Need help sticking to your routine? Try an accountability partner

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The idea of coaching is probably pretty familiar to most people. A coach is someone who helps motivate and encourage another person, whether that’s in sports, personal and life development, or any type of skill. Other terms that mean close to the same thing are mentor, tutor, or trainer. Many times, athletics come to mind when you think about having a coach — but sports are not the only type of activity in which coaching or mentoring can be incredibly useful. Whether it’s developing your muscles, skills, or speed, or keeping on track with a hoby, program, or habit, having an accountability partner can be an extremely useful asset as you work toward your ultimate goal. 

Accountability partner definition

An accountability partner is the person you go to when you’re in need of support, encouragement, advice, and coaching, whether your goal includes losing weight or improving your running times. Sometimes people will choose to set goals together, as a partnership or a team, to help hold each other accountable for keeping to a schedule, maintaining records of progress, and giving mutual support in pursuit of the shared objective. 

A lot of times, people will enter into these kinds of partnerships in order to keep each other accountable when they are working on a goal like sticking to a diet, a health program, a meditation or yoga practice, or a training regime. Accountability partnerships can be useful for all sorts of different habits and pursuits, not just athletics or exercise or diets. 

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If you are trying to start a practice of working on a book or writing every day, you could set up an arrangement with a friend to check in with each other at the end of each week and vow to write for twenty minutes a day, or for a certain number of words per day. The fact that you will be checking in with another person and not just relying on your own willpower to work toward your goal can boost confidence and encourage you to stick to your goal. 

Positive feedback and constructive criticism

Having an accountability partner is also a useful tool for receiving feedback on your progress. Whether you’re working on a creative project like writing or painting, or a more physical goal like getting fit or working out a certain number of days per week, having someone to bounce ideas off of and to provide you with constructive feedback can be a game changer. Give each other tips and be honest about what you think to help maximize the effectiveness of the accountability partnership.

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Keeping track of your own progress individually can also be a big part of staying accountable. Try keeping a journal and writing down your thoughts at the end of each workout session, writing sprint, or meditation period. You can share your recorded thoughts with your accountability partner, or you can keep them private. 

Even if you don’t choose to share your journal, or even if you never look at it again, it’s helpful to express yourself by putting pen to paper. This tool has been recommended by coaches for years, and it's a proven way to help process emotions, build on your accomplishments, and grow emotionally. Try the Self-Care Journal from Ostrichpillow, which helps you keep track of the ways in which you take care of yourself and dedicate time each day to focus on your personal goals for self care and self improvements. 

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