The 5 Ws of Accountability

Once a week I meet with Whitney Ryan for our accountability session and I better have my sh*t together for that call or else!  Há, in all seriousness, we get together to discuss last week’s goals, if we reached them (if we didn’t – why) and we then go over next week’s goals.  By having these calls, not only do you set serious goals, you also make sure you get them done.  Sure, there are times when things fall through the crack, but by having someone there, you make sure this does not become a continuous habit.  And it’s not just to have someone there to ‘reprimand‘ you when you screw up, but more so to have that support to figure out your challenges and ways to overcome them.  And when your strengths & weaknesses compliment each other you have a great fit!  Whitney, thank you for kicking my butt every Friday!

Having goals, a plan, and setting up time to focus on them is key.  Having an accountability partner or group is really the icing on the cake!  Some people hire a business or life coach, others find an accountability partner or group to hold each other accountable.  It can be done to reach a personal goal, fitness goal, business goal, a project, or just make sure you’re getting stuff done every day – the important stuff.

Over the years I’ve been in several of these partnerships and I’ve hired coaches – some with amazing results, some were OK, and some just ended up being a fiasco.  The key to having the right partnership is to think and plan ahead of time.  To help you look into starting or joining one, I’ve broken it down into the 5 Ws:

  1. Why – Why do you want to start or join a partnership?  First and foremost, be clear to yourself why you want/need to do this.  Once you start looking for partner(s), have that discussion.  You don’t all have the have the same goal, as long as it’s something you can support each other in.  It’s also a good idea to discuss your strengths and weaknesses.  Be open – be able to ask for help – and be willing to support and help others.
  2. WhatWhat are the goals of your sessions?  Be clear on what your goals are for your sessions together.  What are you going to cover during your sessions?  Are you going to track these sessions with notes or recordings?  Are you going to have accountability forms that you fill out and possibly track?  Decide and set up a structure for your sessions, because without one you can easily get sidetracked and you’ll leave the meeting feeling like you haven’t accomplished anything.
  3. WhoWho will be your partner in crime?  This is the most important ‘W’ of them all!  Make sure you find the right fit for you and the specific goal(s) you’re trying to accomplish – they don’t have to be in the same industry as you or have the exact same goals, as long as they understand what you’re trying
    to accomplish.  Some things to look for:

    • Say ‘Yes’ to people who are typically:
      • Positive & motivated
      • Take responsibility seriouslyaccountability-right-fit
      • Challenge you to do better
      • Are consistent
    • Say ‘No’ to people who are typically:
      • Late or no shows
      • Always have an excuse
      • Complain or are typically negative
      • Just not motivated
      • Or just don’t ‘get’ what it is you do or want to accomplish.
  4. WhereWhere do you do these sessions?  If you work in the same office or area you can meet for coffee of course, but in today’s digital world, you can practically meet anywhere.  For example:
    • By phone, FaceTime, Skype, …
    • By screenshare or webinar if you need to share something (Zoom, GoToMeeting, …)
    • Via email
    • In an online forum (a private group in LinkedIn or Facebook)
  5. WhenWhen do you do all this accountability?    This depends on the type of goals you have and the availability of everyone.  Sessions can be daily, weekly, monthly, or even quarterly.  Whatever you decide do them consistently.  And remember, you can mix it up – for example do weekly calls and quarterly in-person meetings or daily online check-ins and weekly calls.  I personally like doing my sessions on Friday, it’s perfect timing to close my week and plan for the following week.

All this prepping may seem like a lot, but it’s better to prepare and have the right set up, because if you don’t you may end up wasting everyone’s time and not accomplish what you started – which obviously is counterproductive.

What has your experience been in accountability partnerships?  Did you like the set up?  Were the sessions too structured, too flexible, or kinda perfect?  How did you meet?  I’d love to hear from you.

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Skitch is One of My Favorite Apps

If you’ve been with me for a while you’ll know I love Skitch – I actually use it for a lot of my tutorials.  It’s a super easy tool that lets you quickly annotate pictures, documents, and screenshots.  And yes, it’s free!

You can:
  • Add Arrows, Text, Shapes, and Stamps;
  • Draw (not really crazy about this one – AKA I just suck at it!);
  • Highlight or even Hide certain Areas;
  • Change the Color or Size of these Tools;
  • And yes, you can Crop your Image.


What Skitch Tools Do


To Give You an Idea

Let’s say, you’re working with someone on updating your website, but your web techie is not in the same space as you are, so you’re trying to communicate via email, phone calls, and voicemails – going back & forth & back & forth & back again – aarrgggghhh!!!  What a pain in the you-know-what!  

Why not take a quick screenshot, annotate what you want done on the page and voilà – you’re done.  This saves you a ton of time, emails, cursing, and money – Time is $$$
 
Skitch
 

A few more ideas on where & how to use Skitch:
  • For Presentations.  Share a screenshot and add your instructions for a quick & easy view of what you’re trying to say;
  • At Work. Open a PDF and highlight changes to skip the lengthy, confusing email chains and give clear feedback;
  • At Events.  Capture a map, mark it up, and share it with your friends to show them where you’ll be;
  • At Home.  Planning a meditation garden?  Take pictures of your yard and annotate them to plan out your new space.


Where to Find Skitch

Skitch was part of the Evernote family and they used to have a quick and easy download for all platforms from their site, but Skitch has moved out on his own, so I had to do some digging for my PC friends.  You can find Skitch at:

  • Mac Friends:  You can downlaod Skitch @ Evernote or get the app for Skitch @ iTunes
  • PC Friends:  After some digging I found this link that has a download – but as you know I’m not a PC girl, so not sure how well it works… sorry, but my brain can only handle so much tech stuff!

(You can still use Skitch with your Evernote or just use it on its own.)


Do you have any creative ways of using Skitch?  Or do you have another tool that works just like it… or better?  Please share…



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