It’s that time of year again.

2021 is rapidly coming to a close, and soon over 140 million Americans will start making their New Year’s resolutions. As famous as Americans are for making New Year’s resolutions, they’re equally as famous for giving up on their resolutions early in the year. If we want to make our resolutions stick, then there’s got to be a better way to approach our personal goals.

One of the best ways to approach your goals, no matter when you make them, is to have an accountability partner. What is an accountability partner? Read on to find out!

What Is Accountability, Anyway?

You’ve heard the term thrown around, but what does accountability really mean?

In short, it means that you are taking responsibility for the things that you do. For example, if you’re recovering from an injury and need to complete physical therapy sessions, then it’s your job to actually do them. If you don’t complete the sessions, it wouldn’t be appropriate to blame someone or something else for your lack of progress.

Accountability works in many different ways. Throughout your life, you’ll find that you’re held accountable to yourself, other people, your employer, or any other group of people. Think of it as an ethical compass that guides your decisions and actions.

How Does Accountability Impact Your Goals?

When you’re working toward goals, it’s important to understand your goals are not going to happen without your own hard work. When things go wrong, it’s easy to blame something else for it. The problem with that is that you’re effectively putting up a barrier between yourself and your personal goals.

Obviously, you cannot control everything in your life. If you want to be successful, then you need to discern between legitimate obstacles and your own missteps. Taking this step back allows you to alter your approach to your goals in order to actually reach them.

Let’s say you want to take at least one group fitness class per week. A legitimate obstacle would be if there aren’t any group fitness classes in your area. Something that falls within your control would be scheduling your classes for a time when you could realistically attend them.

Different Ways to Exercise Accountability

If you’re struggling to meet your goals, then one way to practice accountability is to take a look at the situation from an unbiased point of view.

Going back to the group fitness example, if you’re having a hard time getting your workout in, think about the reason why your plan isn’t working. If you’re trying to make the early morning classes, but you’re not a morning person, then you need to rethink your plan. You can’t just say you can’t do it and give up.

Always remember to give yourself some grace. If you’re having a hard time reaching a goal because you’ve put impossible hurdles in front of it, think about how you can restructure that goal to set yourself up for success.

Where Does an Accountability Partner Come In?

Accomplishing goals, particularly ones where you have to develop new habits and get rid of old ones, is not easy. Many people find it beneficial to enlist the help of someone they trust to meet their goals. That person is called an accountability partner.

The term might sound new to you, but the practice has been around for a long time. Think of sponsors in Alcoholics Anonymous or coaches in sports. Any time you have a goal that you think is going to be difficult to reach, then you could probably use the help of an accountability partner as a source of motivation.

How Do You Pick an Accountability Partner?

Sometimes to hardest part of embracing the concept of an accountability partner is trying to find the right one for your needs.

The good news is that you have a lot of leeway when it comes to picking one. Think of someone who you feel would be there for you if you need help staying motivated. This could be a parent, a sibling, or a close friend.

If you want to make your partnership even more meaningful, pick someone with whom you have shared goals. You can help keep each other motivated through the ups and downs of your progress. Not only will this help you meet your goals, but you’ll find that you have a much stronger relationship with your partner in the end.

How Will Your Partnership Work?

Now that you know all about accountability and how to pick a partner, you might be wondering how you execute the partnership. There’s no one way that’ll work for everyone. In general, though, you’ll want to discuss your goals and make a plan for how you’ll use your partnership to reach them.

Set Goals

One of the first things you’ll want to do to help make your accountability partner more effective is to lay out your goals in detail so they know what you want. If your goal is to become more healthy, explain what that looks like to you.

How much time do you want to spend exercising, and how will nutrition factor into your plan? The more detailed you are, the more likely your partnership is to succeed.

Make a Plan

Once you have your goals, make a plan for how you would like to work with your partner. How often do you want them to check in? Do you want to have weekly meetings to go over your progress?

Having a plan is a great way to make your accountability partner more effective.

Are You Ready to Reach Your Personal Goals?

Making changes and working toward goals is not an easy endeavor. If you want to maximize your chance of success, then the best thing you can do for yourself is to enlist someone you trust as an accountability partner. Not only will you help each other reach personal and shared goals, but you’ll deepen the bond between you, too!

It doesn’t matter whether your personal goals involve improving your health or boosting your banking account, you’ll probably need some help along the way. That’s where we come in. Check out the rest of our blog for the answers to all of your questions!