Picture of the 4 people that make up the accountability team

The power of accountability buddies

I’ve been setting goals for myself for years. Every New Year’s Day (or there abouts ?), I’m off to an area of greenery and, surrounded by nature, I think about things I want to achieve and put pen to butchers paper, jotting some often lofty goals that I want to see come to fruition during the year.

Professional and personal goal setting can be a solo, lonely activity, especially when you work for yourself. So who keeps you accountable to those goals? Especially those ones that seem just so lofty that they are just too easy to write off as too big.

Around 5 years ago in our local co-working space, a couple of us were discussing how we missed the formal deadlines that drove us forward. It’s all too easy to put off doing business development or personal development when these aren’t billable. We needed a mechanism or platform to discuss goals and be held accountable to their achievement.

The idea of Accountabilibuddies was born – the same group of people dedicated to showing up every month for the last 5 years to discuss our goals, irrespective of our work circumstances (we aren’t all business owners, but come from business backgrounds).

Here’s how we’ve made it work for us: we are a group of 4, happily gender balanced ? (though through happenstance rather than design), who make it a priority to meet once a month, mostly in person although we’ve been known to zoom in if someone is away or thanks to COVID. There is some formal structure around how long each person has the platform to speak. During time ‘on the platform’, we recount some of the last months goals and associated wins/losses before listing some goals for the coming month, while other members listen, ask questions and generally screen any personal bullshit that is stopping us from actioning something—‘Getting out of our own way’ as Rob puts it. The meetings are notated so that we have a record of both our own and our fellow members’ goals to reference back to as required.

Talk is not limited to professional and business goals, but also personal goals and current life situations/complexities, which can be quite emotional at times. We’ve dealt with burnout, trauma and even death. It requires us to be completely open and honest about where we are emotionally, physically and mentally. On the upside, we’ve got people cheering us on, as overarchingly we want each other to succeed.

Aside from providing a platform for accountability, one of the biggest advantages I’ve found is the vetting by fellow peers with their own strengths and ideas on how to approach a goal or a problem. We all have our own way of dealing with things and I’ve found it useful to have a fresh perspective to tackle a problem or goal differently.

I mentioned that in the past my goals have often been lofty. This group has taught me that breaking down these big goals into a roadmap of actionable bite size pieces make the goal seem much more achievable, and therefore more likely to be worked towards.

What mechanisms have you got in place to keep yourself accountable, and who can you enlist in your circle to help?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *