Based on feedback we have gathered as well as our own experiences, we've learned that most of have much more success meeting goals and deadlines when teamed up with an equally ambitious accountability partner.
Accountability partners can propel one another faster and farther and cut down on the time we may dwell on our fears or other hindrances that hold us back. They can help keep us on track with our goals.
FINDING A PARTNER
Try to find a partner who is:
- On the same page in terms of commitment
- It is beneficial to find a like-minded comrade in art who is committed to avoiding excuses and powering through challenges.
- If a partner is not in the same city, ideally they are in the same or similar time zone to make scheduling face-time meetings easier and more likely to commit to.
- It is not essential that your partner work in the same medium or even necessarily is an artist. One benefit to partnering with someone who works in different mediums is that it may allow you to better focus on goals and strategies. There is less distraction due to studio talk or social banter.
TIPS FOR WORKING WITH AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
- Know yourself. Are you a person who wants constructive criticism? How do you want the message delivered? Share your insights and needs with your partner.
- Have a frank discussion of your goals, your approach to criticism, and your needs.
- Be flexible with your chosen format and let it change as you progress.
- Be generous. Encourage modeling of your good ideas.
Create some kind of structure to check in.
- Monthly in person meeting (or face time)
- Optional: weekly check-ins with a brief email reviewing the past week’s accomplishments, challenges, and next steps
- Weekly goal-setting breaks tasks down into into manageable chunks. (You can give each other critiques of your social media updates, newsletters, etc.
- Potential check-in items: Brag on a recent success. Share a difficulty you’re facing. General goal-related updates
Adapt this structure to changing needs as you progress.
TIPS FROM ACTIVE ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNERS
- Sometimes we check in during the week if we’re stuck or want to share a huge success, via text, email, or a quick phone call. We begin phone calls by stating how long the question is going to take and getting right to the point.
- Have a small celebration at the end of the year or every 6 months to celebrate accomplishments and commit to new goals.
- Help each other brainstorm ideas for publicizing work, grants to apply to, art spaces to approach, etc.
- Share resources and ideas, promote each other’s work
Your partner is a resource – double up and halve the research!
Blunt talk and nagging is good for getting right to the heart of a problem but sometimes a reward can help motivate toward creating a new habit or completing a big project.