Research indicates 50% of Americans commit to changing their habits at the start of every year. It also reveals 25% will give up within a week of setting their goal!
Those facts aren’t meant to discourage you from trying, if you are reading this, you’re probably in the 25% who won’t give up!
One proven way to ensure you reach your goals is to hold yourself accountable with an accountability partner. According to one study, people with accountability partners are 65% more likely than others to achieve their goals.
What is an Accountability Partner?
An accountability partner is simply someone who knows you have a goal you want to achieve and provides honest feedback to let you know whether you’re taking the necessary steps to do so. However, your accountability partner is also someone to whom you provide similar feedback.
That’s why it often helps when accountability partners have the same (or at least very similar) goals. Consider the following examples.
- Getting in shape: You and your accountability partner could work out together, ensuring there’s someone else in both of your lives willing to hold you both accountable when either of you might otherwise skip a workout.
- Losing weight: It’s helpful when an accountability partner is a spouse, family member, or someone else you live with if you’re both trying to lose weight. You can each pay attention to what the other is eating, prep nutritious meals together, etc.
- Reading every day: Joining a book club or meeting with a reading buddy on a monthly or a weekly basis to discuss the content. If one of you clearly hasn’t done the reading, it will be obvious, and the other partner can point this out during your meetings.
Along with also having a goal like yours, it’s helpful if your accountability partner has certain key traits. They include:
- Honesty: An accountability partner who merely tells you what you want to hear won’t help you change your habits.
- Availability: Your accountability partner doesn’t necessarily need to be someone you can meet in-person regularly. However, they should be someone you can stay in touch with consistently.
- Challenging (but not too challenging): An accountability partner needs to be willing to push you when your own discipline is lacking. That said, they also need to be compassionate enough to give you a break when you truly need it. They have to strike a balance between challenging you and supporting you.
- Clarity: Even if an accountability partner is honest, their feedback may not do you much good if it’s hard to understand their exact points. You need an accountability partner who offers actionable advice.
How to Find an Accountability Partner
There are plenty of ways to find an accountability partner you can rely on. The following are just a few ideas to keep in mind:
- Apps: Odds are good there is an app for people trying to achieve the same goal you’re striving towards. Apps like Strava for running or Rithm for building habits are good examples.
- Online groups or services: Facebook groups, services like Coach.me or Clarity.fm are good examples of helping people find an accountability partner.
- Relevant in-person groups/activities: Trying to work out more? You can probably find an accountability partner during a class at your local fitness center. Want to quit smoking? There are probably local support groups that meet regularly near you. Trying to meditate every day? Find an accountability partner at a group meditation session in your area.
- Friends and family: Don’t overlook the basics! While you need to make sure your accountability partner is someone with the right traits, and not merely someone you chose because you already knew them, it’s entirely possible your ideal accountability partner is a friend or family member.
All that said, research shows that working with an accountability partner will help you achieve your goals. Ideally, it’s a two-way mutual relationship where you are both trying to achieve similar goals.
Looking for an accountability partner?
Try Rithm, the habit tracking, goal tracking accountability app! It’s Free.