Time To Get What You Aim For

Many of you will already know what I’m talking about when I say “accountability partner”.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, an accountability partner is simply someone – or, in my case, sometwo 🙂 – who holds you accountable to the things you say you’re going to do, and vice versa.

I first heard about accountability partners during the summer of 2011 when I was working through a mentorship with U.S.A. based artist Michele Théberge (I highly recommend her Mindful Artist Mentorship program.  I was working through some dark days of discouragement and struggling to get into the studio when my BFF, Tzaddi, forwarded a link to sign up for a free tele-lecture of Michele’s.  One thing led to another and I decided to invest in myself and enroll in Mindful Artist.  Michele’s highly organized program and generous, caring nature got me back on track, focused, and bearing a much better attitude).

In September of 2011 I did some serious thinking on who I could partner with – I needed someone who had a similar desire to push their career and productivity into full gear, and the drive to do it.

Two of my peers who were candidates were already heavily involved with their own partners/groups and somehow I didn’t feel it was kosher for me to ask if I could intrude.  I tried to think of anyone else in my circle that might be interested.  I came up blank.  I suddenly realized how small my circle was.  To be honest, it was (is) heartbreaking.

Without going into a this-is-what-I-get-for-not-going-to-openings-and-working-in-isolation-for-ten-years rant the story ends with me not finding an accountability partner and pushing the idea of it to the back of my mind.  Then, serendipticiously (yeah, I just made that up:  serendipitously + deliciously = serendipticiously), circumstances changed.

While I was in Fredericton I thought to check in on my Twitter account.  I’d only been Tweeting – and very infrequently – since July 2012.  It’s not something I think to check every day, and certainly not every day of a business trip.  I think of it as serendipitous because I just so happened to scroll through recent Tweets and saw that one of my contacts was looking for an accountability partner.  Her request could just as easily been missed by me.  One other person aside from myself responded and we jumped right to it.

There are any number of ways which a group might organize the parameters of accountability.  We chose to email daily goals lists to each other first thing in the morning, also listing the previous day’s goals and an update of whether we’d accomplished our tasks or not.  On weekends we sometimes combine days and goals into a single email.

A daily email sounds daunting, and if I’m going to be transparent I must admit that I panicked a bit.  I had sorta been thinking about a once-a-week connection.

I can say, after having worked these parameters for a few months, that daily emails encourage me to be much more productive than a weekly check-in would.  Accountability works!  I can’t believe how much I’m getting done.

The bonus is that I’m so busy being accountable (and productive!) that my winter blues have stayed at bay; not something I would have imagined happening through accountability, but a very welcome by-product.

Do you have an accountability partner or partners?  Are you as amazed as I am with how much you get done?  Don’t you think that EVERYONE should have an accountability group?  Feel free to share in the comments. 🙂

PS – the next time you are on Twitter, stop by @jody_macdonald and say “hi”.

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