If you’ve never had an accountability partner and are new to the idea, you may wonder how to handle this new relationship and what to discuss. Don’t fret – here’s how to get started with your accountability relationship.
Decide How & When You’ll Meet
You need to be having regular meetings with your accountability partner. These sessions might be in person at a local coffee shop or if you’re virtual accountability partners, then these meetings might be held on Skype or Google Hangouts. It doesn’t matter if you use technology to meet up or not, you need to have a regular meeting place.
How often you meet should come down to what works for you. It can be helpful to start meeting two to four times a month. This allows you both time to report on progress or setbacks as you encounter them.
But keep in mind that it’s OK to change your meeting place or time, depending on what’s going on in your life or your accountability partner’s life. For example, if you become accountability partners with another solopreneur during the summer months, then you may find that you need to adjust your meetings during the school year so that you can spend more time with your kids.
This is a normal part of a partnership. So don’t be afraid to periodically review your schedules to see if another time slot would work better for both you and your accountability partner.
Talk About Your Goals
During your first session, you’ll want to talk about your values and goals with your partner. You’ll probably have a mix of short-term and long-term goals for your business or your life.
Your accountability partner can help you break down your long-term goals into easy, manageable steps. For example, if your long-term goal is to publish a Kindle book on your niche, then your short-term action steps would be items like ‘outline my Kindle book’ or ‘contact a designer to create my book cover’.
Follow Up with Your Partner
In follow up meetings, you’ll want to talk about what steps you took since your last session together. Did you complete all your action steps? Did you forget something or run into a problem that prevented you from completing one of your action steps? Can your accountability partner come up with ways to try to overcome this roadblock?
Don’t just talk about the hard stuff either. Be sure to celebrate when either one of you meets a milestone or accomplishes a goal. Celebrating accomplishments can be simple—like going out for dessert together or if you’re virtual accountability partners, send your friend a small Starbucks card. By celebrating your success together, you make it more likely that you’ll achieve even bigger goals.
Be patient with yourself and your new accountability partner as you learn how to navigate this new partnership. If something isn’t working for you, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for what you need.