Having either a personal coach or an accountability partner has become a necessity in the 21st century. The reason behind it is that we live in the era of constant distractions. The attention span of people today is just slightly over 8 seconds.
This naturally results in an utter disregard for long-term goals, strategic planning, and commitment. It is too easy to watch a funny YouTube video, play a video game, or, even worse, give in to self-destructing habits such as overeating, alcohol, or drugs.
These negative patterns can be noticed from a relatively young age. In the United States alone, over 1.2 million high school students drop out of school every year. That’s almost 6,000 dropouts per school day.
Many factors lead a student to drop out of his or her academic studies. The three main categories are:
- Pushed out. When students perform acts that force the institution to expel them.
- Pulled out. When a student has worries or partakes in activities outside of school, which pull them away from their education. These can be anything from financial issues, the birth of a child, or worse, being part of a gang.
- Fallen out. When a student is neither bad nor has any serious problems, but is just distracted. The most common reason for this is the rising tide of video games.
The good part is that, even with such a multitude of reasons linked to dropouts, almost all dropouts can be avoided if students would have an accountability partner, someone that guides them towards taking better decisions.
An accountability coach, partner, or mentor, can help people stay on track towards their goals and avoid certain habits and/or people that pull them back. This is just as true for high-school students as it is for fully grown adults that have to juggle their careers, their family, their children, their health, their education and much more.
When it comes to taking conscious, strategic and consistent steps towards their goals, adults can be just as (or more) distracted that young people. To provide a very vivid example, the average American citizen spends around 3 hours per day watching television, which adds up to over 1000 hours per year. This does not include staying on Facebook, going out with friends, playing games (virtual or real), and a dozen other time-consuming activities.
To make matters worse, 52.3% of US workers dislike their jobs. If we sum up 8 hours of unsatisfactory work, with, let’s say 1 hour of commuting to and from work, and the 3 hours of watching television, we end up with 13 hours spent, per day, on activities that do not add much value to a person’s life.
If we also consider that each of us sleeps between 7 and 8 hours a day, that leaves us with only about 3 hours per day, which most of the time is filled with administrative tasks and chores, such as cleaning, eating, taking a shower, doing paperwork, etc.
Fortunately for us, we all have accountability coaches in our lives. These are people that help us, one way or the other, to reach our goals. One of your coaches might be a college professors that pushes you to work harder, or a parent that guides you, or a friend you know since high school that’s there for you whenever you need them, or maybe even all of the above.
Some coaches are much more helpful than others. From my experience, I can say that the fastest way to grow in any area of your life, is to find someone that has already attained the goal you strive for, and then ask them to guide you.
Though there will be some that refuse, most people would gladly share their experiences and lessons with others, especially if you find a way to add value to their lives.
Choose your coaches well and your life will never be the same. I have experienced this first hand, and cannot emphasize its importance enough. Modern times ask for us to have such accountability coaches, from our early years and throughout our lives.
This will help us stay much more focused on what we want, and avoid making mistakes that can get us expelled from school, fired from a great job, or not having a large enough nest egg for our retirement.
There are still many bad habits that our society struggles with, but it is now easier than ever before to find and keep in touch with a coach or mentor. And the more people do so, the more accountable and progressive our community, and ultimately our race, will be.