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Feb 20, 2018

How Much Accountability Do You Need?

For several years now, I’ve talked to a goal buddy (aka accountability/action partner) 2-3 times per week.

Why? you might ask.

I’ve kept a list of the myriad goals I’ve sought on a folder, then used that document to track those promises, successes and the dates of our deadlines. Here’s a smattering of the areas I’ve wanted to be held accountable and a sampling of the work involved.



  • Speaking: rehearse talk 3x, finalize props for talk, pack for talk
  • Admin: consolidate a database, clear desk (multiple times), call my tech in India, create nametags for event, watch taskrabbit.com video
  • Generating: design retreat, create powerpoint, write script, make up test drive agents, map out writing calendar
  • Marketing: coaching offers for 2016-2017, host a Women’s Media Group small dinner, call places for Client Appreciation event
  • Financial: send co-facilitator check, create monthly billing sheet for assistant, 1099 prep
  • Writing: write for 2 hours (multiple times), complete Chapter 1, send chapter to writing coach, blog about Essentialism (Scarlett’s book, hustling, being an artist, abundance, etc.)
  • Coaching: call APPO members re virtual group, welcome package to new client, debrief Discovery session, debrief Mastermind Intensive
  • Travel: pack for Mexico, make packing list for upcoming trip, arrange limo to airport
  • Self-care: get to bed by 9pm, contact new healer for back pain, begin treatments, start 21-day manifestation program

I share this to demonstrate the variety of areas of a life and also to show how helpful it is to have someone on the receiving end to hear, “I did it!” And to offer that back to her.

Since I moved to NYC 5+ years ago, I’ve created new connections here including a writers group, an abundance team, a visions group as well as a fellowship that doesn’t require accountability, but does allow me to share on a nearly daily basis any concerns or promises that used to require a phone call.

I’m grateful for what I had and also for what I’ve now created in my new home. It’s hard to say good-bye, but at some point one has to let go in order to move ahead.



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  1. Elizabeth Cottrell

    Gretchen Rubin has done some fascinating work exploring accountability and how we respond to inner and outer expectations. It is summarized in her recent book The Four Tendencies, but it’s easy to read about it on her website and take her free quiz to see which of the four tendencies you fall into. I am an Obliger. That means I will respond to outer expectations but need to set up outer systems to meet my own inner expectations. Upholders respond well to both outer and inner expectations. Questioners and Rebels are the other two types. Bottom line, what constitutes an effective accountability system for one person may be all wrong for another. All fascinating.

    • Jane Pollak

      @Elizabeth – Thanks so much for this gem! I will look this up as an additional resource. I enjoy Gretchen Rubin’s work and admire where she is in her life. Very cool woman! Thank you, Elizabeth.


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