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Use An Accountability Buddy To Reach Your Goals

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve used the power of accountability to complete many personal challenges and make large changes in my life.

Some of these challenges/changes have included:

  • Competing in (and winning) a powerlifting competition
  • Running a half marathon
  • Giving up Facebook for 21 days
  • Doing yoga every day for 21 days
  • Doing one random act of kindness every day for a month

And who could forget the Monastic Challenge, a month of eating vegan, no drugs, no caffeine, no alcohol, no sugar, no sexual release of any kind, and no harmful thoughts towards others. Fun times indeed.

Many of the challenges were rather difficult, but I always managed to complete them with the help of others. For any large challenge or endeavor that I take on, I always have the support of at least a couple of my friends to keep me pushing towards that goal. (On a side note: Thank you friends! Your support means everything to me!)

I think it’s safe to say that all of us have changes that we want to make in our lives. It might be learning a new language, running a marathon or triathlon, fitting back into your favorite pair of jeans, quitting your job, or finding a significant other. Why not enlist the help of others to help you reach your goals? No one achieves great success without the help of others.

Here are a couple of tips for choosing and working with an accountability buddy (or buddies) to help you achieve your next big goal.

  1. Have A Common Goal – If you are trying to lose weight and your accountability buddy is trying to gain weight, you might run into situations where your goals conflict. Typically I enlist the help of others who are also trying to work towards the same goal. It makes it more fun and you will naturally be better at supporting each other.
  2. Have An Achievable Goal – If your goal is to play in the NBA by the end of the year then you might have some trouble achieving that goal. Your goal should be realistic, but it should be a stretch. Most corporations use SMART goals for their employees’ yearly goals and objectives. Make sure your goal is “smart” as well.
  3. Talk About What Success Will Look Like – Once you have your goal figured out, have a brief conversation on what success will look like. What will you be seeing? What will you be hearing? What will you be feeling? Really imagine this and talk about it in great detail as it will only help you make the goal more real in your mind.
  4. Schedule Regular Check-In Times – Usually I set things up to check in once a week officially, with informal texts, tweets, and calls in between. Whether you choose to check in daily or weekly, you should agree beforehand on how you are going to hold each other accountable.
  5. Be Candid – As you begin this journey together, let your accountability buddy know that you would appreciate their open and honest feedback. The more honest you are with each other, the better you’ll be able to work together towards your goals. And as you receive the feedback, remember that you asked them to be candid, so don’t get your feelings hurt and realize that they are just trying to help.
  6. Be Confidential – As you go through this journey together, you’ll likely start to share some personal things that you don’t necessarily share on your Facebook status updates. Keep whatever you discuss between you and your accountability buddy confidential, as trust is a necessary part of any relationship.
  7. Start Today! – I know you probably have something that’s been on your mind lately that you want to change. Reach out to a sibling, parent, friend, or co-worker today and ask for their help. I’ve found that working towards goals together is a great way to strengthen a relationship, whether it’s with a friend, co-worker, or family member.
One last word of advice…

Seriously… Start today.

Pick an accountability buddy (or buddies) and choose a goal.

Work towards that goal together.

Watch your relationship deepen.

Achieve that goal.

Feel awesome.