Last week, we talked about making progress and assessing if you’re getting closer or further from where you want to be. Today, let’s look at one of the ways you can make progress happen faster. It relies on at least one other person. 

Some of you are going to say, “Wait a minute, Ally! If I’m relying on another person, won’t it slow me down and keep me from making great progress on my own?” But here’s the thing, it actually helps you speed up and stay on track. That’s the beauty of having an accountability partner.

An accountability partner is a simple concept: it’s someone that you tell about a change you want to make and they help hold you accountable for making those changes. Basically, they are a checkpoint, a cheerleader, and sometimes a source of tough love as you go through your journey. 

Since change is hard, especially on your own, the more systems you can put in place to help you be successful, the better off you’ll be. This is one of those systems. It’s an achievement hack. I use it for generating progress on big dreams as well as small tasks, because it’s so effective. And if I’m being honest, it’s pretty fun too!

Here’s how it looks in real life.

As an entrepreneur, I have the freedom to decide how to spend my time, which is wonderful! But it also means I need to make sure I’m spending time on the most important things and not chasing after every squirrel-idea that crosses my path (which by the way is a LOT!). Enter my accountability partners! I meet with a group of entrepreneurs monthly to check in and hold each other accountable for making progress on those things that are most important to our respective businesses. None of us wants to show up to that meeting saying we made no progress, so we are each taking action over the course of the month to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Another example: as a career coach, I recommend to my clients that they update their career story (resume, LinkedIn, portfolio, etc.) every quarter. But let’s be honest, when left to our own devices, most of us aren’t going to do that. Unless you’re into the desperate place where your job has become soul-sucking and you are doing everything in your power to get out of there, in which case, I know a great career coach that can help! 

So instead of dreading making updates to your career story, schedule drinks or dinner (or both!) with a friend. Start out the gathering by taking 10 minutes to update your respective stories and reminding each other of the great accomplishments you’ve had over the quarter. Then kick back and enjoy dinner, knowing that you and your accountability partner have completed that task and that should your dream job open up next week, you’re completely ready for it!

Most people have tasks they dread, but love dinner and hanging out with friends, so feel free to employ this strategy for the variety of things you have a tendency to avoid. It’s an amazingly effective (and fun!) way to make progress.

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