Keep Resolutions by Getting an Accountability Buddy

Overcome procrastination and keep New Year's resolutions with just a little help from your friends.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #11

Have your friend ask you about each of your measures. Answer honestly. Then switch, and you ask your friend about his or her measures. All you do is ask for the measure, with a supportive attitude. There's no criticism or judgment, only support and encouragement. The goal is to give you each a chance to be accountable to someone else.

If you find it helps, you can also write down your answers and track your progress. I don't do this. Just saying to someone out loud, "er, yeah, I had, um, seven twinkies today" tells me everything I need to know.

A sample session might go like this. My goals are to produce this podcast, learn to be more grateful, and stop complaining:

Friend: How much time did you spend working on your podcast today?
Stever: 45 minutes
Friend: How many times today did you feel gratitude for something going well in your life?
Stever: 4
Friend: How many times did you complain (to yourself or others) during the day?
Stever: 18

Be Supportive

That's all there is to it. My friend just listens supportively. This exercise forces you to really track your progress. You find where you're sticking to your goals and where your efforts are falling off. You can always ask your friend for help, but that's optional. You're smart. Given the right measurements, your brain will automatically help you change. What makes this work is having accountability from someone who also offers unconditional positive support consistently. Do this daily if you really want the benefit. 


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.