How to Be an Accountability Buddy

Having goals and staying on track to meet them is a lot easier when you have an accountability buddy.

You check in on each other, have someone waiting to hear an update, and it gives you that extra motivation to put in the work to get moving on your goals.

But what does it take to be the best accountability buddy for someone? Don’t just rely on your friend to check in on you and your goals while you leave theirs behind.

Here’s our list of 4 ways to show up as an accountability buddy for your friend:

1. Lay down the ground rules

Saying that you’re an accountability buddy isn’t something you can just throw around—you have to mean it. When partnering up with your friend, meet up over a smoothie and decide on how you want to hold each other accountable to reach your goals.

First things first: tell each other what you want to accomplish. Then, create a structure. Think of it like having a workout buddy. You schedule times to meetup and work on your goals and you call or text each other when you make progress. Set something up that works for both of you.

2. Write down your goal deadlines in a calendar

Writing your goals down brings them to life and doesn’t let you forget about them.

And, seeing your deadlines coming up gives you and your buddy a structure to work off of and puts you into action.

3. Have regular check-ins

Schedule a bi-weekly or monthly check-in coffee date.

Create a Slack channel #accountabilitybuddies.

Text or Snap each other when you’re working on your goal.

Whatever format you’re both comfortable with, regularly check in on each other to get updates on where you’re at with your goals. Having a buddy gives you someone to report back to and adds a level of responsibility that isn’t normally there when it’s just you and your goals.

4. Celebrate when its good, hunker down when its not

What makes a great accountability buddy is having someone else who cares about your goals as much as you do. Be each others cheerleaders along the way and have nuggets of celebrations when you’re making progress. When you’re falling off the wagon, you can be there for each other to recover for your failure and not give up. Celebrate when there’s glory and cheerlead where there’s gory!

5. Have a Safe Word or Phrase

Being an accountability buddy requires you to stand for you and your friend’s goals, even when they want to give up. When it gets hard on them, you need to be the one to help them get back up and keep going toward the goal.

And, choice matters.

So, if they truly, truly, truly want to give up on the goal in its entirety (Seth tells us to know about the Dip and when to quit), have a safe word or phrase that signals “I no longer want to work on this goal and, as a result, I no longer need your help in this capacity”. You can go the real route with your safe word/phrase and use, “This is a goal I no longer see valuable for myself” or inject a little silliness and use, “Abort mission”.

At TeamCorker, we love the buddy system. Sharing your goals with your friends and having them share theirs back is a pretty vulnerable space to be in. That’s why showing up as the best accountability buddy you possibly can is so important. So, go at it! Find your accountability buddy (if you haven’t already) and book that first smoothie date. Get planning and let us know how it goes!

Speaking of accountability buddies, we want to help organizations level up their leadership skills and hold them accountable to do so. So, we’re holding our first ever Facilitated Manager Start Line program. This 12-week program is a mix of self-directed online learning as well as online coaching calls with Matt to keep you on track and give you an accountability buddy to focus on your leadership goals. Sign up today to be a part of our February cohort.

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Leadership Tips, Manager Training
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