A free but effective alternative to a coach: An accountability method

Whilst on maternity leave in early 2014, I was running on my treadmill when I experienced a brainwave. This exhilarating moment of clarity and motivation to establish a business where I could help others live their own version of a healthy, happy, and purposeful life. 

Prior to this day, I had lived in analysis paralysis. As a Renaissance Woman (or multi passionate), I knew that I didn’t want to continue working for the Australian Government forever, but I had no idea how I could piece together my interests and passions into the meaningful career that I desired.

So this episode of clarity was a life changing moment for me. I remember going for a walk into town with my baby in the pram straight afterwards, and I had such a bounce in my step and the widest grin on my face, that people in cars were beeping and waving at me. I must have looked crazy happy.

I signed up for a course that day. A course that this government working, academically minded human would never have previously considered. A shift happened. I was focussed on making this dream of mine become a reality, even if I still didn’t know how all the pieces of the jigsaw would fit together. I trusted that they would, when they were meant to, but for now I focussed on one step at a time.

My excitement and passion was contagious. My husband, who was also a government employee at the time, had been thinking of starting a website building business. He was tired of hearing about people getting ripped off through website development, and wanted to help them have an online home they loved and that they could manage themselves without having to pay crazy fees. 

My energy around establishing a business spread to him, and he joined me in the self-employment pursuit. We set up a little process where we would help hold each other accountable to action our business plans each week. Then this process evolved as I became a life coach and more skilled in the work of goal setting and achievement.

In this article, I thought I’d share with you, what my husband and I do periodically to help hold each other accountable and remain focussed on our (business and non-business related) goals. If you cannot afford to hire a coach like myself at this time, having an uplifting and supportive person as an ally or accountability partner can be highly beneficial.

To ‘coach’ each other, you can follow the below steps:

  • Choose at least one supportive and uplifting person who you can buddy up with and help hold each other accountable to achieving your goals. (If you have someone in mind, maybe you could forward this post on to them and see what they think – or put a call out on social media to see who’d be interested!)
  • Schedule a regular time (e.g. weekly, fortnightly) in your diaries where you can catch up, in person, over the phone, or via Skype, to chat about your goals.
  • Start by agreeing on a timeframe for which to focus on together – for example, what are my goals for the remainder of the year? Or for the next three months? Or for the next 6 months? Agree on the timeframe together, and what changes you are both hoping to make in your life over that time period.
  • Group your ambitions and goals into two or three main themes. For example, are there ones that are all health / wellness related that can be grouped together? Ones that are business or work related? Ones that are creativity or play related? Then for each theme, write a positive and inspiring statement that summarises the goal that you hope to achieve. Try not to make it about losing something or becoming less of something (e.g., to lose 10kg or to be less stressed) and instead focus on what you want to gain or how you want to feel (e.g. To have a wellness practice that makes me feel beautiful and energised. To love and accept myself and my body. To feel balanced and supported in my work and life.)
  • Decide on what you want to do to move toward your goals during the break between each catch up. So if you are meeting weekly, what is on your To Do list for each goal between now and when you next meet with your accountability partner? Don’t have a To Do list for each goal yet? Wonderful, that in itself can be your first To Do list item – to write a To Do list!
  • Catch up regularly to review what you have done, to discuss any difficulties or challenges you’ve experienced and to brainstorm some options for pushing through them, and to set new ‘homework’ for the period ahead.

Essentially, what you are doing here, is coaching each other and holding each other accountable. You’ve made your own little mastermind. It might not be the same as if you paid an actual coach or professional, but it is certainly a beneficial and valuable process if you partner up with the ‘right’ person! I know that each time my husband and I have teamed up to do this, we have seen magnificent results!

Also, don’t forget to look through the Freebies Library for resources that might help you both with your goals – it is full of over 40 resources that will help you soar in your business and life.

accountability method

If you decide to buddy up with someone to help inspire and motivate you on your journey to achieving your goals, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. 

Let’s soar together,

Naomi x

PS. If you would prefer to invest in yourself and your goals by buddying up with me, you can learn more about my one-on-one coaching options here.

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