The Importance of Having An Accountability and Celebration Buddy

Katie Corbett holds the book "The 12-Week Year"

By Katie Corbett

At the end of each 12-Week Year, there is an extra week, called The 13th Week. This week is a time to look back over your progress, celebrate, and decide what you’d like to work on next. This is more interesting to do if you have an accountability partner to keep you on track and celebrate with you along the way.

In “The 12-Week Year,” Brian Moran talks about the role an accountability group can play in your progress. I’ve put together a list of questions I used to find and evaluate my own accountability buddy. Think of a potential friend or coworker and ask yourself these questions:

• Does this person take commitment seriously?
• In what concrete ways can I be assured of this?
• Do they show up on time to meetings and other appointments?
• Do they do what they say they will when they say they will do it?
• Will they get in touch with me if I forget to tell them my goals for the week?
• Are we both in a similar place in terms of what we need from the partnership?
• Do I feel comfortable telling this person about my struggles as well as my successes?
• Do this person share themselves with me?
• How would I describe this person?
• Do I enjoy spending time with them?

If you like the answers you get about the person in question, feel free to approach them, explain you are looking for an accountability/celebration buddy, and see what they say. Give them space to ask questions, and make sure they know it is OK to say no to you. You won’t want to have a buddy who isn’t really interested in the partnership.

I’ve been formally working with an accountability partner for a few months now, and am enjoying it so far. She lets me commiserate about what’s not going well and encourages me to be my best. It’s fun comparing notes, brainstorming solutions to challenges, and, of course, celebrating our wins together. I hope you find someone like that for your life and career goals, too.

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Celebrate your Progress

Katie Corbett holds the book "Perfectly Yourself"

By Katie Corbett

I love setting goals. While this means I keep moving forward, I often lose track of what I have accomplished thus far. It turns out, acknowledging and celebrating progress is the key to staying motivated.

In Matthew Kelly’s book, “Perfectly Yourself,” suggestions are given for how to recognize your achievements. Some of the methods I have found helpful are:

Keeping a List of Goals: As I cross each item off my list, and review my list at the end of each day or week, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment as I track how far I’ve come.
Involve Others: When I set a goal, such as getting a prototype made of the garment project I’m working on, I told a few trusted friends about the project and gave them a call when the prototype was finished. It was fun hearing how excited they were as, together, we celebrated completion of this step in my project.
Rewarding Myself: When I was in high school, I didn’t always like doing my homework. I did, however, like playing the guitar. On days when I was particularly unmotivated to do my homework, I promised myself that I wouldn’t play the guitar until my homework was done. This not only gave me incentive to finish, but also gave me a way to celebrate at the end.
Taking Time to Reflect on Past Achievements: I was recently at a career workshop where we were asked to list the five accomplishments of which we were the most proud. Doing this reminded me that I had created a CD demo of songs I wrote when I was seventeen, and wrote a rough draft of a novel while in college. Remembering these activities gave me a sense of celebration as I looked back at what I had achieved.
Making Celebration a Part of the Plan: When I start a particularly daunting project, I decide in advance how I’m going to celebrate once I’m finished. My Chief Financial Officer and I recently finished the incorporation paperwork for our garment company. To celebrate, we got together and had mimosas. It was fun to acknowledge this achievement, and now we are sufficiently ready to move on to next steps.

Celebrating success is important, and doing so takes forethought and effort. What are some accomplishments you would like to celebrate? How can you put celebration into your plan of action? What can you do periodically to reflect on past achievements?

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