The Big Idea
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
Questions I Answer
- Do I need an accountability partner?
- What does a good accountability partner do?
- Should I talk about my goal with other people?
- What can I do to support other people and their goals?
Actions to Take
- Win my signature, five-week liveWELL Method Course for free by leaving a review and sending a screenshot to my team.
- We really want to be successful with our goals and using an accountability partner, setting up those regular check-ins — that’s what’s going to close the gap and make you feel more successful.
Key Topics in the Show
Why even self-starters need someone to hold them accountable
How an accountability partner can help foster success in your life
The questions you should ask to find the right accountability partner for you
Five things to keep in mind to ensure that your partnership is successful
Resources and Links
- Related Episodes: Episode 097: Don’t Delay Happiness: Someday Syndrome
Welcome to season eight of Productivity Paradox with Tanya Dalton. A podcast focused on using productivity not just to do more, but to achieve what’s most important to you. Join Tanya this season as she focuses on planning for success using proven productivity strategies. To get her free checklist, Five Minutes To Peak Productivity, simply go to inkWELLpress.com/podcast. To get her free checklist, Five Minutes To Peak Productivity, simply go to inkWELLpress.com/podcast. And now here’s your host Tanya Dalton.
Hello, hello everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton, and this is, wait for it, episode 100. That’s right, episode 100. Can you believe it? Honestly, I cannot, but I am so ridiculously excited about this. It’s a huge milestone and just like reaching any other important goal or milestone. I thought we should stop and celebrate for a minute. After all, what’s the point of reaching your goals if you don’t stop to celebrate your success? Right? So I really wanted to do something so we can celebrate together. So here’s what I thought would be fun to commemorate this big day. I’m going to do a giveaway for one free spot in my liveWELL method course. It’s opening back up in January. This is my signature five week course and you can win it for free by doing one little thing. Simply leave a five star review and comment for my podcast.
Of course you can leave whatever number of stars you want, but five is my favorite number, so feel free to leave a review. I read every single one of them and then take a screenshot and email it to my team. That’s it. Will enter you into a drawing to win. Just make sure you email it to us because that’s our only way to contact you if you’re the winner. I’ll be sure to post details about this giveaway at inkWELLpress.com/100episodes. I really would love for you to take part in this. Plus I really do love reading your reviews. It means a lot to me, so that would be a great way to celebrate together.
Okay. Let’s get to the podcast episode because we’ve been talking a lot about goals and in the last few weeks we’ve talked about someday syndrome. We’ve talked about readjusting your mindset to stop thinking about starting someday and instead starting today. We also discussed the concept of starting with the end in mind as we
set our goals, seeing our dreams as a reality and thinking about the stepping stones are milestones we need to do in order to reach that goal and dream are really important.
This past week we talked about making time for our goals and I shared for tips on how to intentionally make time for your goals and how to break them down into bite size pieces so that they’re really attainable instead of being daunting. So this week I want to move to the next step. This week I want to talk to you about accountability and support systems. So we want to talk about how to build support systems to help you reach your goals. Because I really think this is important. It’s
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funny because while today happens to be our 100th episode, plenty of reason to celebrate, it also happens to be my 20 year anniversary with my husband John. Not our wedding anniversary, but our dating anniversary. Come on now. You know how I like to celebrate just about everything and anything.
I love taking time to really take in all the milestones so John and I have been together now for 20 years and he continues to be my support system, so I find it pretty ironic because I honestly didn’t plan this that these two big milestones have converged into this one episode and I love this because I really think we need to allow ourselves to lean on others in order to truly find success. We have to feel okay being lifted by others instead of always feeling like we have to do that lifting.
There’s an African proverb that says, if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together, and I love this saying because it’s so true. I know that if I want a whip through the grocery store quickly, I go by myself. No kids, no cell phone. I usually just tuck it into the glove box in my car because I don’t want anything to distract me or to get me sidetracked. I want to get in and get out so I do it alone. But when it comes to other things in my life that require more of a marathon mentality, I find that having a support system around makes it so much more manageable than trying to face any long journey alone.
In fact, when you think of an actual marathon, there are so many people lined up along the course just to help cheer people along, to reach that finish line. There’s a lot of people even cheering along that don’t know anyone in the marathon and whether the runner is running or walking or maybe even near the point of giving up those spectators on the sidelines they help push those participants to succeed in this 26.2 mile journey. So it seems like there’s a lot of truth to that African proverb, right? Now, what we’ve been talking about in the last several weeks requires more of a marathon than a sprint mindset. Most of the time our goals, whether they’re big goals or small goals, they don’t come quickly. They require hard work, some sweat and perseverance, time to like a marathon. So let’s talk a little bit about support systems.
What are they? Why do we need them? How do they work? And what questions can you ask yourself to know what’s right for you? So let’s start by talking about what are support systems. When you think of a support system, your first thought is probably your spouse or a significant other, maybe your family, your best friend, or possibly even a coworker. You’re probably thinking of the people who support and cheer you on during the happy moments, but also during the difficult times. There are basically the cheerleaders in your life. They’re your spectators as you’re running along that marathon route and you’re right to surround yourself with positive people anytime you need support as you tackle the goals in life. But today I want to talk about another kind of support system that can help you succeed when it comes to reaching your goals and your dreams.
I want to talk about accountability partners. Accountability partners are part of a goal setting strategy that many businesses and successful goal setters use as a motivational tool. Accountability partners can help move you from goal setting to go getting. You see an accountability partner is exactly what the name implies. Someone you partner with who holds you accountable for the goals that you established for yourself so they’re not establishing the goals you are doing that they are simply
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holding you accountable. So whether it’s a business goal, a weight loss goal, a financial goal, or a new entrepreneurial goal and accountability partner will help push and motivate you to get to that finish line. So you might be asking yourself, do I really need an accountability partner? You might think of yourself as a self-starter or someone who can do it on your own, so maybe you don’t feel like you really need an accountability partner.
I understand that idea, especially if you’re a person who is really internally motivated. But let me tell you about a study that the American Society of training and development did with regards to accountability and accountability partners. I found this study really fascinating because what they found is that people had a 25% chance of completing a goal if they had an idea and they consciously decided to pursue that idea. So they had a one in four shot. This study also found that if the person also decided when they would complete the goal, that their odds got better, there was a 40% chance of completing it, so even better, not bad, right? It sounds like setting a deadline or a date to complete the goal definitely increase their odds of success. Right? But listen to this. This is where things get really interesting. This study found that when a person then committed to someone else that they would pursue the goal or the idea there was a 65% chance of completing the goal, and even better than that, they found that when people actually set an accountability appointment with that person they committed to, they had a 95% chance of completing that goal. 95%.
So the odds of success go up 70% when you add in an accountability partner and you plan to meet with them regularly, that’s pretty convincing argument, right? So let’s break this down. Basically, if you have a goal and you commit to it, you have a 25% chance of completing the goal. That’s a great start and it’s a huge first step. And I applaud you for taking that action, but taking it a step further, giving yourself a deadline or a date to complete the goal means you increased your odds 40%, right? You have a 40% chance of success, and then going one step more and committing to the accountability partner for your goals and dreams, that increases your chances of success up to 65%. And then that final step of setting that regular appointments with that accountability partner, you more than double your odds of actually making that goal a reality.
95% success rate. So do we really need an accountability partner? Maybe some of you don’t, but for most of us, sounds like adding in an accountability partner with regular check ins or meetings can improve our success. And to me that makes it all worth it. I really think that when you look at these numbers, numbers don’t lie. That’s what I love about math. Not much I do love about math, but that is one of the few things. I love that when you see numbers like this and it’s so clearly illustrates why this is important. And that’s why I really wanted to go in depth with that study because I really feel like if you’re on the fence of whether this is something that is worthwhile for you or not, think about that 95% success rate. That’s enough to get me to jump off of that fence and on the other side.
So why do you think accountability partnerships seem to foster success? That’s the question, right? Well, unfortunately it’s easier to disappoint ourselves then to disappoint someone else. So when we make goals and promises to ourselves, somehow we think it’s okay to make excuses or oh, we’ll put things off for another
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day. So we procrastinate. We put off our goals and our dreams. This is going back to that idea of the someday syndrome that we talked about a few podcasts ago. But the fact is we’re social creatures by nature. So when we make that same promise to someone else, somehow are mindset shifts and we take things more seriously. We don’t want to fail someone else or disappoint them. So we work harder to stay on track and we don’t put things off when we’re accountable to someone else. This makes sense if you think about it. Let’s take that marathon scenario we’ve been talking about.
Let’s say I wake up, it’s 6:00 AM and I’m supposed to run eight miles today for my training and it’s cold and it’s rainy outside. It’s so much warmer under the covers. So I hit the snooze button and I skip going outside for today. I’ll just run tomorrow instead after all, maybe it’s supposed to be nicer, right. And I stayed up too late last night so I could really use the extra time to snooze. So I’ll just put off the marathon training for today. Okay. Same scenario and add in an accountability partner and let’s see how this would play out. Maybe it’s a workout friend who’s meeting me at the corner to run that eight miles or maybe it’s a personal trainer who put together a marathon training plan for me and is meeting me at the gym to do some work on the treadmill. It’s still cold. It’s still rainy, but now it’s a lot harder for me to make excuses and hit that snooze bar when somebody else is waiting for me or depending on me. I don’t want to be flaky and I don’t want to disappoint anyone else, especially someone who’s planning on meeting me, so I’m gonna skip hitting the snooze bar. I’m going to put my shoes on. I’m going to grab a rain poncho and I’m going to get to it. The good news is now I stayed on track. I haven’t strayed from my plan or the goals that I set for myself, so again, that’s key with an accountability partner. It’s the goals that I have set for myself is just someone else helping to make sure I’m following through even if it is just that feeling of not wanting to be flaky or not wanting to disappoint someone else.
So if you think you would benefit from utilizing an accountability partner, there’s a few things to think about before we jump right in. We don’t want to just jump in and choose anyone in everyone. Let’s really think this through. Here’s a couple of questions to ask yourself that will help guide you to finding the right accountability partnership, because that’s what it is. It’s a partnership. So first ask yourself, do you think you would do better with a one on one situation or a group scenario? Then ask yourself, do you want free accountability partnership or are you willing to pay for services? And then the last question to ask yourself, do you want to partner with someone who has similar goals or is in a similar business or do you think you would do better with someone purely to motivate you? So think about those and let’s talk about each one of those.
Let’s talk about the one on one accountability partnerships. There are basically two types, free or paid, so free accountability partners could be a friend, a spouse, a significant other, a work colleague, a mentor, someone you’ve met who has similar goals. For example, if the goal is to lose 10 pounds, then a free one on one accountability partner would be maybe a workout buddy or someone who’s also looking to lose a few pounds and the two of you would work together to keep each other on track. Maybe you set times and dates to meet at the gym to work out together, or you go to lunch and encourage each other to make healthy choices. Now, I think a great free accountability partner is a person that you know well, but you
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don’t get to see often like maybe a friend or a family member who lives in another town.
Your check ins help ensure that you stay in regular contact with one another, so it does a little bit of double duty, which I think is really kind of Nice. Now, paid accountability partnerships. That could be a life coach, a personal trainer, a home organizer, someone who can offer you professional help and guidance to fit a particular need that you have. So in that losing 10 pounds scenario, maybe you’re paying accountability partner would be a personal trainer that you meet twice a week or maybe you hire a lifestyle or health coach to keep you nutrition on track. Now, for some of you who might be wondering, why would anyone pay for an accountability partner if I could get it for free? Well, for most people, paying someone adds another level of commitment to that accountability relationship. It makes it even harder to blow off a meeting with someone that you’re paying for their time or their services, and while we might be able to easily postponed a workout with a good friend, it’s a lot harder to flake out on a trainer who’s going to charge you for bailing out at the last minute, especially if they’ve booked their time for you.
So really think about this. What is going to work better for you? A free partnership or a paid one, both have their merits. It’s really dependent on what you want. So that’s the one on one partnerships. Let’s talk about group accountability partnerships. Once again, there are two kinds, free and paid accountability partnerships when you’re working with a group. So group partnerships that are free might be a group of like-minded colleagues or people who are all working towards a common goal or a project, a peer network or a social media group that has similar goals. My Facebook group that I have created that is a free group accountability partnership because a lot of times we hold challenges and within that group we hold each other accountable. We encourage each other, we support each other, so that’s one of the ways that you can get this group partnership for free, so some other examples would be maybe a book writing group, a meet up group, a mastermind group or a cooking group.
Any kind of group that people want to get together on a regular basis and there’s no charge. There’s a great online resource called meet up that people can use to connect with other people with similar interests and hobbies. So that’s something you might want to look into if you’re wanting in-person group meetups that are free. It might be talking about the latest book you’ve read to working on your photography projects. There’s endless possibilities and if you can’t find a group that you’re looking for in your area, you can always create one. Now these group accountability partnerships also come and a paid version, so that’s very similar to those free peer networks or groups, but they tend to have membership fees or dues associated with a part of the group. So examples of this would be maybe some women’s organizations like Junior League or Believe, Inspire, Grow pods, Weightwatchers or Entrepreneurial Online Network, also known as the EO Network.
I am part of the Women’s Presidents Organization and Women’s Business Enterprise. These are groups where we’re all working together. We’re all women business owners, and we hold each other accountable and in many of these groups there are requirements to join which helps to make sure that the people in your group are qualified or they’re in a similar mindset to what you are wanting to do. Maybe
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they’re in a similar state of their business or whatever it is, so there’s a lot of really good reasons to go with the free and there’s a lot of really good reasons to go with the page. Truly, again, this is personal preference and what do you think is going to help you the most. Because really what we want is we want those accountability partners to work for you, so once you determine whatever type of partnership is best for you, there are five things to keep in mind to make sure that this partnership is successful because really that’s what we’re looking for.
We want that 95% success rate, right? So here’s the five things. First of all, make sure that your accountability partner is dependent and trustworthy. It’s important for the person or the group or whatever it is you choose to understand the importance of your goal and why you want them to join you in your journey. It’s also important that they show up and they participate in the accountability meetings that you set with them and it’s important that you trust the partnership because you want it to be a safe place where you feel comfortable sharing the details of your goals and your dreams, where you want to be able to talk about your stumbles as well as your successes and to feel okay doing them.
The second thing to keep in mind is to talk to them about your goals and expectations. Explain to them exactly what you want to accomplish and why. Be specific about the actions you plan to take to meet your goals as well as the consequences and the rewards that you want to have when you fail or succeed. It’s okay to give them permission to hold your feet to the fire sometimes. That’s what good accountability partners do.
The third thing is set up regular check in times to evaluate your progress. It’s really important to have these regular checkpoints in order to push forward to reach that goal you’re after. Meetings or phone calls could work, but emails and texts that work as well, especially if you’re not able to meet in person every single time or you’re meeting with someone who’s in a different state like we talked about before. Maybe you think about meeting once a month and you text or email at intervals during other meeting times. There’s lots of ways to do regular check in times that really worked for you and your life and for your accountability partner and how they work as well.
The fourth thing to keep in mind is make sure that meetings are a priority for everyone involved. It can only be a successful partnership if both parties show up and if both are really interested in making progress in helping you succeed with your goals. I think that’s really important. You want to make sure the accountability partner you have sees this as a priority just as you see it as a priority.
Then the fifth thing is to revisit your goals and strategies on a regular basis to make sure you’re on track. As we’ve discussed in previous podcast episodes, when you reach your milestones, it’s great to use that time as an evaluation period. Check to make sure you’re still on track. See if anything needs to be adjusted. It’s great to have an accountability partner to bounce off ideas and have discussions about maybe how you need to pivot or how you need to be a little more flexible with your goals, so keep that in mind. But really what I want you to take away from this podcast episode is this.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. That 95% success rate we talked about from that study to me, says it all. We really want to be successful with our goals and using an accountability partner, setting up those regular check ins. That’s what’s going to close the gap. That’s what’s going to allow you to feel more successful and ultimately that’s what we’re looking for here. That’s the goal of this entire season, is for you to feel happy with your goals and successful. Alright, next week we are going to have an ask Tanya episode, so I’ll be answering your questions on the podcast. So if you’ve submitted a question, there’s a good chance I’ll be giving you an answer and then I want to remind you, don’t forget to enter my giveaway. Leave a review and then email a screenshot to us..
I’ll be sure to post all the details at inkWELLpress.com/100episodes for the giveaway. I do want to take just a quick minute to say thank you. Thank you all so, so very much because if it wasn’t for you, honestly, I wouldn’t be here at 100 episodes. You help me be accountable. You are ultimately my accountability partners because when you direct message me on Instagram or you send me emails and you talk about what you’ve done from the episodes are how different episodes have impacted you that pushes me to do even more. That pushes me to get these podcast episodes done on time because I’m going to be honest. Sometimes it’s hard. Life is going on in the background all the time and so it would be easy to slip off track and not get these podcasts episodes out, but because of you, I’m accountable, so thank you so much for listening. I cannot tell you how much it means to me and thank you for 100 episodes. All right, until next time, have a beautiful and productively week.
Thanks for listening to Productivity Paradox. To get free access to Tanya’s valuable checklist, Five Minutes To Peak Productivity, simply go to inkWELLpress.com/podcast.