Do you have people in your life that support you and cheer you on? “That’s What Friends Are For” is a mid 1980s song by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Seger, most famously covered by Dionne Warwick with this as the chorus:
Keep smiling, keep shining
Knowing you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
In good times, in bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
Oh, that’s what friends are for
If you look at your friends, the close ones, and when you think of them this doesn’t resonate with you as true, then I suggest you spend time reflecting on the nature and value of those relationships. And are you being a good friend? That’s not the focus of this encouragement though.
Whether you have “good” friends, people who support you and cheer you on, or not, it is wise to have people in our lives that we have an accountability agreement with around certain subjects of our lives and an agreed upon consistency in checking in with each other to report on tasks we said we would accomplish.
Business initiatives, adopting a healthier lifestyle, growing in faith, spending quality family time, there are so many areas we could have an accountability partner or a small group of people which is usually called a mastermind group.
I have several of these and they are instrumental in keeping me on track. With an accountability partner or mastermind group, no one tells you what to do. You state what your intent is and when you’ll get it done by. They do the same. The next check-in, each person reports on their success in completing that which they had self-assigned, and commits to the next time period of accomplishment.
Two of my mastermind groups are groups of five women each. Though both are targeted at business initiatives, they are structured differently. One has more structure on the call, meets every other week, we rotate the roles of timekeeper, note taker, etc. The other one meets once a week and that one is more about resource sharing, trying out ideas and ways to accomplish our business initiatives. They are both valuable to me as I set and sail my course.
One accountability partner I have we check in three times a week, three times briefly by phone, two days by email, off two days. The structure we have for that relationship is we each report daily a happy goal, a healthy goal, and a wealthy goal and our accomplishment of the ones from the day before.
Does it sound as if that is all I do? Even with the other groups or accountability partners I have, it isn’t more than two hours in any week and keeps me so much more on track. It is a proven method that supports your success.
It doesn’t have to be business. It can be any agreed upon subject matter. That irritation/toleration list you worked on last week? You could agree with someone to be accountable to them about completing what you said when you said. This isn’t about someone rewarding you or punishing you. We all accomplish more with structure that includes timetables and someone we’ve given permission to expect our reporting how we are doing, given them permission to ask questions around that subject, and encouraging us in all circumstances.
Accountability partners and mastermind groups are not complicated and they are effective when the people involved are committed to the process.
Be like Mikey and try it. You’ll like it.