An accountability partner may be just what you need

Every year you make the decision to get your home or office organized because your disorganization is robbing you of having any peace of mind. You make the same organizing resolutions each year, and yet here you sit nowhere close to your goal.

Sounds like you need an accountability partner.

Forbes magazine published this statement in an article by Dale Tyson: “Not having an accountability partner to help a person accomplish their goals is one reason why 92 percent of the people in the study did not accomplish their New Year’s resolutions.”

Choosing the right person to encourage you is critical to helping you get more organized. Look for these qualities in an accountability partner.

1. Find someone you can trust that will keep your conversations confidential.

2. The person needs to be supportive, not judgmental.

3. Organizing is something that comes naturally to them or they have accomplished what you want to achieve.

4. You respect them.

5. Choose someone who will be honest with you. They shouldn’t have to worry about hurting your feelings.

6. They will be your biggest cheerleader, providing support and motivation, but also holding you accountable.

Look through the list and see if a family member, friend, coworker or professional consultant meets this criteria. Keep in mind there is a risk of this adversely affecting your personal relationship. Stop immediately if the process begins to have a negative impact.

Here are a few things you should expect from your accountability partner. He or she:

1. Keeps you accountable through a weekly appointment.

2. Brainstorms solutions and bounces ideas around.

3. Coaches you through any unexpected events.

4. Gets you back on track if you have lost sight of your mission.

5. Challenges, motivates and inspires you.

Once you find a partner, begin the process by:

1. Deciding whether you will meet in person or discuss your progress by phone, text or email.

2. Choosing a day and time of the week that works for both of you to review the week’s progress,

3. Agreeing on a start time and end time for your weekly review. Don’t exceed this boundary. This keeps both parties more focused.

4. Being specific about what your goals are and the results you are hoping to achieve.

5. Breaking your large projects down into smaller, achievable tasks.

6. Thinking about the past and sharing any obstacles or roadblocks that keep you from being successful.

Create a Status Report form using these headings. This will be used as a communication tool for your weekly meetings.

1. Main Goal

2. Weekly Beginning Date

3. Weekly End Date

4. Tasks completed this week

5. Roadblocks encountered

6. Self-assessment for this week’s progress

7. Next week’s action items.

If possible, send the report to your partner at least one hour before your meeting time. This gives them a chance to process the information before speaking with you. Set a timer to remind you when to make the call. Remember your partner carved out this time of day for you. Be respectful of their time.

An accountability partner is someone who will help you keep your commitment to get organized, but it is not their responsibility to change your life for you. You need to be ready to dig your heels in and do the necessary work so you can begin to reap the rewards of your newly organized home or office.

Lori Firsdon owns Forte Organizers in Centerville. She does onsite organizing and speaking engagements. For more organizing tips, visit

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