Make Consistent Progress: 4 Tips to Choose and Work with an Accountability Buddy

Make Consistent Progress: 4 Tips to Choose and Work with an Accountability Buddy

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World-class athletes and business professionals do not achieve and maintain greatness alone, and neither can you. Accountability is one way you can set yourself up for consistent progress on your march towards your Olympics.

So how do you choose the right peer, friend, or colleague as an accountability buddy?

Well, they should be:

  • More experienced than you (ideally)
  • Have your best interests at heart
  • Not in competition with you in any way
  • Not threatened by you                               

It’s also important to take care of some housekeeping early on. Here are four important things to discuss prior to getting started with an accountability buddy:

  1. Be explicit about what is important to you, what you are committed to doing, and what help you are hoping for. If you ask someone and they aren’t fully on board, that’s okay. Thank them for their honesty and for considering it, then move on.
  2. Ensure they are committed to the process. For example, will they show up consistently? When will you meet and what time? Be very transparent at the outset about how important this process is to you.
  3. Verbally commit to practicing/teaching as soon as possible after you’ve received guidance from an expert. Let your accountability buddy know what you are practicing and when this will happen. By committing out loud to them, you are committing to yourself. You may want to schedule a specific time with your accountability buddy to “teach” them what you’ve learned.
  4. Commit to the process and to progress, rather than the outcome. It will allow you to pivot when needed and be as agile as possible, especially when setbacks occur. We’ll talk about setbacks in Chapter 5, but for now, accept that failure is an important part of getting better. Communicate this to your accountability buddy, so that both of you share the same philosophy.

This type of accountability structure will help you have "Zero Excuses"—even when it gets hard. As I’m sure you’ve experienced, the next level of success almost always gets hard.

According to Navy SEAL and Forbes contributor Brent Gleeson, "accountability breeds excellence and ensures ownership." It’s easy to see how accountability can affect your behavior. But to get more accountability in your life, you must be consistent to get consistent results.

If you want to change your behavior and achieve beyond your current circumstances, it’s time to choose and commit to a peer.

ZONED IN™ Acceleration Exercise:

Take the first step and list three friends or colleagues who might serve as good accountability buddies for you.

  1. _________________________
  2. _________________________
  3. _________________________

Email me what you think. I welcome all comments or questions


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Watch the Video: 
View Sheryl's coaching video on how to choose and work with an accountability buddy.

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