by Colin Butler
Vertex Education Ambassador, Fitness
Part 1 of 2
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Life happens and derails even the best intentions with our goals. Old habits can be hard to break, and new habits can be harder to start. Sometimes we need a little bit of help to keep us going and to hold us accountable. Enter your accountability partner, a.k.a. an accountabilibuddy.
An accountabilibuddy is someone who holds you accountable for sticking with not just your goals, but the steps it will take to achieve these goals. They are there to celebrate your progress and help you back up when you falter. They are there to not let you use excuses as a crutch!
Find the right accountabilibuddy
There are pros and cons to choosing someone already in your inner circle versus a more casual acquaintance.
Benefits of having a spouse, friend, or family member as your accountabilibuddy:
- Convenient interaction due to regular contact or communication.
- Familiarity with your strengths and weaknesses, leading to valuable feedback.
- Ability to provide inspiring and motivating words tailored to your needs.
- Knowledge of your goal history, allowing for relevant recommendations.
- Strengthening the bond and maintaining contact through mutual accountability.
- Pre-existing trust between you and your partner.
There are potential downsides to consider:
- Leniency to avoid hurting your feelings, depriving you of necessary tough love.
- Feedback could be taken personally or feel like nagging, leading to undesired tension.
- If your partner doesn’t need accountability themselves, the dynamic might feel one-sided.
- Being open and vulnerable about struggles, especially involving your partner, might be challenging.
Benefits of connecting with a more casual acquaintance:
- Less history reduces the likelihood of taking things personally.
- The relationship can grow alongside your goals, potentially leading to a strong friendship.
- Emotional distance may make it easier to be vulnerable with them.
- Explaining your goals to a new person may help you better understand your challenges.
- Fresh perspectives can emerge from someone different from your usual circle.
Acquaintances come with drawbacks also:
- Establishing trust and familiarity requires time and effort.
- Knowing how to best motivate each other might be challenging with limited knowledge of one another.
- You might not feel as invested in their progress compared to someone you know well.
- The sense of responsibility may be lessened when interacting with someone you do not know as well.
Having an accountabilibuddy can be a powerful tool for achieving your goals and making positive changes in your life. Whether you choose someone close to you or an acquaintance, the key is to find a supportive and caring individual who genuinely wants to see you succeed. Regardless of who you choose, open communication and managing expectations is critical.
- Explain your goals and the importance of accountability.
- Be clear about your needs and boundaries and ensure that both of you feel comfortable expressing your struggles and challenges.
- Specify the type of support you need: such as tough love, advice, etc.
- Establish the frequency and mode of check-ins.
- Setting boundaries to avoid uncomfortable situations during accountability discussions.
- If differences in values or vision might become apparent, you both may need to be prepared to find a new accountabilibuddy.
If an accountabilibuddy sounds like a good fit for you, go find them! Celebrate each other’s wins and lift each other up during setbacks. Together you can achieve growth on your respective paths.