Did you know that you’re 65% more likely to achieve your goals if you make a commitment to someone?
And according to American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), you’re 95% more likely if you have a commitment appointment with someone.
Well, with casual stats like that, I’m thinking we need to start scheduling some major accountability appointments.
Let’s talk about how to create accountability partners with other people, and how to create “accountability appointments” with ourselves when we need to rely on ourselves.
When trying to get into a meditation practice, my friend and I decided to text each other right after we got home from work with a specific meditation for us to do together while living 1,900 miles apart.
When one of us forgot, we’d get the notification ding and be reminded that we need to get our meditation in. It was so helpful and was the jumpstart I needed to commit to daily meditation.
You can do this for all kinds of things. Pair up with someone who needs the same accountability or just ask someone if they’ll message you at a certain time of day to remind you about your goals.
Ask them how you can support their goals in return – and be sure to set specific times to check-in.
I’d say this typically works on a short term basis, but it’s the perfect way to get started before you build up momentum toward a new habit.
Maybe you have a specific goal that no one in your day-to-day life has in common with you. Just because these people aren’t in your inner circle doesn’t mean they don’t exist – and you can bet your booty you can find them on the interwebs.
Find a Facebook group around a specific goal, or if one doesn’t exist, create one. If you’re looking to be held accountable for Whole 30 or training for a marathon, find a community that is committed to working toward that same achievement.
Book the marathon, and check-in with the group daily. Post, engage and find people who you can support and receive support from.
If the group doesn’t have an accountability element, ask people if they’d like to join you in an accountability Facebook group or text chain. If there’s anyone local, ask to set up times when you can run together to take it to the next level.
On that note, creating an in-person meetup with friends or a community who shares the same goals can be such a powerful way to stay accountable.
Make sure there’s always an agenda for something to accomplish before the next meeting and that you’re always coming back to review those materials. The worst thing that can happen in meetings is forgetting to enforce the accountability element that makes them so powerful.
It’s like the teacher who assigns homework and then doesn’t even collect it. Over time, you can guarantee students won’t be doing the homework anymore – because if Mrs. P doesn’t care, why should we do the work?
Deep down we know it’s important to do it either way, but accountability and knowing someone is relying on us to come through can help us push through it and do the work.
“Don’t break the chain” tracker or calendar
Have you heard of the “don’t break the chain” concept for sticking with your goals? If not, you’re in for a treat because it’s one of the tried-and-true ways to keep yourself accountable.
All you have to do is get yourself a calendar and cross out every day that you keep your commitment. And once you get a streak going, you’re not going to want to miss a day.
It’s helpful in this practice to start at the beginning of a month or new week because don’t we all love the feeling of a fresh start?
Group coaching programs
Finding a group coaching program can be a great way to implement accountability appointments, because the instructor will have select dates throughout the duration of the program (sometimes a few months or up to one year, depending on the program) where you work together to achieve a specific goal.
Your instructor will teach you what you need to know, give you structure on how to achieve it, and you’re in a small group with other people working as seriously as you on the same goal.
The problem with a lot of free accountability options is that people aren’t typically as serious as you are to working toward the goal, and the accountability is likely not to last unless both parties are equally committed.
While these group coaching programs aren’t cheap, they’re built with this accountability structure in mind, amplifying the likelihood of you sticking with your goals.
So when you’re ready to get super serious about your goals, invest in a group coaching program that’s aligned with getting you to your goals.
I do a regular meeting with myself that I call a “weekly recommitment ritual” to connect with my goals and reflect on how I’m progressing. I ask myself, “what did I do this week that I’m proud of?” and “what should I do differently next week?”
You could also do a weekly meeting with your partner, friend, parent, roommate, or co-worker to check in on your goals. And if it’s a partner, check-in with each other on your collective goals. How are you both feeling? Are expectations being met? What could each of you be doing better?
Checking in intentionally together with a weekly meeting can be such a powerful way to maintain communication and actively be striving to meet goals as a team.
What does your accountability look like? Which one are you going to tackle this week?