Hope you are well, staying safe and healthy and above all sane. This is the second in a series to keep you that way.

The last thing you might want to hear about is being accountable right now. But there is an upside to being accountable—it will help you to stay sane, focused and keep your mind where it belongs. And it has the added benefit of keeping you connected. In this podcast i will go over the following with you:

  • What is an accountability partner?
  • Who should you choose to be your partner?
  • What one thing they need to have to be one (it’s pretty easy)
  • Why this is such a good idea.
  • How to set one up and what technology to use.
  • Why it must be someone outside of your household.
  • How it is used for solopreneurs like me.

This relates to a number of other podcasts like Congrats you’re bored and The Note from the Future and how resilience is a system. Enjoy the podcast and because you’re a subscriber you have the added bonus of the two items below:

The Rules

If you don’t have agreed-upon rules it can get messy. Here are the rules for having a virtual accountability partner:

  • Agree on the frequency – Do you want to connect daily, or weekly? If you’re doing this only as part of the quarantine then daily might be a better fit. Depending on what you are trying to do (or not do) weekly may be better. it’s up to the two of you but agree on that right away.
  • Agree on the time – When i was meeting with someone for a meeting like this for business purposes we did a Friday morning coffee. It just worked realistically better that way. So you could arrange for a quick phone/facetime/text/snapchat with someone every day at 8am, or just before bed, or whenever—as long as the whenever is not literally “whenever.” Pick a time.
  • Ask questions during the meeting – If they want to give up something help them understand why they do it more than they want to. Questions help, but don’t make it an interview. Just gain an understanding of them and put yourself in their shoes.
  • Give some thought to what you want to be accountable about. Is it parenting? Keeping your cool? Starting a hobby? Commiting time to cleaning more? Getting more exercise? There are a zillion things you can choose from. I’d suggest NOT shooting for the moon—this isn’t that kind of situation. That’s what full blown coaching is about.
  • Give it a time span – You could experimentally just say “as long as we are in quarantine” or “until we go back to work.” Remember this is being introduced to you to help you get through these times and be connected, but there’s no reason not to do this longer, or stop and start these. I’ll warn you that you may really like this.
  • Choose someone you can depend on – As I said in the podcast that is really the #1 requirement of the other person. And best to choose someone in the same “place” mentally as you.
  • Choose someone NOT in your household – You need a certain level of distance (figuratively and literally).
  • Don’t beat yourself up or them if they can’t make the meeting – Things happen, but obviously you want consistency.
  • Don’t beat them up if they aren’t doing their goals – I did these meetings for a year almost every week and I never heard a word about me failing. I was too busy listening to him, and trying to help him. It just works out that way and you are your hardest critic. If anything you will end up telling them to relax a bit, and they will be busy congratulating you and reminding you that you are a lot more successful than you think.

The pitch

If you have someone in mind for this accountability partner (and have read the rules above) then here is a pitch you can use to approach them with this.

Hey ____! So I heard this podcast on an accountability partner. Basically you and I would keep each other on track just by having a conversation. It’s all on me (and you) to do our stuff so there’s no nagging. But just having someone to talk to helps us stick to things. Want to try this just for the duration of the quarantine? We could [TEXT / CALL / FACETIME] every day [OR WEEK] at [SET A TIME OR PICK MORNING, AFTER YOU WALK THE DOG / BEFORE BED]. It would just be for [FIVE MINUTES / TEN MINUTES]. I know I can count on you. And also that Mark guy is handsome.

So you just have to pick the variables and cut and paste this to them. Yes, you can leave out the last sentence. 😊 though you might want to point them at the podcast for even more clarity. Good luck and let me know how you do!!!