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Page 11 of 92

Three years ago, I wrote an Editor's Note to jump-start my new year with some resolutions—10, in fact. I believe I did a darn good job of upholding my end of the bargain with myself and achieving those items throughout the year, many of which required some sustained frequency. Most people fail in their New Year's resolutions within the first or second week. That's why you see the gym packed January 1–7, then fewer and fewer people January 8–31. I wonder if much of that failure comes down to how people set an intention but have no real path for manifesting it. Enter the accountability buddy. The first time I heard this term was when speaking with Massage & Bodywork columnist Ruth Werner. She mentioned to me that she and fellow M&B columnist Whitney Lowe were "accountability buddies." "What's that?" I asked. "Well, we get together and check in on the progress of each other's projects," Ruth said. So, what does this person actually do? Are there rules to being an accountability buddy? And what makes a good accountability buddy? Essentially, this person helps hold you up to the standards you set for yourself, whether that's improving your marketing, learning a new technique, hiring your first employee, or redesigning your space. According to Ruth, the rules she and Whitney abide by are (1) no scolding, (2) provide lots of support, and (3) changes of plans and directions are good. They meet biweekly. As far as what to look for in an accountability buddy, Ruth says, "Find someone with a similar level of experience who has similar (but not identical) goals. Talk about those goals and why they're important. Work together to establish action items that take the highest priority. Share resources. Ref lect progress. Listen well." Why am I bringing this up, and why is this pertinent to 2024? Well, if you're going to set and accomplish goals in the new year, you may need to first put pen to paper, then find someone to hold you accountable, to up the peer pressure a bit. I'm lucky to have a couple of people in my life who hold me accountable to goals and intentions. Nothing as formal as what Ruth and Whitney have, but that's something I'd like to change and lean into in the coming year. Here at ABMP and M&B, we like to see ourselves as a tool for your accountability buddy meetings. We hope you see each magazine that arrives in the mailbox as a chance to reignite your passion for learning, garner some new techniques to try in your practice, and get soft skills that improve your non-touch toolbox. (PS: There are a ton of ABMP member benefits online to up the ante in 2024.) As you get around to 2023 ref lection and 2024 planning, email me your goals for 2024. I'm curious about what you want to attain and just how you'll do it, and maybe, just maybe, we'll become accountability buddies in the process. DARREN BUFORD Editor-in-Chief EDITOR'S NOTE Accountability Buddy A B M P m e m b e r s ea r n F R E E C E h o u r s by rea d i n g t h i s i s s u e ! 9 If you're going to set and accomplish goals in the new year, you may need to first put pen to paper, then find someone to hold you accountable.

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