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Nina Westbrook on How To Hold Your Partner Accountable As They Set New Goals


By Abby Moore via mindbodygreen

Whether you name it a resolution, an intention, or a goal, the beginning of a new year often inspires change. As the year goes on, though, it’s natural for motivation to wane. One of the best ways to stay on track with your goals is through an accountability partner. In romantic relationships, though, it can be hard to find the balance between being too pushy and too lenient. So, what’s the best way to hold a spouse or a partner accountable as they set new goals?

  1. Ask How They Want to Be Supported

Unwarranted accountability could give an air of superiority not support, so communication is key.

“Remember that just because someone expressed a goal to you, doesn’t mean that they’re asking you how to make it happen,” marriage and family therapist Nina Westbrook, LMFT, tells mbg. “Avoid offering unsolicited advice by giving your partner the space needed to formulate a plan and wait to see whether they request your guidance or support.”

If your partner does request help, ask what that means to them.

“Perhaps they do want gentle reminders, or perhaps they want help in other ways, such as cooking healthy dinners,” says certified Gottman couples therapist, Kimberly Panganiban, LMFT.

Once you’ve established an accountability plan, psychologist Gabrielle Schreyer-Hoffman, Ph.D., recommends doing daily or weekly check-ins. This is a good time to see how your methods of encouragement are making your partner feel, while also discussing any progress, setbacks, or challenges related to their goals.

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