Accountability Buddies: 5 Tips for Making the Most of This Time Tool


Accountability buddies help you stay on track.

Perhaps my recent post about accountability buddies inspired you to give this time skill a try. If so, I’d love to hear how it went for you. Stick with it, as your buddy can offer powerful support as you move toward your goals.

So, today I’m sharing 5 focused tips to help you make the most of this partnership so that it produces the results you’re looking for.

Here are your 5 Tips

1. Crystal Clear Objectives Prime You for Success.

Invest time to identify your objectives in advance. Write them down and refine them. In fact, ask yourself the following questions before even lining up an accountability buddy:

  • What outcome are you working toward?
  • How will you know when you’re there?
  • Specifically, what do you want this partnership to provide?
  • What must you do on your end to work successfully with your accountability buddy?

2. Clear Objectives Grow Out of Clean Motivation.

Wishful thinking is famous for leading people on wild goose chases. So examine your motivation in advance. Is it grounded in reality? Keep in mind that your daily accountability exchange involves no more than a few minutes and is meant as a quick check-in. This isn’t where the actual work gets done. And it isn’t social time, it’s ‘just’ a quick check-in.

3. Select Your Accountability Buddy with Care.

Now that you have defined what you’re looking for as realistically as possible, ask yourself:

  • Whose follow-through is reliable?
  • Who is a good listener?
  • Who will offer feedback only when asked?

Perhaps you will be selecting a buddy from a group you are just getting to know (such as in a class). In that case, choose someone with similar interests to create a base.

4. Identify What Feedback, If Any, You’d Like to Receive.

An accountability buddy’s primary role is simply to be there when you check in. If you feel that your buddy could enrich your efforts by sharing her impressions, then give some thought to what feedback you do or don’t want. When you feel clear, communicate your wishes to your partner in a straightforward way.

5. Allow Successful Connections to Evolve Organically.

Accountability buddies offer interesting potentials. Satisfactory partnerships may conclude when objectives are met. Yet connections may grow in unexpected and rewarding ways, too. Remain open to the possibilities.

Perhaps you and your buddy will consider new goals when you reach your first due date. You might extend your original agreement, augmented by deepened trust.

Or a cordial relationship may evolve into a virtual friendship. For example, some years ago I joined an online boot camp. Our first assignment was to find an accountability buddy. An artist from Georgia who shares my love of nature and farming contacted me.

We supported one another for the duration of the boot camp. Afterward, we broadened our connection, and still enjoy visiting by phone every 2-3 months. I so appreciate that ongoing connection.

Keeping these relationships at once true to their goals and dynamic presents worthwhile challenges. It is key to maintain focus and respect the boundaries that you establish together. Then, as trust builds, you might enjoy giving these supportive connections room to grow and mature.

And here’s more for you…

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