According to research studies, publicly committing to your goals translates into a 65% chance of completing them. But, if you want real firepower, having an accountability partner increases that to 95%.
A 95% chance of meeting your goals? That’s almost a sure thing! What is this magical accountability partner of whom you speak??
An accountability partner is a specific person with whom you share your tasks and goals, and then to whom you report back your progress. Some people have accountability buddies that are attempting to work towards the same benchmarks, or on the same events; for example, if two people are training for a marathon, they can have a common plan, and keep each other motivated.
It is important to note, however, that accountability partners do not have to be involved in the same activity. I often act as an accountability partner to my clients, and if they are training for a marathon….well, that’s not happening on my side of the fence!
Why does this work? And what makes this different than having someone just nag you to do something until you do it?
People tend to perform differently when they are being observed (think about when your boss is walking around, or when company is coming over and you’re frantically cleaning). So if there is someone that is going to be cognizant of whether or not you complete what you’ve committed to, there is a greater chance that you will stick with it. And if it’s more personal – for example, telling one friend that will follow up with you, versus the ubiquitous Facebook announcement – the odds that you will really work towards meeting that challenge grow astronomically.
But how does this differ from having your husband, wife, mom, etc, call you up and say “Did you get your oil changed?” And when you say no, they ask “Well, why not? You know that’s going to ruin your car! And then…”
Because an accountability partner has no skin in the game. They will simply ask you “Did you get your oil changed?” And when you say no, they say…nothing. Or they say “do you have a plan for that?”
So accountability partners live in a judgment-free zone. There’s no nagging. If you accomplished your goal, high five! If you didn’t, they don’t want to know why not. It’s your problem to solve.
What can work really well is to have a reciprocal accountability buddy arrangement. So, you ask me about my oil change, and I’ll ask you if you’ve gotten the dog her shots. Again, no nagging, but it’s nice to have a level playing field. And both partners benefit!
I’ve tried out accountability partners this family members on a reciprocal basis – meaning I have someone I’m accountable to as well. Let me tell you, when I know that on Friday afternoon I’m going to have to report to my buddy about my progress, I am WAY more likely to actually have made some!
So, give accountability buddies a try! See how it feels..and watch that productivity skyrocket!