Why You Need an Accountability Partner

The word accountability can be a scary term. So much so that it is almost non-existent in the political, religious, and corporate sectors of the world, let alone people's personal lives.

Accountability simply means that your actions and decisions are answerable to a higher authority. Therefore, inherit of accountability is submission....which explains the lack thereof. 

As adults, we tend to buck at the idea of submission. Women, especially, have found this term to be intrusive upon our rights, particularly within marriage. Now, that's a discussion for another day, but you get the point. Most adults don't want to submit. We feel as though we've reach the point of self direction in life and authoritative guidance is optional. Heck, we waited 18 years to be "free" from our parents' reign, so why would we willingly allow someone to tell us what to do?

I absolutely get it.

It's the same reason I hesitate to tell my husband when I'm on another one of my diets. I don't need him looking all up in my plate questioning everything that I scoff down my throat.

It's annoying, right?

Like when you told your friend you weren't going to talk to your ex anymore, but she caught you slipping and now you're mad at her for calling you out and holding you accountable....

So annoying.

Here's the thing though: It's necessary. If we want to progress in life and reach those goals that we've set for ourselves, we've got to have that one person who's going to shoot it straight to us and make sure we're doing what we're supposed to do.

Here in lies the value of an accountability partner.

If you've ever been mentored or coached before, then you'll understand the concept of an accountability partner. A mentor has already attained something that you wish to accomplish (a career, financial state, etc.) and you are under their tutelage. In this scenario, you take direction from them and are, in fact, accountable to them as they help you progress toward your goals. Likewise, an accountability partner is also there to help you reach your goals. However, their role is less of a mentor, but one of a peer who keeps you on track with those things that you want to accomplish. 

Think of it as a work out partner. They're there working alongside you as you push each other to reach your individual goals.

As your partner, you give them the authority to check you when you're getting off track and you have the authority to do the same. It is a mutually beneficial relationship where you are able to have a sounding board for ideas and support system.

So, what should you look for in an accountability partner?

  • Look for someone who is goal oriented. Your accountability partner should have goals of their own, else it will be a one sided relationship. Find someone who has their own dreams that they want to accomplish and has a plan to get there.

  • Look for someone who is results driven. There's nothing like having a lazy workout partner. It just won't work. You don't need someone who will be a weight-- where you're trying to move yourself and pull them a long. Find someone who wants to go after more in life and not be complacent. 

  • Look for someone who is responsible. Would you trust an irresponsible teen with your brand new car? I think not. So why would you entrust your dreams with someone who won't treat it with the respect and care that they need. Find someone who is responsible and serious about the partnership. 

  • Look for someone you can trust. Not everyone is for you. Period. Don't work with someone who's just out to nab your ideas or to talk you out of reaching your goals. Find someone who you can trust with your "baby"-- that is your dreams, goals, and ambitions. You may be able to trust your favorite cousin with your kids, but she may not be the person for your dreams.

  • Look for someone you vibe with. This should go without saying. Why be stuck working through life with someone that you don't even enjoy being around? Don't torture yourself! Find someone that you genuinely vibe with and are excited to catch up with at the end of the day.

What does an accountability partnership look like?

Though I have a "built in" accountability partner in my husband, I also have an accountability partner that I work with for my brand and entrepreneurial adventures. We come to the table each month to discuss the things that we're working on and would like to accomplish in the coming months. At the conclusion of our working session, we give each other action items that we have to complete for the next meeting and we'll check in with each other to make sure we're getting them done. Not only do we give each other support for our goals, but we also give spiritual support by sharing scriptures, words of encouragement, and plainly praying for each other.