every week, show up! Don't make excuses! Your accountability partner will be inspired by your efforts to do better themselves.

Iterate the Accountability Relationship (Without Blaming your Partner)

As your accountability relationship evolves, make sure you're reviewing all the amazing things that have happened since it started, and the things that need to be worked upon.

At this point, remember to be honest, but also kind. Most partnerships are an ongoing, evolving relationship. Don't expect perfection right off the bat, and don't hold yourself or your partner to such unrealistic standards! Instead, think through everything that needs to be improved, and how your system needs to be tweaked. When you're suggesting these improvements to your accountability partner, make sure to do so in a way that does not apportion blame. Accountability is not a blame game!

Tips for Maintaining a Good Accountability Partnership

Maintaining an accountability partnership is all about putting in the work and commitment. Here's how you make sure you're going about this the right way:

Your Partner has Similar Goals

Now the goals don't have to be the same, but it's good to keep them on a similar wavelength so it's more efficient to check in with each other and measure progress. If your goal is a work project but your partner wants to lose weight, you may not exactly be able to understand how to measure each other's success or provide the essential push where it's needed.

You are Committed to Communication

Consistency is key, and you need to ensure the channel of communication is always open and reciprocated. Don't cancel meetings or leave your partner hanging frequently, and make the effort to reach out even if they do not update you.

Even an occasional check-in coffee goes a long way!
Even an occasional check-in coffee goes a long way!

You are On Top of Deadlines and Reminders

Make sure you've noted down your and your partner's timelines and milestones. Provide reminders of deadlines when they come up, and leave no room for slacking on progress reports!

Don't want to worry about remembering all your deadlines? At Boss as a Service, our human Bosses are here to send daily reminders and make sure you are on track of finishing all your goals, well within time!

You are Honest and Empathetic

Feedback can be critical, but should not invite only negative thoughts. Be firm with your partner but provide the words of encouragement that will motivate them to move forward, rather than dwelling on setbacks or failures.

Your partnership should be a safe space for your partner to share their struggles and failures, so you can both work to overcome them together.

You are Perceptive to Feedback

Just as you provide opinions and advice, you should be able to receive them with positivity. Remember, your accountability partner wants the best for you, so consider any comment or suggestion they give and take them seriously!

You get Along with your Partner

You don't have to be BFFs, but building a friendly relationship outside of check-ins will help both of you feel comfortable and confident to work together and fully accept each other's opinions, ideas, and comments.

So now you know how to be an accountability partner and help others (and yourself) reach your goals!

If You are Still Looking for an Accountability Partner

Haven't found the right person yet? No problem! Here's how you go about looking for your right accountability partner:

  1. As a student or working professional, you'll be surrounded by people with similar goals. So try and build a rapport with a classmate or colleague who may be genuinely interested in developing a system to check the work and share notes.
  2. Scouring through the internet to find accountability partners or groups in the making on social media platforms like Facebook and Reddit, blogs, and other websites has proven to be a strategy that shows great success!
  3. Coworking services like Focusmate can help!
  4. Ask a family member or friend - Mixing personal and professional relationships is not a good idea in most cases, because you don't want the dynamics of one equation to spill over into the other. But if you have a loved one you trust, ask them to keep you accountable.
Accountability can come from anywhere!
Accountability can come from anywhere!

Also, just in case you feel you're not quite ready to be an accountability partner -- but just want to enjoy the real benefits having an accountability partner can bring you -- why not try Boss as a Service?

How BaaS Works as an Accountability Partner

Boss as a Service is an accountability partner service with real bosses ready to help you meet all your goals. We help you set SMART tasks, send daily reminders and check-ins, and make sure you are motivated to keep your progress consistent!

At Boss as a Service, we provide tons of helpful productivity tips and tricks to keep you energized and focused on your goals!

Final Thoughts

Being an accountability partner is a real commitment. But if you have the right person and pledge to go through the partnership with sincerity, you can help yourself and others!

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