The accountability PArTNERHOOD gOALS sheet. Here is a downloadable worksheet to get you started that you can fill out and use weekly to structure your relationship with your accountability partner. You can use it to track goals that you will set for yourself and to reflect on your progress. Just click on the image to download the PDF.
How to Choose A great Accountability Partner. How do you choose an accountability partner who you can really depend on to help you stay committed to your most challenging aspirations and keep you motivated when the going gets rough? Well, the first mistake many people make is partnering with someone who is a best friend. In fact, people tend to have more success working with accountability partners who are not friends but partners who they don't know at all. An accountability partner who is not a friend and hasn't known you tends to have less vested in pleasing you or letting you off the hook when you bail on your goals. The formality created by working with an accountability partner who is not a friend tends to motivate people to hold up their end of the bargain better because the external obligation is more specific and serious. While you may ultimately become friends with your new partner, starting out with a relationship that is structured purely around dedicating yourself to your goals and helping your partner meet theirs provides clarity of purpose and more targeted motivation to accomplish your goals. For more tips on choosing a great accountability partner read this article from Business Insider.
SeT SMART GOALS. It is important that we set goals for ourselves that are achievable otherwise our motivation erodes. However that doesn't mean that we should set our sights lower, rather it means that we need to define and structure our goals in way that makes it more possible to achieve them. We need to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for ourselves; that is goals that are, specific, measurable, achievable, result-focused, and time-bound. Check out this resource from the University of Virginia on how to set SMART goals for yourself and your accountability partner. Click on the image to download the PDF.
SeT STRETCH GOALS.
AND Charles DUHIGG's Book SMARTER FASTER BETTER. On the other hand, SMART goals on their own can sometimes prove very unproductive. In his newest book, Smarter, Faster, Better Charles Duhigg demonstrates how people often become overly fixated on achieving well-defined and reasonably attainable goals just for the sake of feeling accomplished and in control, or for what is known in the psychology literature as "cognitive closure." In fact, a common and almost silly, resulting phenomenon occurs when a person will easily or automatically complete a task or accomplish a goal and then after having done so, will go back and record their accomplishment or define their goal (perhaps in SMART criteria) just for the sake of being able to cross it off their list of goals. While many people do this because it makes them feel more productive, it is, in fact, the opposite. It detracts from time that could be spent working towards other goals or imagining new possibilities. Instead, sometimes, it can prove much more productive to imagine STRETCH goals rather than SMART goals. STRETCH goals are far-reaching, difficult to attain, perhaps beyond one's current capacities, and have no clear path as to how to achieve them. STRETCH goals are lofty challenges that stretch us beyond our limits and sometimes they just the right kind of inspiration we need to make big leaps in productivity and achieve things we never imagined possible.
And the real superpower comes when people aspire toward stretch goals and next devise SMART goals and criteria to help them get there. Check out Duhigg's book available on Amazon here for more on STRETCH goals and other great tips on hacking your productivity or click on the image.
In Gretchen Rubin's new book Better Than Before, she discusses the way that people meet both personal or internal and external expectations. After surveying over 1,000,000 respondents, Rubin categorized people into four groups based on how they met expectations; the Obliger, the Upholder, the Questioner, and the Rebel. In short, the Obliger is very successful at meeting external expectations but struggles to meet their personal goals. The Upholder is very successful at meeting both internal and external expectations. The Questioner questions every expectation and both external and internal and converts all expectation into internal expectations that they are successful at achieving if they are deemed worthy by the questioner. And finally, the Rebel resists or rebels against all expectations. Any one of these four types of people can be very successful if they understand their tendencies towards expectations and works toward their goals in ways that are aligned with their motivations. To find out your tendency you can take Gretchen Rubin's online quiz.
It turns, out that the majority of people are obligers. Most people tend to be very good at meeting outer expectations but struggle to meet the goals that they set for themselves. BUT there is hope for the majority of us! Obligers benefit greatly from external accountability, they tend to be very successful when they use accountability partners to help them achieve their goals!
Rubin's book sheds light on how to form sustainable habits that can help you achieve your goals, to purchase it on Amazon click on the image or click here.
Inspiration from Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was arguably one of the most successful goal-achievers in history; author many times over, printer, diplomat, political theorist, humorist, fire chief, postmaster, scientist, inventor, discoverer of electricity, and founder of the University of Pennsylvania, to name a few of his achievements. So how did he manage to do it all? He was very structured with his time and his goals. So in case you feel like spelling out your goals in black and white or devising a schedule is a bit onerous or overkill, here's some historical proof of its value. Click on the image to get the downloadable copy of Franklin's daily schedule or read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin for free from amazon kindle.
And watch this great youtube video on Franklin's daily routine for more inspiration!
MAke YouR Failure Resume. Success is never immediate, it takes dogged hard work and perseverance. Anyone who has been successful has failed repeatedly on their way to success. Success is often non-linear. We fail in all sorts of roundabout ways before we arrive. At risk of hyperbole, it could be said we spend the majority of our lives failing- that after all is how we learn. In the sage words of Beckett, "Ever tried, ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." So it is crucial that we examine our failures in order to learn thoroughly from them. Writing down your failures in black and white resume format may reveal to you new patterns and insights about your journey towards success. Read the article published in the Harvard Business Review about the trend of failure that took off when Princeton Professor Dr. Johannes Haushofer posted his failure resume to twitter in 2016 here. And click on the image to see Dr. Haushofer's CV of Failures.