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How to Increase Your Odds of Success

For the past couple of days we’ve been talking about starting a daily “Power Hour.”

One of the most effective ways to stay consistent with your Power Hour is to do it with a friend and hold each other accountable.

Not only is this more fun and a way to build deeper relationships, but it’s also backed by empirical evidence.

Gail Matthews, psychology professor at Dominican University of California, performed a study showing the power of accountability partners.

Matthews recruited 267 participants between the ages of 23 and 72 from a wide variety of businesses, organizations and networking groups throughout the United States and overseas.

Participants were assigned to one of five groups.

  • Group 1 was asked to simply think about the business-related objectives they hoped to accomplish within a four-week block.
  • Groups 2 was asked to write their objectives down.
  • Group 3 was asked to write their objectives down AND write action commitments for each one.
  • Group 4 had to both write goals and action commitments and also share these commitments with a friend.
  • Group 5 went the furthest by doing all of the above plus sending a weekly progress report to a friend.

Broadly categorized, participants’ objectives included: completing a project, increasing income, increasing productivity, improving organization, enhancing performance/achievement, enhancing life balance, reducing work anxiety, and learning a new skill.

Specific objectives ranged from writing a chapter of a book to listing and selling a house.

Of the original 267 participants, 149 completed the study. These participants were asked to rate their progress and the degree to which they had accomplished their goals.

At the end of the study, the results were clear.

The individuals in Group 1, who simply thought about objectives, accomplished 43% of their stated objectives.

Those in Group 4, who wrote down objectives and action steps and shared them with a friend, accomplished 64% of their stated objectives.

Group 5 was the clear winner. They did everything Group 4 did plus gave weekly updates to a friend and managed to accomplish 76% of their objectives—making them 33% more likely to achieve an objective than Group 1.


Find a friend who will commit to a daily Power Hour. You don’t necessarily have to do it together, but at least share your routine with each other.

Commit to calling, texting, or emailing each other after you’ve completed your Power Hour each morning.

You could even add a consequence, where you owe each other money, meals, or favors for each time you don’t complete your Power Hour—or if one of you outperformed the other at the end of the week.

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