Why Would I Need an Accountability Partner?

by Jun 8, 2020Debt, Personal Finance, Practice Finance, Success

As we’ve written before, research shows that having an accountability partner dramatically increases your chances of reaching your goals.

Here is a quick recap of that blog: 

  • Choose a goal = 10% chances of success
  • Pick a deadline = 40% chances of success
  • Define a plan of action = 50% chances of success
  • Find an accountability buddy = 65% chances of success
  • Make a regular accountability appointment = 95% chances of success

An accountability partner is your secret weapon on the path to financial success – and any other endeavor you’re pursuing. It also could be a fitness goal, reading a book or learning an instrument.

Before you decide where to look for an accountability buddy, let’s discuss what accountability partners are not:

  • They don’t need to be a mystically wise mentor or guru. Brilliant advice is welcome, but not a requirement.
  • They don’t need to be “better” or smarter than you.
  • They don’t need to be in your town or even your state.
  • They shouldn’t judge or shame you.

 Here is what you should be looking for in an accountability partner:

  • Someone who will consistently show up when agreed.
  • Someone who will remember what you committed to the last time you communicated.
  • Someone who will hold you accountable.

Keep in mind that this is a two-way street: you will be your accountability buddy’s accountability buddy (say that 5 times real quick)!

Why does this partnership work?

  • Because you committed to doing something to someone you don’t want to disappoint.
  • It encourages you to do what you said you were going to do.
  • It motivates you to be accountable… to yourself!

At the upcoming Veterinary Financial Summit, each (willing) attendee will choose an accountability buddy. Once a week, you will touch base and go over the goals you committed to the week prior. In addition, we will facilitate the creation of small accountability groups of members who share similar goals. 

This can be done via text or email, or much better by phone or video. It can be as long or short as you wish. A good range is 20 to 30 minutes. Here is an example of a dialog between two accountability buddies:

Buddy 1: “Last week I said I would open a dedicated account to save money for a trip to Maui. Well, I did that, and I already deposited $100.

My goal this coming week is to deposit another $100. How about you?”

Buddy 2: “Last week I said I would sell this high-risk mutual fund we discussed. I did, and I rolled the money into a more conservative mutual fund.

My goal this coming week is to better allocate my 401(k) contributions to the mutual funds I own. Can I run my strategy by you?”

Of course, these are merely examples, but you get the idea. Ideally, you would discuss one to three goals. They can be related to personal finance, practice finance, your debt load, your career, personal goals… just about anything! Celebrate your wins, and share your next steps.

And then you meet the following week, and the week after that.

Imagine what you can accomplish after 52 check-ins!

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS
Meredith Jones, DVM
Co-Founders of Veterinary Financial Summit