I’ve shared in my past blog posts about how my accountability partners have helped me stay motivated and focused on my goals.
Accountability partners are someone you meet regularly to check in about your goals and provide support. Maybe you don’t need any external support to achieve your goals, but many of us do better when you know someone else is counting on you!
I used to practice Bikram Yoga (a type of hot yoga) a lot. The instructors often said “showing up is the hardest part of the practice” and it’s so true. You know it’s going to be hard. In the beginning of the class, I always thought “Why am I here? I’m going to DIE!!!” It’s SO hot in there. You sweat and hold difficult poses. You feel so beat and uncomfortable. But then after the class, you feel amazing. You feel so refreshed and renewed.
What motivated me to show up oftentimes was that I had a couple of buddies to go to the class with. Sometimes I gave them a ride, and the other times I just met with them at the studio. Either way, I chose to go to my yoga class because I knew they were expecting me to show up in some ways.
And once my yoga buddies moved on, it naturally became more difficult for me to consistently show up for the class. Boo!
Today, I want to shine a spotlight on one of my accountability partners, Whitney. We’ve been meeting monthly since June of this year. Whitney and I used to work together at our old day job and became friends. She moved on to a different job a few years ago, but we kept in touch because she’s a really cool lady and we like each other 🙂
Whitney has since gone back to school to get her Master’s in Organizational Leadership. She also quit her day job earlier this year to start her own consulting & coaching practice! Her thoughtful approach to helping others grow has really inspired me.
We were having dinner one day, and at that time I was contemplating getting a different day job that might be less stressful and draining. Whitney had just quit her day job then, and I had another friend who had just made a big switch to pursue her creative passion full-time.
I was totally inspired by their ability to quit their day job to pursue their dream and wanted a bigger push to make something happen in my life, too. I was telling Whitney about how my accountability meetings with my other partner, Stef, have been helping me stay on track. Whitney was going through her big transitions then and thought having an accountability partner might be helpful for her, too.
Naturally, we felt like we would be a good match because we knew and trusted each other already. We were also at a similar point in our life starting something new for ourselves and experiencing similar challenges. Plus, it helps me, an introverted homebody, get out of the house to actually see a friend regularly!
We usually meet once a month over a meal (brunch or lunch). Monthly seemed reasonable for both of us. You could agree to meet more often if it feels necessary and doable, but I wouldn’t recommend no less than monthly especially if you’re a procrastinating type 🙂
Anyway, I wanted to hear how our accountability meetings have helped her achieve her goals, so I interviewed her!
Without further ado, meet Whitney.
Please introduce yourself to my readers. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi, I’m Whitney Thoren. I am originally from Colorado. I moved to Seattle about 6 years ago, which is when I met Yuko! I’m married to musician/designer, Irene. We live with our two cats in a funky old house in the north part of the city. I love to ride my vintage Honda motorcycle.
Earlier this year I left my full-time job, in an unrelated field, to start my own innovation consulting practice, Whitnums. I create and facilitate experiences related to change and growth for both for individuals and larger systems. I am inspired to help organizations be kinder and more empowering places for the people who work there. I’m currently in the process for building my reputation and finding clients.
Why did you decide to become my accountability partner? What were your initial expectations?
The idea of an accountability partner seemed to emerge organically for Yuko and me. We were both in similar places in our professional lives, and agreed that having someone to offer a more specific type of support would be value in our process.
Not sure I had any initial expectations? We talked about the ways in which we can hold each other accountable for the tasks we set for ourselves. I think saying out loud, what you are working on when you work for yourself, helps to keep you moving forward. When you work alone it is much easier to let yourself off the hook 😉
I experience our accountability relationship as space to bring our challenges, personal and professional. We don’t always need an agenda. One of the great things we can offer each other space to share our fears and insecurities too. Sometimes those meetings are the most helpful.
How has having an accountability partner helped you? Any examples of the changes you’ve noticed or progresses you’ve made in your own practice since you started meeting with me?
Our meetings gave me the push to try blogging! I feel insecure when it comes to my writing. It felt like a big leap to share something publicly, but I pushed through, and it was a real success. Now I just need to keep it up…
In your own experience, what are the most valuable things about having an accountability partner?
For me, it’s been really lovely to have someone going through a similar transition in life to talk with. Yuko understands the challenges AND the value in this process, no explanation required. Additionally, the consistency of our meetings is awesome. If I know I have a Yuko hang coming up, I better get my butt in gear 🙂
What do you think are important to look for in an accountability partner?
Someone who is serious about being there for you and has the space in their life for the commitment. Someone who is open to you and your feedback. Someone you trust.
Any words of wisdom for someone who’s thinking about having an accountability partner?
Go for it! Nothing bad can come from it. It is truly a special relationship to gift yourself with.
And where can people find you?
You can find me at:
And you can learn more about my professional coaching practice for the alternative professional here –> Straight Talk with Queer Whitney
Thank you Whitney for sharing your experience with us! I’m so fortunate to have you as a friend and my accountability partner! I always look forward to our next meeting 🙂
Well, I hope you get a better sense of how helpful an accountability partner can be! In my next blog post, I’m interviewing my other partner, Stefanie Robbins. She’s an amazing person, and I can’t wait for you to meet her! Stay tuned 🙂
Have a wonderful week, my friend ❤