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Accountability Partners

Instant pressure ensues when you let others in on your goals. Whether you audibly state your dreams or personally ask a friend for assistance in maintaining focus: you’ve just released it into the universe and thus, it’s time to follow through.


The latter of the two options can be extremely helpful when it comes to accountability. If you subconsciously know that you’ve got another individual that’s counting on you to remain truthful to your word, you’ll find yourself much less prone to slip or wander from the path.


However, a word of caution if you please. If you are about to let someone in to a deeper level, checking you, and bringing you back to center, and not afraid to call you out, you can NOT ask just anyone to be that person. I’ve personally had some very good brothers in my corner, while I’ve also made the mistake of sharing too much with others, only to catch wind of my doings from a third party later. Not ideal.


Thus, if you elect to seek a/some accountability partner(s), here are some characteristics that I vouch they all should share:


  1. Mutual respect. If your AP (accountability partner) isn’t someone you respect, I would have a much tougher time holding to my word. One might even say that a healthy dose of fear is in order.
  2. Listens to understand, not to respond. When you’re recapping your victories and shortcomings, are you just another thing in their schedule to you, and vice versa? Or is authentic feedback being given.
  3. Confidential. Sounds obvious, but if you find someone who can actually keep matters between you two, you’ve found a rare breed, indeed.
  4. Bold and not afraid to call you out. If you screwed up, you screwed up. I want someone who calls my crap and sprinkles in empathy if appropriate. I refuse to run with someone who beats around the bush.
  5. Punishment system is in place. So, you fell short. Now what? Is there a slap on the wrist or does legitimate discipline ensue?
  6. Coachable. Egos must be put to the wayside. If we are asking for accountability, we must be able to take whatever our AP is telling us and see if it measures up with our long-term objective. Is he/she right? Will you take it to heart or shirk it because it’s hard to hear?


Now, I’m right there with you, if you don’t think that you ‘need’ an accountability partner. “I just do it,” you might think. Yet, I’ve been challenged recently by former Navy Seal and current author and business tycoon, Jocko Willink, in his recent podcasts. Jocko talks about this idea called “detachment” where you view yourself from someone else’s lens. ‘How am I appearing right now in the eyes of those that I am supposed to be leading?’ When I combine detachment with feedback from my AP on my progress from an external perspective, I’m able to see where I currently stand in a whole new light. Let’s use nutrition, for example. If I convinced myself that I was eating healthy, but the belly isn’t going down, I begin to wonder how my AP views me. I had been giving myself the benefit of the doubt, but then, I started to recognize my shortcomings. Few chips here, chocolate chip cookie over there, and then the truth becomes glaringly apparent. For this reason alone, I find an accountability partner to be game-changing.


Do you have an accountability partner? If so, do they have a characteristic that I failed to mention? What makes him/her an advocate for your long-term success?


Until next time,

Brock Baumgarn CA, Nutrition Consultant, Health 1st Chiropractic & Wellness Center

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