Why You Need an Accountability Partner
Why You Need an Accountability Partner
Whether we’re talking about diet, exercise or any other health-related goal, having someone to hold you accountable can make all of the difference. You probably already know what you need to do to get in shape or eat right, but having the motivation to actually do it can be an entirely different ball game.
What is an Accountability Partner?
An accountability partner is (usually) a person who you meet regularly to workout, or even someone who you simply talk with and share your successes, challenges or compare diet journals. Whatever the shape of an accountability partner looks like for you, the point is that research shows having somebody that holds you accountable is far more likely to progress you towards meeting your goals than going it on your own.
While we usually think of someone like a jogging buddy as an accountability partner, this mutually and highly beneficial relationship can actually take several different forms. It might be a workout partner, but it could also be someone who looks over your food logs, with whom you text regularly to make sure each one is staying on track for the week, and can relate to health, career and other personal goals. Really, the skies the limit!
Let’s dig in to our top reasons why having an accountability partner is hands-down a game changer.
8 Reasons You Need an Accountability Partner
First and foremost, having a partner in crime makes meeting your goals much more enjoyable! Humans are social animals, so having a healthy amount of social influence and peer pressure is natural, fun and very effective.
Sometimes talking with a friend feels just as effective as a paid therapy session, so having an accountability partner serves as double duty. You can get in a hard workout while connecting heart to heart with a friend, not to mention that science shows laughter is truly one of the best medicines.
It’s an Increased Challenge
Studies also show that having that element of peer challenge and accountability makes you more likely to meet weight loss goals and generally progress. Think of an accountability partner as someone who not only keeps you honest, but also naturally motivates you to map out your path and work just a little bit harder to achieve goals. An extra added bonus if your partner challenges you in certain ways. For example, if you are running, maybe your partner runs just a little faster than you do, therefore encouraging you to pick up the pace. While it’s not smart to choose a partner who is far more advanced than you are, a little bit can go a long way.
You’re More Likely to Show-Up
Let’s face it: you’re far more likely to show up for a workout, goal setting session or keep your weekly diet journal if you know someone else is depending on you.
Even if you don’t have a person who fills the role of accountability partner, your “partner” could even be the act of paying in advance for a class or paying a trainer, nutritionist or coach for their time. We value things we spend money on and also don’t want to bail on our friends and peers, so you are far more likely to show up with the expectation of a partner.
It’s Scientifically Proven
Don’t just take our work for it! Science solidly shows that persistence and motivation is significantly increased with a partner. One study that surveyed married couples found that those who joined a gym and exercised together had just a 6.3% dropout rate over the course of a year, compared with a whopping 43% of those who joined on their own.
You Might Just Improve Your Relationship
On that same note, having your partner or spouse as your activity partner has been shown to increase overall relationship happiness, improve workout efficiency, help you achieve your goals and boost your emotional bond. Not only this, but if you care about your partner becoming healthier on top of wanting to be healthier yourself, this motivates you to keep on going in an effort to see health improvements for your loved one, too. Definitely a win-win.
It Prompts Creativity
Having an accountability partner can allow for some serious creativity. For example, why not start a 1 month sugar challenge with a friend or at your workplace? Your accountability partner could take the form of work colleagues, family or multiple friends too, knowing that you have people watching and keeping you accountable to break that nasty sugar habit.
When the going gets rough, keep a sweet defeat on hand to conquer sugar cravings when they do come up. I like to have them in my purse, kitchen and at my office just in case.
You Can Hire a Professional
Not everyone finds themselves with a friend or partner that makes the ideal accountability partner. If you’re in that boat, consider hiring a professional, such as a personal trainer, health coach, nutritionist or career coach. Not the exact same idea, but this is someone you pay (which in and of itself boosts accountability), checks in with you regularly and provides the added bonus of professional guidance surrounding your goals.
If this isn’t within your budget, try an accountability app like HabitShare or GetMotivatedBuddies. There are even amazing accountability partner apps specifically for those who work from home, like Focusmate.
Whatever your goal, accountability partners are sure to help get you there more quickly, effectively and with more fun along the way.