I want to help you make things happen, and from what I gather, our members want help with this. So later this year, I will launch an accountability group for members.
What Is an Accountability Group?
In short, an IWNG Accountability Group will be a small pack of five women (including yourself) who hold each other accountable for their progress.
That progress can be personal or professional. It can help writers with their publishing goals, women with achieving personal wellness goals, or individuals with their financial goals. For the Fall 2020 session, the accountability group will focus on business development.
Originally, I was hesitant to do something like this. I’m already part of a million group chats (some unwillingly). I also don’t feel like I need a supervisor or someone pretending to be my manager.
But accountability groups are so much more than that.
How the IWNG Accountability Group Works
I plan on running this accountability group like I (try to) run my own business: efficiently with an emphasis on taking action.
To keep goals achievable without requiring a prolonged time commitment, the group will last for eight weeks. After that, members can decide whether they want to continue. Meanwhile, IWNG will initiate another accountability group with a different focus.
Applications for the business development group are open! And depending on how quickly the group is assembled, it will start by early September 2020.
I don’t intend for this to be an exchange of motivational memes and quotes. I want to focus on actionable items and motivational nudges through these four steps.
Join the Group
I want to know that you’re committed to being part of this. And it’s not just about your own goals – the other members want to know that you’re serious about helping them, too.
There will be an application form to determine whether this accountability group is a good fit for you. Priority will be given to premium members, and if there is still space, we will open up the process to free members in the Facebook group.
Set Your Goals and Identify Your Needs
In order to start holding you accountable, we need to know more about what to hold you accountable for.
Choose one long-term goal you have. Then, every week you set a smaller, bite-sized goal that works towards that larger goal. Before our first meeting, think of what you need from this group. Being held accountable is a broad, vague statement.
Make a list of up to three actionable items that the group can do to help you make progress. Will it include:
- A weekly check-in via WhatsApp?
- A brainstorming session in Week 3?
- Help prioritizing your check list?
I also ask that you think of up to three things that you know you’re bad at and that we, as your accountability group, need to call you out on.
For example, I’m an over-committer (in case you haven’t noticed). So if I say that I will update my all of the copy on my website this week, I need my accountability pack to call me out on such an outrageous goal (or at least tell me to reevaluate the possibility of achieving this goal).
Another example may be social media. If you know that you spend a lot of unproductive time scrolling through Instagram, your team may be tasked to send you random messages to say “Hey, are you working on that project?”
And to be clear: the accountability group will not try to change your weaknesses. Instead, we will help you achieve your goals despite your weaknesses. That’s why you’re here, right?
Ask the Group for Help
Once we have our five members, we will host an online chat (looking at you, members outside of the Netherlands!).
We’ll review your long-term vision as well as your weaknesses. We’ll also establish your fist goal!
In order to help each other, I plan to assign specific weeks to each group member to submit projects and ideas for feedback. This keeps the workflow balanced, while still helping each other towards our goals.
For example, if your long term goal is to develop a business plan, your first four weeks may look like this:
- Research target audience
- Research industry and competitors
- Look up business plan templates and choose one
- Write rough draft of business plan
And at the start of week 5, you send the accountability group your business plan draft to review.
Hold Each Other Accountable
Every week, we will have a loose theme for your goal. This is to help motivate your goal-setting, but feel free to set a different goal!
And throughout the week, members will offer advice and accountability nudges. For example, accountability can be as simple as an eyeball emoji to say “Hey, I’m supposed to keep an eye on you. Are you working towards your goal?”
We’ll also do a rotation of motivation. In other words, rather than getting messages from every member throughout the week, one person will be assigned to help motivate another member. (But this doesn’t prohibit you from motivating other members if you want!)
This ensures that everyone may receive different forms of motivation and perspectives, and that the members may get to know each other in a more intentional way.
More Than a Group Chat
For many of us, we need an accountability group for a variety of reasons. Maybe we suck at time management or we have trouble finding motivation. Whatever your reason, the members of your pack will keep you on track towards your goal.
And an important thing to note: you will not be shamed for failing. Life happens, which is partly why we need accountability in the first place! So if you can’t accomplish this week’s goal, then you can push it back.
But we won’t let you keep pushing the same goal for too long. And if you can’t actively participate in the group, we may ask you to leave.
Get What You Give, Give What You Get
This group will not be for people who simply need a reminder to get work done – there are plenty of apps for that!
This is about building a group of women you can rely on. To me, this accountability group is the foundation of the concept of helping each other not just to survive, but to thrive.