I’ve had accountability partners, aka goal buddies, for years. It’s what keeps me on track on a daily basis.
I also have a Mastermind group that I’ve been part of for a couple of decades. That’s a monthly accountability structure for the bigger things I want to achieve in my business.
Add to my support systems a coach to whom I speak twice monthly. She’s where I sort it all out and remember what’s important to me and why I do what I do.
It’s the goal buddy relationship that offers the dailiness of entrepreneurship for me. The others are the bigger, wider views. My goal buddy is the on-the-ground, day-to-day ‘combat’ colleague and ally for getting it all done.
What I’ve illustrated here is the sheet (actually a manila folder) I use to track our commitments. I write down hers and mine with a check box next to each to house that satisfying gesture of completion.
If you enlarge the image you can see the variety of tasks we commit to each other–some as simple as ‘organize family receipts’ or others more demanding like ‘develop first three topics’. What’s important about organizing family receipts is that NOT doing it–sorting through my annual collection of personal purchases–was taking up way too much room in my brain. Sometimes our commitments to each other are as menial as that one, but need to be done.
Here are some questions and answers for establishing a successful goal buddy relationship. Between the two of you work out these pieces of the connection:
- How often do you want to check in with each other. My current goal buddy and I usually speak 3x per week. I had one partner with whom I spoke each weekday first thing in the morning to state our goals and around 5pm to acknowledge completion of them.
- Who calls whom? We switch off with each call. I’ll call her today at 11am. She’ll take the responsiblity for our next appointment on Monday afternoon.
- How long are the calls? Usually 5 minutes, sometimes less if either of us states at the beginning, “This’ll be just a quick check-in today.” Sometimes we chat for 15 minutes.
- What do you choose as goals? We both have a working knowledge of the other’s business and visions. Ninety percent of our goals are right on course with creating the futures we each desire. Ten percent of the time, like organizing receipts, the goals are set to get rid of obstacles blocking our creativity.
- What’s the benefit of having a goal buddy? As I mentioned earlier, it’s having someone to talk to regularly (isolation is a huge issue for entrepreneurs) to get through the dailiness of life. Left to our own devices, who wouldn’t rather watch the next episode of Girls or Downton Abbey? Being held accountable by someone you respect and admire is a beautiful thing. You might cut yourself the slack, but you’d never want to disappoint your cherished collaborator.
- How do you find a goal buddy? Ask around. You want someone as committed to her visions as you are. Water seeks its own level. Try on a partner for a week or a month and then re-evaluate. You’ll know quickly if it’s working or not by your progress, your happiness level and your gut.
The reason I’m writing this blog post today is because someone in my Community asked me if I could recommend anyone to her. As I was reviewing my notes from my Mastermind Intensive, one of our members needed to find an accountability partner (same thing, by the way) as her goal for our next meeting. I thought about these two women and what a great match they’d make and offered it up to the two of them. The one who asked first was thrilled and upped the ante by asking, what’s the best way to work this connection. Hence this article.