5 Reasons You Need to Find An Accountability Rock, RIGHT NOW
We are social beings. We like to interact with other people. That interaction with other people has an affect on our actions and the choices we make. Ever had a friend recommend a restaurant, or a movie, or a clothing store? How likely were you to act on that recommendation? According to experts, very likely. In fact, a majority of our actions everyday are dictated by societal norms and peer pressure.
Think about it. How often do you watch a movie, listen to music, or buy a product when your friend told you how great it is? Even bigger decisions in life are affected by our peers too. Do you really need that graduate degree, or did someone you know just get accepted to a great program and you are a little jealous and you have a fear of missing out (FOMO). What about that new car or house? It looks pretty sexy on someone else doesn’t it? We want to be sexy too, right?
Have I convinced you? If not, trust me, our peers influence our actions. That being said, not all the influences are bad.
One of the best ways to harness the power of societal pressure is through accountability. Ever go to the gym with a buddy? Did you notice how you pushed yourself extra hard because you didn’t want to look weak, or out of shape?
Same goes for all of our endeavors. If someone knows about what you’re trying to do, and you don’t do it – you’re going to feel like shit. Often times, that dread of feeling like shit is that extra motivation we need to get things done. That is where an accountability buddy comes in. Intentionally finding someone who will help you accomplish things is a huge help. Almost all of the most productive people I know have them in some form or another.
But before you go calling everyone you know, here are a few tried and true rules of the road:
1. Let your accountability topic be something you’re really struggling with
You probably don’t need to be held accountable for brushing your teeth. Hopefully you have the discipline to do that on your own. Plus, I don’t think it would be too fun for anyone to remind you to brush your teeth. But taking those first few steps to start your business? Now we’re talking. Start by doing a Fear Analysis. The things you are scared to do are not only the things we need to do most, but probably something we need help with too.
2. DO NOT pick someone who will let you off the hook
You know who these people are. Your mom is not the best choice. Neither is your best friend. Probably no one in your immediate family, because let’s face it – all these people will love you no matter what, and they will probably let you off the hook too. That’s not what we’re looking for. People like that tend to be softies, which in many ways is great but not when you need someone to bust your balls.
3. Pick the most responsible and/or consistent person you know
There are some people out there whose middle name is reliability. Find that person and beg them, bribe them, threaten them, whatever you need to do to make them your accountability buddy.
4. Strangers with a shared vision are good picks too
The best accountability buddies I’ve ever had are ones that I’ve met at conferences or events (anywhere like-minded people come together). The reason being, you simply just don’t know this new person that well. Typically when we meet someone new, we want to impress them. We don’t feel comfortable with the person yet, so we are less likely to be lazy and unreliable. This makes a great person for holding you accountable. As we get to know people better, there are usually a ton of things to talk about, including things that have nothing to do with getting work done. Of course, ideally your new accountability will blossom into a great friend someday, but in the meantime let them serve their purpose.
5. Let the person know why you are doing this thing
When the person holding you accountable knows or identifies with your Why, your task has a much greater chance of resonating with them. Think about it. When we think something is cool, we want to see it happen. It inspires us and even makes us happy to see the person succeed.
Now go out there and find your rock. When you do, I’ll bet you’ll see some amazing results.