Using an accountability partner

November 12, 2021

Having an accountability partner is a key way to help you achieve your goals. Read on to hear how one client is using me as hers.

What is an accountability partner?

According to Mary Fletcher, “Accountability partners are made up of one or more individuals who are willing to hold you accountable. The idea is that, once someone other than yourself knows what you need to do or what you want to achieve, there is a greater incentive to go out and do it to avoid having to explain why you didn’t to another person.”

The first time I heard this phrase was from Julie Lewis, owner of SassyTuna Studio. We were attending a export workshop together. She described how she used an accountability partner to keep her on track for one of her projects.

Working with Julie

A few months later, Julie asked me if I would be interested in working with her as a coach for a new initiative. Of course I said yes! We chatted on the phone, met over Zoom, shared countless emails. I was able to give her some project management tools to assist her in finding focus and direction for her creative idea.

Two smiling women wearing masks
At SassyTuna in St. John’s

On a recent trip to St. John’s, I arranged to visit her studio in person. We worked on her project and I helped her to set some milestones working backward from her desired end date. I suggested she go off-site to plan by herself and gave her a deadline of the end of November. I assured her that I would be following up with her to make sure she met my assigned “homework”. Later that evening she sent me a picture of our photo on her desk and said that she is using our photo as a reminder to remain on task and that she is accountable to me.

Image of a desk with a photograph in the left hand corner.
Our photo as a reminder to remain on task

Earlier today, she shared some photos of the timelines she has established for her project. Way ahead of schedule! She listed out her activities, established dependency relationships, and has set her course for the next 8 months. By sending me her pictures she is once more setting me up as an accountability partner. I now have record of her intentions and desired goals. I can easily set up reminders in my own calendar to check in on her.

My own accountability partners

Working with Julie has made me reflect on my own accountability partners. I wondered, do I even have any? The answer is a resounding YES!

I am part of a Mastermind group with Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE). We meet monthly as a group of women entrepreneurs with our lead facilitator. She guides us through our challenges, celebrates our successes, and helps us set goals. Along with the group, she holds us accountable for the work we are doing when we meet each month for updates.

I see a therapist every two months to discuss my mental well-being. He holds me accountable for taking care of myself. Without him, my self-care journey over the past six years would have been much more difficult.

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that back in September, my daughter, her fiancé and I set ourselves up as accountability partners for a wellness challenge. While we might not be as strict as we should be, having to share what we have been doing to improve our overall health is easier to do when we have actually taken steps to do so!

For more information on accountability partners, visit Goalcast. If I can help you in any way, please reach out to connect! ~ Carole