Check Mate

Many years ago I read that Stephen R. Covey – he of the ‘Seven Habits’ – had a phone call every work night wherever he was to report out to a friend what he had and had not accomplished that day toward his stated goals.

That approach resonates with me, so in March I began having regular late afternoon check-ins with my Accountabilibuddy, a fellow coach I met in a training class we took together. While I can’t say we do it every day – never claimed I was a master of the ‘Habits’ – we’re batting a solid .850 on connecting with each other.

The process is simple. We each selected three goals to begin working on day one. The first time my friend called me… and we were off and running with a regular routine.

After about a minute of pleasantries, the dialer says, ‘What did you do today in support of your goals?’ The other person scores his efforts for each one on a zero to 10 scale… and says what he will do tomorrow. Then the roles flip. At the end, we set the next call time, decide who is the designated dialer and say goodbye. All of this happens in less than 10 minutes.

Sharing goals and updates with a detached observer has its benefits. No judgments. No sidebars. No excuses. Just ‘did I’ or ‘didn’t I’ and ‘what I’m going to do next.’ Within six weeks, I checked off a big goal and elevated the next one. While I haven’t knocked off another, nearly every day I’m doing something to move forward.


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