In November of 2016, I had already been a member of toastmasters for 2 months. I badly wanted to complete my first speaking manual (10 prepared speeches). Yet 2 months into my membership, as much as this was a goal of mine, I hadn’t even started…
As the end of November approached, and the accountability partnership between Ryan and I was beginning to blossom, I formally made the goal to complete my manual. Initially, as many do, I set a one year goal to complete the manual by November of 2017. Most people take 1-2 years to finish this manual and I felt this timeline was both rational and doable. But, I forgot to factor in one critical element into that timeline… A belief that Ryan is constantly repeating, and I know to be true,
We’re stronger together.
With that at the forefront of my mind we decided that together, by holding each other responsible for our word that we could not only set big goals, but that we could accomplish them. With Ryan’s support I decided to dramatically collapse the timeframe on my goal. Instead of 1 year, I set the goal to finish my first speaking manual by March 31st, 2017. From 1 year to 3 months, I collapsed the timeline by 4x!
What seemed unreasonable and even impossible with my busy schedule, quickly became a reality in every weekly accountability call with Ryan. With 9 speeches under my belt today and my final speech scheduled for Tuesday March 14th, I will officially have completed my goal with two weeks to spare!
Ps. Outlined below is the exact system Ryan and I use for our accountability partnership. But, if you’re not convinced that this process will make a dramatic difference in your results, whether it be in your relationships goals, business goals, or you just wanted to improve your mental health like me, read this first.
- Find your partner– Unable to accept excuses, your accountability partner must be 100% confident being honest with you. In turn, you must be able to reciprocate the same level of candid support. Nobody wins in this process unless both of you are holding each other responsible for what you say you’re going to do.
- Create a shareable google doc– This document will be both passive and active.
- Set your own personal and professional goals (passive)– Do you want to improve your physical or mental health? Make more money? Get better grades? Have a stronger relationship with your family or partner? Here are examples of Ryan and I’s current top priorities.
- Choose a time for your weekly accountability calls– Ryan and I have our call every Thursday from 6:30-7pm. We often get so deep in conversation that it will run over the 30 minute cap.
- Set weekly goals that align with the achievement of your monthly or annual top priorities- This is critical. In order to get the most of of your time together, you will need to set and hold each other accountable for your weekly goals. Ask yourself what is the smallest next step I can take? Too many people look at their HUGE one year goal, are overwhelmed, and never start. Set actionable, bite size goals that will get the ball rolling!
- Structure your weekly call– This may take you a few weeks to get into a rhythm. Here’s what works well for us…
- Be transparent about the completion or incompletion of your prior weeks goals (5 minutes total).
- Discuss the blocks, or challenges you faced that week. It’s important here to avoid excuses, or blaming circumstances for the incompletion of your goals. Instead, take ownership. Did you set unrealistic goals? Did you procrastinate? I often make the mistake of being overly ambitious and setting too many unimportant goals rather than 1 or 2 I can dive deep into (10 minutes)
- Discuss any wins or “aha” moments in the week. Celebrate victories and document what is working. If you find a cadence or tactic that is working, make sure you write it down and repeat it (10 minutes)!
- Set your goals for the next week. Make sure they’re aligned with your monthly or annual top priorities (we often come to the call with our goals already prepped and put it up on the doc during our call together- 5 minutes).
- Get to work!
- Start today– If I knew I would 4x the speed to my goals by having an accountability partner, I would have started this process years ago. If you’re like me and are often disappointed in yourself for procrastinating or feeling uninspired to to set big goals, I know this system will jumpstart your success! No excuses, just work. Please find your buddy and get started today!
I want to know if this system works for you. If you’ve decided to stay accountable for your goals and take your fulfillment to the next level, leave a comment! Let Ryan and I know what works, what your challenges are and how we can help.
Till next time, stay on the offensive. Aggressively pursue a better version of yourself. And remember what Jim Rohn said, “You cannot change the destination of your life overnight, but you can change your direction”.