Do You Need an Accountability Partner?

The other Friday I spent the entire day writing, thanks to my accountability partner.

For the past year, I’ve met every other Friday at 8 a.m. with Liz, my accountability partner. I’d been lamenting that I needed to find a way to jump start my one book, but that I was not making the time.

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My writing space at the Library of Virginia. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

The next thing I knew, I had an invite from her to spend the day writing.

We’d start at 8:30 a.m. at the Library of Virginia. We lost ourselves in the stacks and wrote all morning. We then took a break and drove to The Jefferson Hotel, where we had lunch and then spent the afternoon on the mezzanine writing. By day’s end, I had 6,000 words on paper. That weekend, I outlined my additional writing days.

I could not have done it without my accountability partner.

What is an accountability partner? You could think of her as my inner voice, my critic, my cheerleader, my coach or any other number of terms. I’m also her accountability partner.

We met while taking a coaching class and discovered similar interests. We also recognized that individually we weren’t always meeting our personal goals. We decided to help each other hold ourselves accountable.

Our meetings are simple. We discuss what we would like to achieve and what we could do in the next two weeks to move ourselves closer to our goals. The next time we meet, we report on our progress. Sometimes we critique each other’s work. Sometimes we provide resources.

Mostly we provide inspiration and encouragement.

If I don’t complete my assignments, there is nothing that Liz can do. However, I respect and value Liz’s time, which means that there are some Thursday evenings when I am scrambling to finish my homework. I almost always do. So does Liz.

We’ve been meeting now for about a year. I decided to make a list of my accountability successes. Here’s what I’ve achieved:

  • I’ve coached my first client
  • I joined a coaching federation
  • I’ve enhanced my blog
  • I created a website
  • I outlined one book
  • I rejoined my mystery writers group

I’ve had this success thanks, in part, to Liz, who is someone I trust to give me straightforward feedback. Because we have similar goals, she is interested in what I am doing and wants to see me succeed. I want the same for her.

She suggested the all-day writing day, in part I’m sure, because I had said several times, “If only I had a day to write.” For whatever reason, I wasn’t giving myself permission to take such a day. However, when Liz suggested it, I jumped at the opportunity.

Turns out that having an accountability partner helps you get things done. If you don’t have a person you can turn to, you can probably find an app to help you.

When I finish this book, you can be sure my accountability partner will be featured in the acknowledgments.

Editor’s Note: If you had an accountability partner, what would you have them help you with? Please post your answers in the comment section.

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3 thoughts on “Do You Need an Accountability Partner?

  1. One of the most productive periods in my life was when I had an accountability partner and we met every other Friday morning at 7:00 a.m. for breakfast at a swanky hotel. We’d both bring our personal binders that included our overarching personal and professional goals as well our weekly tasks to help move us closer to our objectives. While I have continued to review and revise my goals every year on an annual basis, your blog is a great reminder that sometimes it helps to have a friend who can cheer you on and also prod you towards greater productivity.

    • I think you are on to something with the swanky hotel, too. We wrote in a beautiful library in the morning and in a historic hotel in the afternoon. Being in a different environment definitely helped me. My accountability partner definitely keeps me on track. Thanks for sharing your experience Megan.

  2. Liz Bryant says:

    Everything said here is true. Cynthia and I work very well together and the bonus is we have also gotten to be friends. Being friends doesn’t mean we cut each other any slack on deadlines, though. And our day of writing was fabulous. Being accountable to each other on our projects has worked well and I look forward to celebrating our successes! Having an accountability partner can work in any endeavor. Try it!

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