by Juline Bruck
Two Key Qualities That Make an Effective Accountability Partner When Aiming For Better Health.
As an accountability partner, my 19 year old daughter knows me very well. She knows I like to snack after dinner and that my creative juices actually flow better when eating snacks. She also sees that our family celebrations interwoven with food choices from my era no longer resonate with health.
So, 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 any adjustment feedback would be the inside stuff. Some people won't give you this type of feedback sandwich but, instead, will just serve up the adjustment as is. That's not helpful. Move on.
Accountability is about more than being in relationship and observing what blind spots you have. Let me provide an example.
There is something petulant that 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. All the chopping and the organizing result in various sub assembly parts for brand new recipes that look amazing with five-star value.
"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 intermittent 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 since it's harder to find time around her new campus job schedule. When did my daughter become wise? She has added a lot to my journey towards health.
Honoring her this way, I hope to encourage you to look in unexpected places for your health accountability partner.
Juline Bruck is an author of Christian literature and a certified life coach. She juggles home life, her profession, and outreach in Los Angeles, Ca where she has resided for over 20 years with her family.