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Life Organization

What’s An Accountability Partner And Do You Need One?

Learn what an accountability partner is, the difference between a peer and coach partnership, how the process works, and who you should choose to partner with.

A couple of days ago I shared a photo of me working out in my IG Stories and mentioned that I sent that pic to my accountability partner. I included a poll to see if others used accountability partners when they participate in challenges, and 25% of the responders said they didn’t know about accountability partners at all.

This method of accountability has helped me, as well as my clients, for years. So I decided to hop on IG Live and do a mini lesson. The video replay is below, as well as a shortened transcript recap in case you missed it or want to rewatch.

Please excuse Marty’s butt, who was the unintentional star of the show…

Accountability Partner Video Recap:

What is an accountability partner?

An accountability partner is someone you report to that holds you accountable for what you say you’re going to do.

Accountability partners come in two different forms. A peer and a coach.

Peer partners are usually doing the same thing you are and need accountability also. Coach partners are not working on the same goal, and their sole job is to be someone you report to and provide professional motivation along the way.

The Difference Between A Peer Partner And A Coach Partner

With a peer accountability partner, you both are working on the same goal. For example, a 28 day organizing challenge like the one I have available on my blog (I’ll put the signup form at the bottom of this post). You and a friend are both doing the challenge together and agree to check in with each other to keep each other on track.

This works really well for some and not so well for others. Your success or failure really rides on the other person. If they feel down one day or have excuses not to complete that day’s task, your brain sees it as a pass that you can skip a day too, or you feel less motivated because your partner’s mood is dragging you down.

On the other hand, if your partner is high-energy ready to go, you might feel stressed or intimidated. Especially if that person is performing at a higher level than you.

In a peer situation, it’s SO important to pick the right person. Pretend you just met them, what’s your first impression? Ignore your personal biases and really look at who they are as a person and whether they stick with their own goals frequently. If they are usually slacking, they probably will now, too.

With a Coach Partner, this person is someone you hire to keep you motivated. In my opinion, a coach accountability partner is way better because there’s money involved. Nobody likes to waste money, right? So if you’re giving Sunshine Sally your hard earned cash to keep you just as sunny and rosy as she is, you are more likely to stick with it and get your money’s worth.

This is actually something I offer my virtual clients but I don’t really advertise it that much because I can only work with a few women a month. But from what I’ve experienced, this method is extremely effective and I see women achieve things they never thought they could before.

Who Needs An Accountability Partner?

Anyone who struggles to complete challenges, gets distracted easily, or often loses their motivation. If you’re a serial project starter, but not much of a project finisher, an accountability partner is for you.

How Accountability Partners Work

The process works differently based on what type of partner you have.

A peer accountability partnership usually involves you both checking in with each other at irregular times, whenever it’s convenient, to say that you did the thing. There’s usually some pep talk involved, especially if one friend is feeling unmotivated. This can either be really helpful or really damaging, so be very careful and steer the conversation to a positive direction every time.

Peer partners usually come up with some kind of celebration prize at the end of the challenge, like a fun dinner out or a mani-pedi afternoon at the spa.

With Coach Partnerships, each coach has their own way of doing things. I personally work with my clients like this:

I charge $250 for one month of Accountability services. Depending on their goals, I send them a text every day, few days, or week with some motivation and positive affirmations to prove that they’re making progress.

And depending on their goals, they send me video proof of them doing the thing. Walking daily, workout challenges, 15 minute daily organizing sessions, eating healthy, whatever it is.

If they are feeling not so great, they tell me and we talk through it. I am there every single day to help them stay on track, and I’m not afraid to give some tough love and have hard conversations. I’m not your best girlfriend, I’m your coach. And at the end of the day, you hired me to help you reach your goals.

All coaches offer different rewards, but I offer mine monetarily. Because money is a big motivator, right?

My clients pay me $250 at the beginning of our month together. IF they stick with it the whole time, they get a $100 refund. IF they slack off only twice or once, they get a $50 refund. And if they slack off more than twice, they have paid full price and get nothing back. That’ll make ya work hard, right?

Who To Choose As Your Accountability Partner

It should be someone who shoots it to you straight. Someone who is brutally honest and won’t coddle you when you say you have a headache or you just don’t have time. And if it’s a peer, she should also be just as motivated to complete the challenge as you are.

I don’t recommend a very close friend or family member, even if they do possess those qualities. You’re just too close in relationship to have those hard conversations and you can jeopardize your friendship if things go south.

I also don’t recommend a stranger, because you honestly don’t give a crap about what they think about you.

Your best bet is someone who you admire and value their respect. You want to kind of impress them. Even in a peer situation, find someone on Instagram who you don’t know in real life but you talk a lot in DMs and share the same interests.

And in a coach partnership, choose a coach who you relate to and suits your personality type. I highly suggest steering clear of those accountability apps, because there is not an actual human connection.

How To Restart A Challenge You Failed At In The Past

In order to restart a challenge you haven’t been successful with in the past, you should first take a look back at the actual challenge calendar and find where you went wrong. What tripped you up, what stopped you? What was too hard? Was the time you attempted to work on it not appropriate for your schedule? Did it take longer than you expected?

Once you know what caused you to not finish, you’ll be better equipped to change things up next time. I also suggest making modifications as needed, too. You don’t have to do the challenge exactly the way it’s laid out in order to be successful, and you may need to change up your schedule next time to accommodate for it better.

What Determines Success And Failure?

A lot of times we get in our own heads about what we did and did not accomplish. If we didn’t do a side plank exactly the way our instructor in a workout video showed, we failed. If we didn’t walk for 40 minutes every day but we did walk for 20, we failed.

No, Girl, you walked for TWENTY FREAKING MINUTES EVERY DAY! Celebrate that! How many minutes were you walking before this challenge? None!

Start reframing your mind to not see the end of the challenge as the only victory, but the process of the challenge as major growth and improvement.

More Questions?

You can send me a DM @lelaburris on Instagram with any other Accountability Partner or Challenge Completion questions. I did have a few people ask about my Accountability Coaching Services after the video, and I can only take on a few partners per month. To check for availability, shoot me a DM on IG and we can chat privately.

And if you need a challenge to get yourself started, here’s my most popular 28 Day Decluttering Challenge. You can download it for free, then just find an accountability partner to work through it with. I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and opinions in the comments below!

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