Mind and Body
The key to lasting change
At the beginning of every year, so many people set resolutions for the year ahead, hoping to create personal change. In an insightful article by Ray Williams, published in Psychology Today, he mentioned that by the month of February, most people have started to backslide from their New Year’s resolution. He also quotes Professor Timothy Pychyl, who says that resolutions are a form of “cultural procrastination.” This may not surprise you, in western society, we could easily say that weight loss is the number one new year’s resolution.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, or to get a new job, or to improve your relationships, or to quit smoking, there is one key that can massively boost your chances of productive and positive change.
Here it is….
Get an Accountability Buddy. An accountability buddy is someone who will hold you accountable to take positive and productive action. As a coach and mentor, I have seen first hand what an accountability buddy can do when it comes to creating productive and positive personal change.
Now, some people might take positive and productive action just to keep their accountability buddy happy. That is okay. As long as the work gets done. I once had a coaching client who was a Sales Executive, and was desperate to get back into reading books on sales. She used to read every day, and had dropped that habit. Now, her new goal was to read 15 pages from whichever book she was reading at the time, every morning before work.
My role was to hold her accountable. Initially, my suggestion to her was “Send me a text after you have done your reading every morning”. Then I realised, that may not cut it. Why? She may skim through 15 pages, just for her satisfaction, and then send me a text. So, I resorted to another technique which would hold her more accountable – “Call me every morning for a two minute chat, after you have read the 15 pages, and enlighten me on what you have learnt in those 15 pages”.
The shock on her face was obvious when she heard that. The very next day, she called, and did as I had requested. Each day, she did the same thing until our coaching sessions ceased.
A friend of mine who is also a coach had a client who lived near a beach, and her goal was to go for a run at the beach each morning. The coach requested “Call me when you get to the beach each morning”. She was amazed at this request, and tried to make excuses – “Oh, I plan to go to the beach at 6:00 am. That may be too early to disturb you. You might be sleeping at the time”. The coach responded with “I wake up at 5:00 am, and will be at the gym at 6:00 am. So, we will be exercising at the same time. I look forward to your phone call at 6:00 am tomorrow”. Did she go for a run and call her coach in the mornings? You bet she did!
Let’s take it one step further – creating productive and positive personal change is of little use if it is not sustained. Ask your accountability buddy to hold you accountable until that positive and productive personal change becomes part of your being. It enables you to become who you are, and others can see it in you!
You may have heard of someone who went on a weight loss program, lost a certain amount of weight, and was very pleased with the result. A few months later, they put back on the weight they had lost, and are back to square one. This is not an uncommon occurrence.
Sustaining the personal change is as important as creating it. In an article on Entrepreneur, Stephanie Vozza mentioned “An Accountability Buddy Is Your Secret Weapon for Faster Growth”. Although she is referencing that quote in a business sense, it is very pertinent to anyone in their personal life too.
My humble suggestion to you is to find an accountability partner who will be disciplined enough in holding you accountable to create positive and productive changes.
I too have fellow mentors and coaches whom I reach out to when I need to get something major accomplished. Two months ago, a fellow coach was my accountability partner when I was working on the new website for my anti-bullying charity: beatbullyingwithconfidence.com
Quote: “An accountability partner is able to perceive what you can’t see when blind spots and weaknesses block your vision. Charles Stanley
I sincerely hope that you have gained a simple insight into how you can utilise an accountability partner in order to create and sustain productive and positive personal changes in your life. Also, please reach out and be an accountability buddy to others around you! As the legendary Ghandi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Influencing you to your excellence,
To read more of Ron’s posts, click here