With just under two months left in 2011, you may falsely believe that the goals you had set at the start of the year are destined for another New Year’s Resolutions’ grave. But you are so wrong!
I know a secret weapon that can help you accomplish those goals at lightning speed and still make 2011 a winning year. I am talking about an accountability buddy, an AB for short.
What is an Accountability Buddy?
An accountability buddy is like a best friend and a life coach rolled in one. Having an AB assures that you have the eyes, ears, and heart of a like-minded person who wants the best for you, will support you, but most importantly, will keep you focused and accountable. Since human beings tend to be competitive, it is often found that one person’s success will act as inspiration and a catalyst for another.
An AB may be one person, as I prefer, or you may choose to have a small group. If you choose a group, it may be best to limit it to 4 people. Avoid including your talkative gossipy friends because the purpose of an AB is not for socialization. You also want to avoid having people who are too negative or too agreeable, as negative Nellies can talk you out of your goals and the “yes maams” of this world will prevent you from being the best you.
Once you find an accountability buddy, consider meeting at least once weekly for a set time; 1 hr if there are only two of you, two hours if 4. This time should be long enough to give each person a chance to get through his/her goals and review any progress made, but short enough so time is not wasted. It is great if meetings are held in person but other options such as social media, telephone or Skype, email, or even texting may be just as effective. You should come to the initial meeting with 2-3 short-term goals that you want to accomplish before the year is over. The goals should be in the SMART format. For those who are not familiar, SMART is an acronym, i.e. each letter stands for a word. There are a variety of versions but the one I use is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Record, and Time-sensitive. For example, a not so SMART goal may read, “I want to lose weight.” This type of goal is too vague and is doomed for failure. The SMART version forces you to state specifically how many pounds you would like to lose, the steps you are going to take to lose the weight, how you are going to measure your progress, and specifically when this goal will be accomplished. Since the SMART process requires setting achievable goals, a goal of 30 lbs in 30 days, regardless what the commercials say, is not a good plan. Practice writing your goals this way as it will begin to give you clarity and will immediately help you to figure out the how.
How Does The AB Work?
Once you have your 2-3 SMART goals listed, you are on your way. Each person should be given a set amount of time to state his/her goals and say exactly what steps will be taken in order to achieve them. The subsequent meetings allow for discussion of your progress as well as you receiving suggestions and encouragement from your accountability buddy. Obviously you are going to do the same for him/her. Contacts may be made in between the scheduled meeting times in case something new has occurred or if you want to touch base with each other. Once you’ve accomplished your goals, as I know you will, decide how you and your AB will reward yourselves. Of course, if you find success with your AB, it is a great idea to hold on to him/her for the coming year’s goals.
So go ahead! Dust off a few of those goals you have lying around. Call up your accountability buddy today and make that last push to accomplish your goals. After all, you still have time to make this a winning year!