An Accountability Partner Helps Keep You On Track

by Anne Wayman

train wheelsBookending is one way to help yourself get the writing done; having an Accountability Partner is another.

An Accountability Partner is someone who is on your side, and someone whose side you’re on. You keep each other accountable about taking the small steps necessary to get big projects, like your writing business, or your book, or – well almost anything – done.

Here’s how it works for me:

My accountability partner is another freelancer. She also ghostwrites. She doesn’t blog, but writes business articles, something I haven’t done for years.

We have an appointment to talk with each other over the phone. We don’t change that appointment unless we absolutely have to because we both recognize it’s important to our businesses to meet. Rarely do we talk more than 15 minutes.

I’m not sure how she tracks what she wants to be held accountable for, but here’s part of my list which I keep in a word file called accountability:

December 15, 2009

  • Editing interview book if it comes in
  • Quicken problem
  • Earning plan article
  • 11 blogs posts
  • Two more videos done
  • XXXX says she’s hiring me.
  • Upload new forum software.
  • Catch up on numbers
  • Membership setup including sales pages etc
  • Exercise twice
  • Guru
  • Essay book

When we talked this week I read her my list and she read hers to me.



Next week, she’ll tell me what on her list she got done and what her new weekly goals or tasks are. I do likewise.

Sometimes we take a bit of extra time to discuss a particular problem or to celebrate something nifty that happened.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve actually started or finished something simply because I know I’m going to be reporting to her. I gather the same is true for her.

It works well for me to have another writer as an Accountability Partner, but if I couldn’t find one, I’d be happy to work with almost any self-employed person.

How do you keep yourself on track?

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Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Carol Silvis December 21, 2009 at 8:10 pm

I, too, use an accountability partner. We have been meeting weekly for years. We write down what we will accomplish by the next meeting (or in two weeks, a month, etc.) and then we review our lists when we meet. Knowing that we will be meeting gives me the extra boost needed to complete tasks in a timely manner.

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Anne December 22, 2009 at 10:51 am

good to hear it Carol.

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Rebecca December 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Oops! I met “accountability partner.” My fingers couldn’t keep up with my thoughts…
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..What’s the Point of Commenting on Blogs? =-.

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Rebecca December 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm

An accountability can help keep you focus — kind of like a life coach. I’m keeping in contact with the organizer of my Master Mind group. We will “check in” with each other to make sure we are on track with our goals or if we need assistance with planning to reach our goals. Everyone could use support. You can go it alone, but the road can be easier if you have someone in your corner :-)
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..What’s the Point of Commenting on Blogs? =-.

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Rodney Gagnon December 19, 2009 at 10:26 am

I love this post Anne. My business partner and I have been doing this for the last several months. It keeps us both motivated and focused on the stuff that matters. The ability to be unabashedly honest also helps. Our phone calls are a “no-excuse, what you need to hear as opposed to what you want to hear” zone.
.-= Rodney Gagnon´s last blog ..You should never drink (or buy) alone =-.

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Anne December 19, 2009 at 10:35 am

Hi Rodney, I’d add unabashedly self-honest… all seems to start there, more or less.

Am adding your blog to my feed… love ideas, and thanks for Groupon

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