Choosing an accountability partner

Why decide to have an accountability partner?

Here you are with your thoughts and dreams about the future but something is stopping you from taking action. You’ve tried a few times, making plans, making promises, and maybe you even set things in motion. Something is stopping you from achieving your goals.

Having someone to hold you responsible for meeting your objectives and achieving your goals is a common business practice with entrepreneurs and solo-preneures. Personal Trainers do this to help you achieve your fitness and sporting goals. The system of coaching and accountability can help anyone achieve any kind of goal because it helps you develop the mindset of an achiever.

The best advice about achievements came from my first employer. He explained that through the simple act of turning up, consistently and reliably, we develop self-esteem, self-respect and self-confidence. He said these positive personal attributes will be reflected back to us, by all our future employers and all those who rely on us for the service that we have to offer.

Turning up is more about making a commitment to yourself, it takes practice to develop the right attitude and mindset to be that person who always turns up.

Once you have experienced the results of turning up for yourself, you will trust yourself. This is a game-changer, turning up is the best life skill you can have.

So how does this advise relate to having an accountability partner?

If you have stopped turning up for yourself, an accountability partner can help to get you back on track. How many times have you sabotaged your own efforts in the past?

An excellent example of self-sabotage is when clients tell me they don’t make commitments or set goals because they can’t cope with feeling guilty if they break them.

They are really admitting that they don’t turn up. An accountability partner is there to remind you that it’s not about the feeling of guilt you want to avoid, it’s about the feelings of self-esteem, self-respect and confidence that you want to work towards.

Who is a suitable accountability partner?

  • Someone who is self-disciplined that you can trust to turn up
  • Someone who understands that motivation is emotionally driven
  • Someone who can be objective and not allow you to make excuses
  • Someone who is compassionate and understands your challenges
  • Someone who may have been in your situation
  • Someone who believes you can achieve your goals

It is not advisable to choose someone too close to you who might be kind instead of strict, or who won’t like to hurt your feelings and so allows you to get away with being lazy and not turning up.

What needs to be in the partnership deal?

The main purpose of the deal is to ensure that your accountability partner holds you responsible for following your game plan and keeps you moving towards your goals until you have achieved your goals.

Agree on the consequences if you do not fulfil your side the deal.

Be clear on what you expect from your partner and what they can expect from you.

Agree on how often, when and where you will meet and how you can communicate in between meetings.

Set your boundaries and let your partner know when you are not available. Know when it’s not convenient for your partner to communicate. Agree on alternative ways to communicate in times of emergencies.

Be objective about what you find to be your stumbling blocks and suggest how your partner can support you.

Discuss what motivates you and let your partner know the best ways to challenge you and keep you motivated.

e-Smart Goals

If your partner is skilled in coaching, he or she can help you set your goals.

Decide on your goals and set short term, medium-term and long term goals, and decide on the time scale.

e-Smart Goals are experiential goals, this means in practice your goals need to be evaluated revised and adjusted. When you experience that a goal does not compliment the following smart goal objectives, you can change it.

For example, if a short term goal was to reduce by one dress size in one month, and it turned out to be unachievable you can extend the time frame.

E-smart goals allow for practical adjustments that otherwise might be seen as failures.


  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Bound

What happens at the meetings?

Turn up and meet with your partner consistently and reliably. Face to face, skype call or phone meetings are all good as long as you both turn up.

Thirty to forty-five minutes is a fair time for a meeting.

Record measurements of progress made

Discuss progress, obstacles and challenges and decide on new strategies to deal with the challenges.

Revise and change goals to keep them smart.

Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements.

Face the consequences of not meeting your responsibilities.

Revise and make new short term goals as you tick off your accomplishments

Dairies the next meeting

Take advantage of the free 20-minute online session and discuss the Accountability Partnership Deal with Sandy De Leo.

Complete the form below and write Accountability Partners in the message section.

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