It’s that time of year when we take some time to consider how the year went and perhaps even reflect on what we’ve achieved, what we didn’t and what we’ve learnt. And sometime between now and January we will begin to consider what we want to achieve next year; we may even share our goals (“new year’s resolutions”) with others, perhaps write them down, or even complete a vision board. At this point I’ll stop for a moment and ask you … is it going to be any different to last year? Did you achieve what you set out to achieve last year? Will you achieve the goals you set out to achieve next year?

Of course, one of the most common goals we set is the “I’m going to get fit and healthy’ goal … you set the alarm for 5 AM with every intention of jumping out of bed, putting on your gym gear and heading to the gym for a 30 – 60-minute workout … too easy. But how many times, how many days in a row have you hit snooze button, rolled over, and gone back to sleep?

Probably never, IF you have agreed to meet someone at the gym … a friend or family member who wants to get fit and healthy too, so you agreed to do it together. You agreed you’d meet at the gym every morning at 5.30am for a 30 – 60-minute workout.

“You have to do it by yourself, but you can’t do it alone.”


The power of an accountability buddy – we don’t want to let them down.

See it doesn’t matter how big or small the goals you want to achieve are, if the success of your goal requires you to go out of your comfort zone, change habits and grow (and let’s be honest, if your goal isn’t doing this, then it’s not a worthy goal), you can’t do it alone. Why? Because as human beings we have no problem in letting ourselves down. We find it very easy to come up with hundreds of different, valid reasons to justify, in our own minds, why it’s ok we didn’t do what we said we’d do.

  • I’ve got a huge deadline at work, I need to get into work early …
  • I have to get the house in order for the dinner party on Saturday …
  • I haven’t seen Mum in ages so of course I said yes to meeting her for breakfast, she won’t be around forever you know …
  • I’ll start tomorrow when I’m feeling more energetic …
  • I need new gym shoes, I’ll buy them first, then I’ll start going …

And eventually, we stop finding excuses and simply forget about the goal altogether, until next year.

Simon Sinek explains that as humans we’re not accountable to ourselves, we’re accountable to others. Because we’re social animals and, as such, we feel responsible to each other. What this means is, when we have other people invested in whatever it is we’re working towards (our goal), we’re more likely to do it because we don’t want to let them down.

I’ve got big lofty goals that I want to achieve in life. Goals I’ve never tried to achieve before, goals I don’t even know how to achieve, goals that are taking me so far outside my comfort zone I can’t even see that zone anymore. And I write them down, they have times frames and success measures, I break them down and I plan them out. But if I’m honest, I’m not on track and it’s taking me longer to reach some of these goals than it should. I’m a very structured, disciplined, task-focussed and persistent human, all qualities required for getting stuff done. And I am getting stuff done, each and every day I’m progressing towards my goals, BUT I’ve missed some very key deadlines and milestones for no other reason than – I’M NOT HOLDING MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE.

I’ve spent the last two days down the Gold Coast in an intensive group mentoring session and I’ve achieved more personally and professionally over the last two days than I have over the last two months. Why? Because I was being held accountable, not only by my mentor, but by the other members of the group. And why should I care whether I deliver on what I said I would do during those two days? Because I didn’t want to let them down.

“You have to do it by yourself, but you can’t do it alone.”


When you have an accountability partner:

  • You increase your momentum and personal performance,
  • You become emotionally involved in the goal and more engaged in accomplishing it,
  • You remain focused and on track,
  • You become more responsible for your success,
  • They help you see obstacles and challenges with a different perspective, and
  • It’s easier to acknowledge and measure your progress through someone else’s eyes – someone who’s not down in the grind day after day.

In addition to this, through the success of achievement, you experience personal growth, increased self-confidence and self-belief.

So, whether you call them an accountability partner, a mentor or a coach; what do you look for when choosing your accountability partner for 2019?

  1. Be Clear on Your Goals –  What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months? What does it look like, feel like when you’ve achieved it? Write them down.
  2. Be Clear on Your Objectives of the Partnership – What do you want to gain from this partnership? How can they help you? What are your expectations of them? What are their expectations of you?
  3. Agree on the Consequences – What are the consequences if you don’t do what you say you’re going to do, by the timeframe you agreed?
  4. Pick a Partner Who will be Brutally Honest with You – There is no advantage in having an accountability partner who won’t ask why, or challenge you to think differently, do things differently. Pick someone you trust, respect and who will challenge you.
  5. Then, GET EMOTIONALLY INVOVLED in your goals and GET READY to get your BUTT KICKED.

I’d love to hear about your own experiences or your thoughts.