I don’t know that I had heard the term accountability partner until recently when I had an opportunity to join a small group of women. Our focus is to support each other in meeting our goals, mostly around our professions, but in some way personal vision stuff too. All of us have an intention to make a difference in the world. I had no idea how helpful this group would be, nor the learning that would occur. I want to share with the kindred dreamers or other’s chasing “to do” lists in their lives, what I learned.
I joined this group because I was feeling a little stuck with how to manage multiple demands around projects that I am working on. I figured that I could only get more productive and efficient. I was also curious what this experience might be like.
We email with each other a few times a week checking in on our goals and what is getting in the way and support each other big, while strategizing solutions. Through this process, I realized that I needed to get back to scheduling my projects, in blocks of time, all targeted and focused in such a way as to avoid distractions. Being perhaps more disciplined. It has worked well, in that I know what my goal is for each set time, down to when I will check emails. One of my partners pointed out how efficient I was actually being and what I had accomplished. She suggested that besides my usual checklist of “to do’s,” that I also include a list of what I had accomplished. I thought that this was brilliant! This strategy created a shift for me in working to take the pressure off of getting things done and instead celebrating what I have accomplished.
I have been in awe with what has happened in a very short time. I have learned so much from the strategies that my partners are implementing as well. One of the lady’s decided that she needed to delegate some of her responsibilities and so she hired a housekeeper a few hours a week. The time and energy that this freed up for her is huge. It has been such a pleasure to watch each of my partners come up with new solutions, have aha moments and meet their goals. I am proud for them and this is an added bonus with this experience.
The sense of not trudging alone has been both validating and worth every minute of time commitment. There is something about having someone to be accountable to, in the sense of reporting in each week about how I am doing. This helps me to stay on top of things.
The secondary, but perhap the most wonderful gain is that I am getting to know my partners and they have become friends, confidants, sharing our strengths and vulnerabilities and cheering each other on.
I recently had an email exchange with one of the ladies. We were dialoguing about what was getting in our way. Topics arose, like certain tasks that feel “too big” and we won’t get it done or meet our deadlines. I realized that my own worries are self-imposed and I have choices in my thinking at any given time. After our exchange, I realized some things and I read back on something that I had written in my email.
I want to share this with anyone who is taking on something new, has questioned their own way or has felt like dreams or tasks are too big. In reading the next paragraph, please replace the word “writing,” with your overall goal (starting a business, exercising daily, finishing a project, weight loss, painting, etc.). Here are my thoughts, from my heart to yours:
“I don’t have easy answers and I only know to just keep writing (Your goal here). Don’t stop! Perhaps, writing (your goal) the more spontaneous way that you are used to and then considering it a chapter after, but just keep going. One step at a time. Try to take the parameters away. Your gift is transferable to any medium. I know that you got this because I see what you create. Love it! Bring love to it! We have to work to chase away the darn monster thoughts in our heads. They are not true and they don’t serve us. You got this!”
Whatever goals or dreams that you are striving towards, I encourage you to not wait, take it on, one small step at a time, but start somehow. Perseverance, literally only takes one small step after another. Even if there are breaks or set-backs, you simply get back to it with the next small step. Keep the big goal in mind, but be mindful in the moment of the small tasks at hand. Yes, hold yourself accountable and give yourself grace as you move forward too. Find others that have a similar plight and want support to capture goals or work together. None of us have to do any of this alone. There is so much that we get to learn from each other. And my biggest advice :”Take it on, one step at a time!”