How many times have you set a goal and not stuck with it? I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all dropped the ball more than once before. When you don’t have any accountability, it’s easy to not follow through. It helps to have accountability to yourself and someone else.
Have you written down your six-month financial goal yet? Having it written down creates a sort of accountbilty to yourself. If it’s not written down, it’s just a wish or a hope.
If you didn’t actually write down your goal, I’ll give you a second chance. You can write it down on a note card and put it in your wallet, on your computer monitor, on your fridge, on your mirror, or wherever you will see it and be inspired by it.
Now that you’ve written down your goal, we will take it a step further. Telling someone about your goal will solidify your goal even further. We all feel more committed to a goal when we have told others about it.
You don’t need to make a public announcement, but choosing a person or two to hold you accountable to your goals will increase your success in achieving them.
Having a buddy or accountability partner goes beyond just having someone hold you accountable to your goals. A good partner will be more than just a taskmaster checking in on your progress. Your buddy, if you find a good one, will encourage you each step of the way.
Buddies in the Same Boat
A few times in my life I have felt motivated to run, not because someone was chasing me, but for fun! One time Mike and I even competed in a triathlon (swimming and biking are more fun than running). The best training partners are the ones who run alongside you and train with you. You both have similar goals so you training together just makes sense. Not only is there accountability, motivation, and encouragement, but it’s just more fun.
Finding a buddy who’s in the same boat is a great option for financial goals too. Do you know someone who is also trying to be more frugal and has set lofty financial goals too? Could you both benefit from one another’s encouragement and camaraderie? You don’t have to share every financial detail with your buddy, just enough about your goals and commitments that you can support and help one another, as well as celebrate one another’s success.
Spouses can be the Best or the Worst
Sometimes a spouse makes a great accountability partner. While your weaknesses and strengths are different, your overall goals (financial and otherwise) should be well-aligned. You are each privy to all the ins and outs of your shared finances, which is convenient. You both benefit from successfully accomplishing your goals. Hopefully you have learned to work together as a team. If you are both on board with revamping your spending and saving habits and making the necessary changes to reach your goals, then your spouse might make a great accountability partner.
In other cases, closeness can make it too easy to not be your best. For example, if my husband and I have a 6 am date to go running, I might complain that I’m tired and try to talk him out of it when the alarm goes off at 5:45. Depending on how tired he is, I might be successful.
On the other hand, if I am meeting a friend to run at 6 am, you better believe I’ll drag my tired self out of bed anyway so I don’t let her down.
It may be too easy to justify breaking your goals to your spouse. And of course, if your spouse is not on board with the proposed changes, he or she wouldn’t be a great accountability partner.
Invite a Friend
I love that so many of you are sharing your commitments and progress in the comments, on social media, and via emails. I feel a great sense of community and support among you. Having a real-life, in-person buddy will add another dimension of support in addition to what you can find online.
Throughout the rest of the month, I’ll encourage you to share your progress and commitments with your accountability partner. It would be great to have a buddy who was following along and accepting the same challenges. If you’ve got a friend who you think might benefit from a Frugal Fresh Start, invite them to follow along and be your buddy.
Day 4 Challenge
Find someone to participate in the Frugal Fresh Start Challenge with you–your spouse, a relative, a friend, or a co-worker. If you can’t find someone to join the challenge with you, at least find someone you can share your goal and your progress with, a buddy to encourage you and keep you honest along the way. We all have lofty goals and will need support and encouragement not just this month, but until we reach those goals!