You don’t have what it takes…
But that’s okay.
Having someone to help you stay accountable is so essential to creating new, good habits or, getting rid of bad ones. When there’s someone to help, then you do have what it takes.
When you have someone to check in with, it does something in that cute little head of yours that locks you in and focuses you to get it done. Social pressure is a powerful force, we want to keep our word and be contributors to a tribe. In our new society, however, it’s less clear when you’re contributing so we have to force people to watch us. Especially in the world of work at home when it might be just us and we still have to get stuff done, but no one is watching and Netflix is right there just a tab away on our computer screen.
Thus, the need for an accountability partner. Now I will be frank, it’s not easy for both of you to stick with it. Even that will take some work to stick to. But it’s worth it.
My accountability partner is one of my best friends, Scott Ferriera. He’s a brilliant mind and runs cmdR consulting, a software development company. I lucked out having him, but every week I call him on Sunday and we talk about our week, where we are at, and what our goals are for the week. Then next week we follow up and check in to see how the other person did, why we hit our goals, or why we didn’t. There’s no judgment if we don’t hit it, sometimes things happen, but we reassess together and either try to hit that goal again the next week or maybe find a more pertinent goal to hit.
Even though I know there’s no judgment from him, I still feel guilty if I don’t hit a goal I said I was going to hit for the week. Guilt can be a powerful tool to push me to get shit done. I don’t like that feeling so I work to prevent it from occurring.
Something I’m looking to implement with Scott, and maybe a larger group of people at some point is to add another layer of commitment by adding consequences for not hitting a goal. There’s a great app called Flora that allows you to set goals, add friends to hold you accountable to those goals, and then, if you’re really serious, you can commit $25, $50, $100+. If you don’t hit the goal by the agreed-upon date, then you have to pay that money to the app.
There’s another one called Stickks.com that does something similar, but you can hook it up to an anti-charity so instead of the app getting the money you commit money to, say, crude oil foundations or something of the sort. What’s different about flora is that as you succeed you grow a plant on the app, so you can see your progress grow and feel your growth. Such a smart way to gamify.
One of the best things you can also do is to find someone with similar goals who’s on a similar path. This way you can keep one another accountable. When you’re holding someone else accountable as you progress in your journey, when you don’t do what you said you would, it makes you feel guilty telling them why it’s not okay they didn’t do it. So, this has an effect on you to keep on task with your goal. A weird psychological effect happens that gives you the motivation to follow through so you can then inspire and encourage your accountability partner to continue and stick with it through the tough bits.
So now, go find a partner, tell them your goal or habit is something similar to, ‘I’m going to organize my closet for 20 minutes every day for the next week,’ and if you don’t, then maybe you have to buy them a nice dinner. Sure you lose some money, but you still win by getting to spend time with a friend!