One of the favorite pastimes in our family of 6 is riding roller coasters together. We created great family memories at one of the best roller coaster parks in the world at Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio. We haven’t made that trip in a couple of years now but sometimes it feels like I never got off that last roller coaster. Up and down at a high rate of speed and by the end of the weekly ride all your thinking is TGIF.   Life in our world today is the craziest roller coaster of them all.   And like a real coaster you don’t want to go on the ride by yourself.

That’s why I strongly recommend finding your “accountability partner.” Don’t go it alone. I find that the most successful and happiest people have a trusted comrade they get coffee, lunch or even a margarita with on a consistent basis.  It might be your best friend, spouse, colleague, board member, advisor or counselor. Whomever you choose, you need an accountability partner to be there for you as you navigate the ups and downs of life.

I sincerely encourage you to implement this type of support system. The first step is picking the right accountability partner. Please consider the following criteria when selecting your accountability partner.

  • Must have the same values/beliefs that you have
  • Must be someone you trust
  • Must be accessible: when I contact him, my accountability partner agrees to get back to me within two hours.
  • He/she has walked in your shoes or has the ability to relate to your situation. Typically, an individual with similar life circumstances is the greatest fit because they can relate.
  • He/she has the ability to deliver tough love and accountability but also understands when you need support and compassion.

The accountability process must have clear rules of engagement that include confidentiality, transparency and the willingness to be vulnerable. The most effective accountability process is when you develop and execute your personal development plan/strategy with your accountability partner. Then you hold consistent check-ins to ensure accountability to the plan and celebrate your success.

When I wrote my first life map 10 years ago I added two accountability partners in my life. To ensure consistent interaction with both of them I have one serve on our board of advisors and another in my consulting industry mastermind group. They have and will continue to be instrumental in my personal and professional success.   There is a peace knowing regardless of what happens there is someone to help you work through it.

I can tell you this process is real and it works. No person is built to handle these roller coaster times alone, while at the same time optimizing their success in both their personal and professional lives. Besides, success is more fun when you celebrate it with others. Your accountability partner will be there during both the highs and the lows of your life. They understand your plan and keep you on track to accomplish it.

So how are you holding up? Are there days that you would like to tell someone how you’re feeling, with no judgment and no risk? Would an accountability partner help you optimize your success?

Identifying your accountability partner could be the most important thing you do this year. Who is it going to be? Once you decide, the next step is to meet with that person to discuss how you want to move forward. It will be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. Remember, Those Who Plan, Profit!