Accountability partner

How accountability can make us get things done

Over 10 years ago, I enrolled in a running program for beginners in my neighbourhood in Belgium. I ended up really picking it up and enjoying training with the group. Then I left Brussels and moved to Barcelona. I made myself go out running regularly, joined different groups but it didn’t really work out. Since then, my running has been on and off.

Recently, I really tried to pick it up again, feeling it is a way for me to get some fresh air and create space for my thoughts, but I was having trouble being constant, finding the motivation to put my running shoes on.

Being self-employed as well as mostly self-taught professional, I have to recognise I am good at motivating myself, finding consistency, setting my own deadlines and objectives and getting things done. A friend always tells me I am my own little engine.

But why can’t I do it for running?

My problem was not running on my own, it was about taking that first step and making it a habit.

Sometimes, we get caught into our own patterns. Not all challenges can be approached in the same way and we need to look beyond our own ecosystem to find a solution. As frustrating as it could sound to me, I couldn’t handle this one alone.

Luckily, I found my running coach Jes from @Run4you who sends me a very detailed and tailored training program for me to do in my own time. I have to share with her the data about each session I do.

Sharing an objective and having to report it to someone helps to keep it up and increases chances to succeed. Finding someone to keep you accountable is key. Isn’t it easier to let ourselves down instead of someone else?

The structure or person who guides us through the process needs to be able to do it with positive energy, empathy, skill and knowledge. It needs to be someone who is able, even in difficult moments, to give good feedback, encourage and challenge consistently.

An accountability partner can be a manager, a skilled friend or a co-worker. It also can be someone external to our ecosystem who might help to get us out of our known patterns.I’ve been training consistently for a few months now and above all, I am enjoying my running again. Can you relate to this feeling?

Find your accountability partner and get that objective on the run!