Rewind to 2019, when I was about halfway through my doctoral program. My progress was slowing, and the task of completing my comprehensive exams and beginning to think about a dissertation topic seemed insurmountable.
While chatting about this wave of overwhelm, a colleague referred me to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. Our university had a membership, and I could use all its services for free. The site contains a myriad of helpful knowledge for graduate students and faculty members.
But the most practical thing for me came from the option to be matched with an accountability partner. In the past, I had accountability partners for health and wellness goals but had never considered one for academic pursuits.
It was the perfect time to test it out.
I signed up and, much to my delight, was matched right away with a graduate student in Canada. Our backgrounds and experiences were very different, yet our commitment to support one another remained strong. I am fortunate now to consider my accountability partner a dear friend.
At this new juncture of creating a solopreneur business and being self-employed, I realized (through a conversation with this dear friend) that I am once again in need of an accountability partner.
Accountability partner definition and meaning
An accountability partner is a person you choose to work with voluntarily to help you accomplish your goals or maintain discipline in different aspects of your life. This trusted and supportive companion holds you accountable for your commitments, progress, and actions related to your objectives.
Their primary role is to motivate, encourage, and provide constructive feedback while ensuring that you stay on track and responsible for your goals and responsibilities. This partnership should be based on mutual trust and a shared commitment to personal or professional development. You don’t necessarily have to be working on the same exact goal, but it’s helpful to be in the same niche/discipline/genre.
Here are 5 reasons why an accountability partner can be your best asset:
- Consistency – Meeting with an accountability partner weekly or every other week builds consistency into your routine. Having something to report or check in helps you consistently reach your goals. Recently, I’ve also been exploring “The Rule of 100” by Alex Hormozi and believe having a partner to check in with can help you stay the course of your 100 days.
- Motivation – Having someone cheering you on can be a great source of inspiration. When I was going through a tough time, my accountability partner was always there for me, rooting for my success. It’s also great to have someone to share your achievements with. You can check out the Medium Weekly Goals and Wins publication to share your own goals and successes.
- Better problem-solving – Discussing issues with a third party can provide fresh insights and potential remedies. They might suggest adjustments to your routine or introduce you to a useful technology that has aided their productivity. (Feel free to check out my Etsy store for problem-solving templates.)
- Positive peer pressure: Sharing your goals with someone else can create pressure to achieve them. Although there may be obstacles and detours, having to report progress every week can create a positive peer pressure to stay motivated.
- Clearer goals: To take action on your goals, they must be SMART(ER). When sharing them with others, it’s essential to break them down into understandable terms and actionable steps that can be achieved week by week. Making goal-setting a regular part of your accountability routine can be beneficial.
There are many positive benefits to having an accountability partner. It made a world of difference as I was pursuing my doctorate.
So consider bringing someone on your journey and help each other reach your goals in life!
I’m sharing my personal and professional growth journey and supporting others in this Facebook group: The Heartwork Hub Community. I’d love to see you there!