I took a picture of myself punching a time clock for the last time.
I know. I'm a nerd.
But that damn punch clock had ruled my life for so long that the last time I used it was a big moment in my life.
Fast forward to living life as an entrepreneur when I realized I had a lot to learn about being accountable when I no longer had a boss or a time clock to serve.
I had to become my own boss. And at first, I was too lenient.
When I asked myself for an early lunch, I was all too willing to oblige. When I asked to come in late to work (like 11 a.m. or noon), I said, "Sure, kid. Knock yourself out."
And while this laissez-faire lifestyle was pretty fantastic at first, I soon realized it was not all flowers and butterflies.
As it turns out, I don't really like sleeping in until 10 and wondering where the day went. I don't like eating a handful of crackers for lunch at 5 p.m. because I forgot to eat. I actually enjoy wearing something other than yoga pants and slippers in "the office," and working until midnight was killing my relationships, my health, and my sanity.
Becoming an entrepreneur sort of felt like becoming an adult all over again. I suddenly had to learn how to hold myself accountable at a level I had never experienced.
Over the past year, I have gotten much better at the whole accountability thing. I wake up at a reasonable hour. I eat breakfast. I even make my own coffee (I know. MAJOR adult/entrepreneur points, right?) But I know I can do better. I still need structure and a better system for keeping track of my accomplishments.
So, last week, when a fellow entrepreneur in one of my Facebook groups mentioned that she'd like to find an accountability partner, I jumped at the chance.
To be more accurate, my inner SUPER MOTIVATED entrepreneurial minion jumped at the chance. My non-entrepreneurial inner self tried to strap her down with duct tape, but that chick was feisty!
This woman wanted another person who would wake up at roughly the same time, end work at around the same time, and hold one another accountable to three primary goals each day. Those things all sounded good to me.
When she suggested we call each other every morning and text each night to see how things went, all of the pieces of me that fear responsibility tried to back out, but that damn feisty go-getter inside said, "Great idea!"
I knew in my heart it was the right choice even though I greatly feared having to wake up at 7:30 every day to either answer the phone or make the call.
I feared failure. I feared change. I feared backing out.
I am on day three of this challenge, and I am already so grateful that I stumbled into this partnership. Each morning, we have laid out our goals. Each evening, we have recapped how they went and any obstacles we faced. We try to get outside every day and eat a healthy lunch. We don't cover these things in our recaps, but just having someone else trying to succeed with me makes me more likely to try.
I know nothing will happen if I fail. I know I could lie and say I accomplished a goal if I didn't. But why would I do that? I would still feel the guilt.
And so I push forward, creating more and more ambitious goals and checking them off one by one.
If you've considered getting an accountability partner but you're apprehensive to make the commitment, I challenge you to give it a try.
You never know what you might accomplish with that little extra nudge.