As an accountability partner, my 19 year old daughter knows me very well. I like to snack after dinner. My creative juices flow better when eating snacks. Celebrations are often interwoven with food choices from my era that no longer resonate with health now. She's serious. We are going to get healthier and lose weight together. NOW.
What makes a good accountability partner?
It should go without mention that this person needs to have enough time to devote to you. Feedback should not feel like he or she is dimming your light. Giving feedback is like making a sandwich. Positive feedback would be the 'Bread' and whatever adjustment feedback would be the inside stuff. Some people won't give you this type of feedback sandwich and just serve up the adjustment as is. That's not helpful. Move on.
It's more than being in relationship and observing what blind spots you have. Let me provide an example.
There is something petulant rises up in me when food lifestyle changes are proposed. Into this power struggle comes the steady presence of my teen. “I'll keep you company in the kitchen when you do meal prep.” Suddenly I feel like dealing with the 45 minute preparation time of fresh, raw ingredients. There is chopping and organizing and various sub assembly parts for brand new recipes that look amazing and have five star reviews. Are all the new ingredients here? Sometimes not. “It's okay, Mom.” She says.
In confessing that I don't relish learning new recipes, the presence of an ally diminishes my discomfort. That's really the sense of an accountability partner. You have an ally. You are not alone trying new things and doing something difficult.
The ideal partner shares your vision.
Sometimes, I marvel at her. She's armed with YouTube videos about internittent fasting and smoothie recipes. She brings youthful idealism and determination. The focused look that seeks my gaze brooks no compromise. In the evenings, we can talk or take walks. It's harder to find time around her new campus job schedule. When did she become wise?
My adult daughter has added a lot to my journey towards health. In honoring her in this way, I hope to encourage you to look in unexpected places for your health accountability partner.
I travel my health journey better with an accountability partner, too, with my adult son.