New beginnings are great for new habits. The start of a new month, new year, new week or even a new journal seems to give a nudge of awakening and a sense to start afresh, set new habits and amend old ways. However, forming new habits require self-control and consistent practice until it becomes second nature.
Opening up and willingly giving accounts of your habits to another person (an accountability partner) can make habit formation easier. An accountability partner will keep you motivated in your goal, give you support and put you back on track when you’re distracted.
Know Your Personality Type
In Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better Than Before, she identifies four character profiles a person may likely possess which tend to influence habit formation.
The upholder finds it easy to respond to personal expectations and that of others.
People with this trait scrutinise all expectations and complies to only what makes sense to them.
The obliger meets expectations when they are imposed on her but struggles to meet personal expectations.
The rebel resists all expectations whether from self or other.
A person is more likely to have a mix of the traits. Obligers and upholders thrive on accountability. The questioner can keep herself accountable once she is convinced. Regardless of the character profile you identify with, accountability partners can be extremely helpful and make the journey to forming a new habit less painful.
Before Choosing An Accountability Partner
- Outline the habits you’re trying to form or the goal you want to achieve. (eg. I want to spend 1-hour reading every day)
- Create a realistic routine of how to achieve it. (I will wake up at 4 am every day to read till 5 am)
- Set how to measure your progress.
- Identify how you want the accountability partner to help you.
Choosing An Accountability Partner
- Choose someone ready and willing to devote to your growth. The person should be committed to your success and passionate about your goal enough.
- Choose someone you respect and can’t stand to disappoint.
- Choose someone you trust. Vulnerability is built on trust.
- State clearly your reasons for building the new habit or working on the goal.
- Be clear on how you want him/her to be of help to you.
- Set a time for routine check-ins.
Do You Need One Accountability Partner For All Aspects Of Your Life?
No. You can have multiple accountability partners for different goals and habits. You have work buddies, school buddies, gym buddies, music buddies. Use the right people for the right things. That person who seems to get her business up and running should be the one who keeps you accountable for your business. Find people who care enough about you and the goal you want to achieve.
- Decide and just do it. The real work still rests on you a 100%. Your accountability partner is only there to remind you of why you started the change in the first place and keep you grounded.
- Don’t be unbearable. Don’t tell lies about your progress. It will be to your detriment.
- Share your difficulties. They may offer help and hacks of how to deal with the difficulties.
Having an accountability partner is like travelling with a friend. The miles don’t get any shorter but there ’s someone right by you to keep you company.
Also published on Medium.