We are almost through the year! Can you believe it? The beginning of the year seems so far away and so are the resolutions that were made with a sincere heart on January 1. Statistical analysis tells us that a majority of people who set resolutions (I prefer to call them goals) at the beginning of the new year have given up on them by the time February 1 arrives.
The beginning of the new year brings the same thing – an earnest desire to make some changes and enthusiasm to make it come to fruition. However, somewhere in between the enthusiasm and actually working toward the goal, momentum is lost. For example, it is common for people to set a goal to lose weight at the start of the new year. (Yes, my hand is in the air.) Stores have sales on workout gear. The grocery stores have every healthy food option imaginable on sale. Fitness centers across the country are filled to capacity. But by the third week, you start to see a significant drop in attendance. When February rolls around, you can tell that the shift has happened. People have stopped going to the gym. The sales have ended. Most have thrown in the towel.
I have to be honest and tell you that I have been part of that group before. It’s hard setting goals and even harder making them a reality. When setting goals at the beginning of the year, the thought of accountability can make people cringe. Is the same true for you? Friends, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. Accountability can be the very thing to help you meet your goals. If you really want to make achieving your goals a reality, you have to not only have SMART goals but a very solid accountability partner as well. When working with an accountability partner, I believe there are 3 traits that make the experience great.
1. BE REALISTIC. Be realistic in your expectations of an accountability partner. While an accountability partner is an imperative part of your success, recognize that they are only part of the puzzle. They can’t make you achieve your goals. That part is up to you. You have to be willing to put in the work. It’s hard but IS possible. Consider the time constraints that your accountability partner may have. They likely have work and family obligations as most of us do. This doesn’t mean that a person who may be exceptionally busy can’t help you — quite the opposite is usually true. Just be cognizant of that when you first approach a person to ask them to be your accountability partner and when setting up times to communicate with them. You will want to be aware of their limitations and be intentional with your communication with them.
2. BE CONSISTENT. Make sure that you are checking in with your accountability partner on a regular basis. Since you are the one setting the goals, it is up to you to reach out to your accountability partner — not the other way around. Your accountability partner MAY check in with you but the expectation should be for you to initiate the contact to discuss progress, address challenges and ask questions. When consistent in your contact with your accountability partner, you will get the feedback that you need. Initiating contact with your accountability partner demonstrates that you are serious about… Click To Tweet
3. BE TRANSPARENT. If you have struggled in the past with meeting goals, don’t put yourself down about it. Discuss it with your accountability partner. Don’t feel embarrassed. Tell them exactly why you have struggled with meeting goals in the past. Be prepared to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. Are you overwhelmed? Overcommitted? Are you not making your goals a priority? Have you dodged accountability? Having the (somewhat) difficult conversations may be uncomfortable at first but will prove to be very helpful down the road. Knowing your strengths and areas of weakness can help your accountability partner help you best. It will also help you to learn more about yourself as you get feedback from someone else who is on the outside looking in.
Well my friend, let me share something with you. Don’t let the struggles that you had reaching goals get you down. Even though we are in the final quarter of the year, there is still time to make progress. There is still time to exercise discipline, find an accountability partner (or two) and make those goals a reality. Give some serious thought to just one goal that you would like to accomplish before the end of the year. With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s easy for all of us to get caught in the busyness and be overwhelmed. Try not to let that happen to you. Choose one small thing that you want to happen, get connected with someone and go for it.
I’d love to hear about what goals you are going for with two months remaining in the year. Drop a note in the comments and let us all cheer you on!
With a cold latte in hand and my latest read under my arm, I'm usually seen running around chasing little people. In my spare time, you will catch me spending time with family and friends, at live music festivals and on the hunt for a new favorite dessert.
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