In today's article we'll look at one of the absolute best, yet incredibly underestimated tried and tested tactics you'll need to reach your goals.
This tactic will not only push you forward, it will literally rewire your brain and change how you live. It will also answer one of the biggest questions in life each of us face.
But before we go there, we start in a galaxy far far away...
And more specifically, Han Solo (below, far right).
You see Han Solo gets a lot of credit. Sure he helped rescue Princess Leia, take down Jabba the Hutt, and even destroy the Death Star (multiple times), but the thing is, none of this would have been possible without, wait for it... an Accountability Partner.
You thought I was going to say 'The Force' right?
Or Luke Skywalker?
Or maybe Princess Leia.
Or how can I forget Chewbacca? He never got thanked enough. But his hair was always well combed.
But no. It's actually none of them.
Well, not exactly.
The real reason Han Solo kept kicking-ass and presenting his best self in the face of intergalactic terror was because the names above kept pushing him forward.
Time and time again, when they needed Han Solo the most, they reminded him of who he was, and what he was really capable of.
They got inside of his head.
As much as Han Solo hates to admit it, Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca were not just his friends, or colleagues in arms, they were much more - they were his accountability partners.
Which makes Hans statement below both inaccurate and false...sort of.
The above GIF is telling. Han comes across as not needing anyone. He's a strong alpha male. He's the best pilot in the galaxy.
And yet, there he is, dragging himself forward, shouting in Leia's ear, needing to be heard, because Han Solo knows he could be doing so much more.
Han Solo knows the truth.
Which brings us to what an Accountability Partner is exactly, and how you can get started.
Seven Tactics Thanks to Accountability Partners
1. Accountability Partners - Goal Journal Documentation: Goal documentation forces you to start writing down your specific goals. I recommend a goal journal so you can see those goal each day, on your desk, or nightstand, as a reminder. Text or email won't be enough.
2. Accountability Partners - Goal Scheduling: Goal scheduling forces you to start scheduling your goals into your weekly plans. Using agile methodology, assign goals which are small in size, that may take a few hours or 1-2 days to complete.
3. Accountability Partners - Goal Communication: Goal communication forces you to send your goals to your accountability partner(s) each week, which shows your focus, and commitment to your goals in the week ahead.
4. Accountability Partners - Focused Energy: Focused energy cuts out time wasting because you know what you have to get done. And if you've not accomplished your goals for the week, it forces you to NOT watch that next episode of Netflix' "Tiger King" because your time is more important than that.
5. Accountability Partners - Forms New Habits: The new habit you're forming is you working towards your goals each week. This means as more weeks pass by and you continue on this program, they just become a part of you and your routine.
6. Accountability Partners - Question without Violence: Account ability partners have their own goals which may have nothing to do with yours, but they still want to know why you didn't reach all 5 out of 5 goals for your week? What was your reason, what was your excuse? Good accountability partners will listen and not judge, but they will point out patterns if they seem them, on possible ways to get your goal count higher if you're constantly missing your targets.
7. Accountability Partners - Allow You to Exceed in Reaching Your Goals: If you set out with a list of 5 goals for this week and only achieved 2 or 3, then that is still good news. It's not GREAT news, but it's still good. You see 2 or 3 is better than 0. And if you only did a fraction of what you expected, then it will push you harder for the next week. Because you'll remember that in the end the only person you're letting down in all of this, is you, and possibly those around you, if they've been worked into your goals.
Ok the above might feel a bit abstract, so here's my personal example of this in action.
My Personal Example: Accountability Partners in Action
Three weeks ago I restarted the accountability partnership program with friends. A trial run if you will.
I knew this program worked but I'd honestly forgotten just how effective it was for me and everyone who participated.
To give credit where it is due, I was reminded of this concept at a Get Inspired Talks event I went to months ago with Roger Killen, who also personally reminded me over coffee's how important this tactic is in goal setting and taking action in those goals.
Right now I have 4 different groups of accountability partners running. I send my list to all four groups separately. My interactions with each group is different because all groups I help facilitate are in different places in their journeys.
One group sends their specific lists and we have a check-in mid week, rolling through the details and our progress.
Another group includes a once-a-week meeting to discuss our progress. There's more free flow in this group, with less defined goals, and that's ok too, because at the end of each week when we meet, they're still working towards their goals and being open and honest about their productivity.
While another group we haven't even spoken once on the phone about our goals. Instead we've sent texts and even video reviews of each others content, highlighting our feedback for each other, in more of a peer review, subject expert type setting.
All groups push me forward in my goals and make me feel more accountable for my actions. They help me focus on which goals I'll be working on at 7am on a Monday morning or 3pm on a Friday afternoon, like today, right now as I write this article.
And the principles inside of accountability partnerships stopped me from doing a few things I knew were poor additions to my day.
Last Sunday for instance, after dinner, I had an opportunity to watch episode no 3 of tiger king. It was 640pm at night and I was tired, both physically and mentally. But then I remembered my accountability partners were expecting me to send out my goals for the week.
So I turned off the TV, walked to a quiet room in our home, and started working on my goals list for the week, which energized me.
Note: I run my Accountability Goals from a Sunday to a Saturday, but any 7 day cycle works.
My goals list took me 15 - 30 minutes to create, and once it was written down in my journal, I text it out to my groups.
Then I mentally slotted in a schedule which I've since added to my calendar, knowing exactly which hours of the day I'd be working on goals 1,2,3,4,5, etc.
Then I went to action.
So how did I do? I set five writing goals for this week and accomplished all of them. This is great news. But I also set 4 other goals and failed to complete any of them. Not so great news.
But I still have about 30 hours left in my week to see what I can accomplish.
The Great Pause of 2020 - What did You Do with Your Time?
If you don't have your own Accountability Partner, now is the time.
Who should be this person or persons? Close friends. Or mentors you can trust.
Text, email or call up that person now, forward them this article via the 'share' button at the very bottom, and tell them you want them as your accountability partner. Go on, we'll wait for you here...
The Answer to one of the biggest questions each of us face in life - Is You.
Yes YOU are the answer. You are the reason. You without a doubt have many talents. The problem is, you might not know it yet. You might not realize it yet, but one of the biggest questions we'll face in life is "why haven't I reached my goals yet?" and "What has been holding me back, all these years?"
You ultimately have the power to change your direction. To do more with your time. And it all starts by working towards your goals.
By taking action, you are also willing to take 100% accountability in where you are today, and what you're about to do next.
And because you know success is not just about reaching your goals, it is the act of taking action, you'll know you're in a win win scenario. Taking action allows us to live inside of our dreams. And isn't that a nice place to be? Inside of the place we always wanted to live. To be, or to achieve.
Taking action will transform you.
Start your Accountability Partner routine with a friend today. Trust me good things will happen...
Thanks for reading.
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About the author - Goran Yerkovich is the founder of The-Inspired.com, an online magazine designed to help readers reach their personal goals. The-Inspired includes some of the best tools, tactics, and habits from the greatest minds of today and yesterday. Goran lives in the greater Vancouver area with his wife and two cats Kimchi and Kauai.