If you’re serious about making lifestyle changes to improve your life with tinnitus, think about asking someone to be your accountability partner.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t always have the willpower I’d like when it comes to making changes in my life, especially if it requires giving up something I love (cake and coffee are two perfect examples) or rejigging my life around to try a new routine. I am the kind of person who needs some form of external pressure (or at least someone to answer to) in order to achieve pretty much everything in life.
That’s why I love to work with accountability partners. An accountability partner (or group) can offer support, help with motivation, keep track of the progress you’re making and even give you a new perspective.
So, what makes a good accountability partner? For a start, let’s look at who might be a less-than-perfect fit:
- your partner
- your parents (and parents-in-law)
- your adult children
I’m not saying that these people wouldn’t be super-supportive or prepared to challenge you when needed. But they are too close to you and may have too much of a personal interest in the outcome to be the ideal candidate. Let’s say you’ve avoided going out on your motorcycle since tinnitus appeared in your life. You really miss it and getting back out on the open road is your no. 1 priority in your new life with tinnitus. Your partner might secretly be relieved that you’re no longer riding what they consider to be a death-trap, and the thought of you getting back on it horrifies them. You can see there might be a clash of interests there!
Other people who would not be ideal accountability partners:
- your boss, or people you manage
- anyone you cannot trust and be honest with
- your siblings, if you think it will revive unhelpful patterns of behaviour towards each other
So, who are you looking for? Think about who you might know- in all your areas of life – who:
- is honest
- is a good listener
- can offer useful and constructive advice
- is an encourager
- communicates well person-to-person
- is trustworthy
It’s worth making a list of everyone who ticks these boxes, rather than settling on the first person who comes to mind. You may be surprised about some of the people who pop up as potential accountability partners. Out of those people you identify, ask yourself 1. whether you would be happy to take criticism (albeit constructive) from them without it ruining any existing relationship; and 2. whether you would be comfortable being completely honest with them about relevant parts of your life.
If you’ve got great intentions of creating a great life with tinnitus but are struggling to be consistent and turn your intentions into reality, another option is to work with me, I make a great accountability partner! Take a look at my tinnitus coaching.