By: U.S. Career Institute
Do you have days when studying is the very last thing you want to do? Or maybe you find it difficult to power through your scheduled study time every Friday? We all have times when we're not at our best and have trouble holding ourselves accountable. This is when an accountability partner may come in handy!
Accountability partners do just what you think they would - hold you accountable. This is usually someone who has been in your shoes, or is currently going through the same experience as you. It helps if the relationship can go both ways - they're helping you and you're helping them. This is what makes it different than the traditional mentor-mentee relationship. The purpose of accountability partners is to check in with you to see if you're meeting your established goals, and maybe provide some tough love or motivation (whatever you might need) if you're not.
There's a few things that make accountability relationships successful, though. Follow these guidelines and you'll soon wonder why you didn't think of this years ago!
- Get to know your accountability partner well (enough). They need to know how to motivate you when you've been slacking and how much praise and encouragement to give when you're on top of everything. They also need to feel comfortable being completely honest with you in potentially tough situations!
- Set up regular in-person meetings, phone calls or video calls. To be in the know with what's going on with each other, you've got to communicate regularly - and emailing or texting just isn't the same as a conversation. Whether it's weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, find a schedule that works for both of you and stick with it.
- Decide what your rewards and consequences will be from the get-go. Knowing what you'll have to give up or what you have to gain is a HUGE motivating factor - and you will have someone backing it up for you. Whether they're monetary, experiential or something else, discuss what these things will be at the beginning of your accountability relationship so everyone knows what's on the line.
- Don’t hold back. Honesty and commitment are what makes accountability relationships work, so don’t worry about saying or critiquing too much. You’re both there to improve and reach your goals! On the flip side, try not to take anything your accountability partner says personally, they’re just trying to help you be your best!
If you're having trouble thinking of someone in your life who may be a good accountability partner, we'd encourage you to browse through the USCI Student Profiles on our Community Page. Another USCI student with similar goals could make the perfect accountability partner! Happy studying!