Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Your alarm clock is going off. It’s 6 am.
Over the weekend you made a resolution to start working out “next week.” Now it’s Monday morning and ‘next week’ is here. It’s dark outside—and cold. You’re still in a sleepy haze and your bed is so cozy.
What do you do?
Well, if you’re anything like me, I’d say your odds are 50-50 of making it out of bed to the gym… and I’m being generous to myself here.
As you come a bit out of your sleep fog, you suddenly remember you promised your co-worker you’d meet them this morning at the gym for that spin class.
Does that affect your odds of making it to the gym? You bet it does!
Studies have shown that you are twice as likely to achieve your goals when you share them with others.
With those kinds of results, what ambitious gal wouldn’t want to find an accountability partner?
3 Ways to Find an Accountability Partner
1. Enlist a Friend
Find a trusted friend who you can openly share your dreams and goals with—that person you can turn to be a sounding board when things start to feel tough along the way.
Even better, see if you can inspire your friend to go on the journey with you. If you want to save money, find a friend who might be interested in doing the same. If you want to get in shape, find a friend who could also have fitness goals. Everything’s better together!
Make sure you have regular check-ins and updates on how you are progressing.
Don’t: Play it safe by choosing a ‘comfortable’ friend who will give you an easy pass if you don’t follow through.
Do: Challenge yourself. Choose that tough-love pal who understands your goals and will give you a loving kick in the pants if you start to veer off course.
2. Find Like-Minded Peeps
As much as we’d love our close friends to have shared dreams and goals, that’s not always the case. Sometimes we need to reach beyond our inner friend group to build additional support circles.
Instead of trying to force-fit your friends into sharing your specific goals, reverse engineer your goals to find others who share them.
Meetup.com is a great place to find other like-minded peeps. Here you can find people who share almost any common interest—whether you want to start hiking, join an improv group, volunteer in your community or develop your career skills and network.
If you don’t see a group for what you want, then start one. It’s a great way to build your community. Schedule regular meetings—weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly—to keep everyone engaged and to help your group bonds grow.
Facebook Groups and other online groups are another way to connect with people who like what you like. There are more than 7 billion people other people on this planet. You just have to put yourself out there and you are bound to find an accountability partner who understands what you are trying to achieve.
3. Declare Your Goal(s) Out Loud
Sometimes the best way to find an accountability partner is to make everyone around you play that role. This requires that you declare your goal out loud—and that can be scary. You have to be willing to put yourself on the line.
Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your co-workers. They might not understand or relate to your goal. That’s not important. This is more about your internal motivation to succeed.
When I wanted to run a marathon (and I had never run a day in my life before), I told everyone and I wouldn’t stop talking about it.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, wants to be thought of as a flaky person or publicly humiliated. When you declare your goal in a public forum, if you don’t follow through, there is a good chance you will get called out for not doing what you said you will do.
The internal drive to save face is strong. It works, my friend. I can promise you that.
If you are serious about achieving your goals, whether financial, fitness, work or other, set yourself up for success and find an accountability partner, either in your current friend group, in a shared-interest meetup, or in your own drive to show you are who you say you are.
Not only will you increase your chances of achieving your goals, but you will have much more fun along the way!