Why I’m WAY better than your girlfriend

Girlfriends are awesome.

They give you the support and acceptance you need to thrive.

They laugh at your jokes and listen to your tales of woe in excruciating detail for hours and hours and hours and HOURS.

They take your side in any argument you ever had with anybody, anywhere.

They give you a shoulder to cry on and a place to vent when you’ve been done wrong.

They hold your hand, buy you medicinal tequila shots on a Monday afternoon, and hold your hair back when the inevitable happens.

But they have a problem. A serious defect.

Girlfriends will let you get away with stuff.

They will forgive you when you do the same things over and over again that aren’t working for you.

They will put up with you keeping yourself stuck and not moving towards what you really want.

They are completely understanding of how complicated your life is and how very difficult it is to actually sit down and write that screenplay you have been working on for fifteen years.

And that’s great.

Except that it’s NOT.

Not if writing that screenplay is something you want so much it hurts to even think about it.

You need more than just support and acceptance.

You need another person who is invested in you getting that screenplay/villa in France/goat farm/bait & tackle shop/opera career.

You need someone to hold you accountable for actually going after your dream.

We all need accountability to get stuff done.

Oh, you’ll do the everyday stuff.

You’ll pay the bills, do the laundry, go to staff meetings, feed your family. You’ve got a routine and a To Do list.

They scream for your attention and demand that you take care of them. So you do.

But the big stuff, the stuff that is your best life calling, waiting for you to show up in it, that is just too easy to ignore.

There are no immediate, everyday consequences to not moving towards your dreams.

No one will go hungry, unclothed, or unsheltered.

No one will be disappointed.

No one is waiting on you to fulfill your dreams. And that is the problem.

The bigger your goal is, the more important, the more difficult, the more accountability you need.

Because it’s going to get hard and it’s going to get uncomfortable.

And getting out of your comfort zone is terrific fun. Said nobody EVER.

When it gets difficult, it’s so much easier to just walk away and say maybe later, maybe next month, maybe next year.

And nobody but your own heart will notice that you ducked out.

Unless…unless you have ANOTHER PERSON in your dream’s corner, rooting for it, focused on it, reminding you that you said you wanted this more than anything.

We don’t like to let other people down.

It makes us feel bad. It creates anxiety. We will do all kinds of things for others that we simply will not do for ourselves.

Weight Watchers knows this. Alcoholics Anonymous knows this. Every teacher who ever assigned and collected your homework knows this.

Because the truth is: you will not do your homework unless someone is waiting for you to turn it in.

But if someone is waiting, you will do it. Even when it SUCKS.

I used to get up at 5:45 in the morning to go meet my personal trainer at the gym before work. No, really, I did.

And every single morning I gleefully bounded out of bed HATED wrenching myself out of my wonderful cozy bed and onto the cold city streets. But I did it because someone was waiting for me.

So let’s say you have a long held, half imagined dream of how you want to live or who you really want to be when you grow up. And you feel like no matter how many times you have made efforts over the years, you are just not ANY closer to it.

Now, we both know that’s because you have no discipline, no motivation, and are fundamentally lazy, right?


You don’t need more discipline or motivation. You need another human being waiting on you to come through.

That’s where I come in.

Just like your girlfriends, I get how busy your life is and how hard it is to make the time to deal with anything that isn’t currently on fire.

And I know you need support and acceptance. You deserve those things. And I will give you those in spades.

But I am also going to hold you accountable for moving towards what you want. It’s part of the deal.

We are going to figure out what steps you need to take and then you are going to ACTUALLY take them.

By specific dates. Or else you are going to have some ‘splainin’ to do.

And when you don’t want to do it, when it gets hard and you would rather do ANYTHING but what you committed to doing, you are going curse my name.

But you’re going to do it anyway. And afterwards, we are going to celebrate your grand triumph.

See, you told me you wanted something. And I believed you.

I have invested in your dream.

There’s two of us now. You can’t let us down.

If there is ONE THING you do for yourself this year, make yourself accountable to another human being.

Let them invest in your dream.

Let them be brave for you when your nerve fails.

Let them keep you moving forward when you have given up on yourself.

Because at the end of the day, you want so much more than your to do list.

Looking to make a change this year?  Have I got a solution for you! Let’s get it done. Together.


  1. Patti Pokorchak

    Hey Desi (you got some ‘sprainin’ to do!)

    This is the best article that describes the difference between being just a great friend and what a coach does. LOVE IT!

    I have Helen, my Friday 11:30am Skype accountability partner and that’s helped me on my path to becoming the Reinvention Rebel – Life with NO Regrets. Stay tuned!

    And I’d love to link to this article from my new blog. Thanks!

    • Wendy White

      Hey Lucy! Thanks so much-I really appreciate the feedback (and the proof that it works to have an accountability buddy). I’m thinkin’ I need to get me one of those soon-we all need someone waiting on our homework! Link away!

  2. Astrid W

    That’s it!
    Yes, the truth is, you need both – a great friend and a supporting coach. Or else how can you be sure, that you really start going after your goal – and reach it 😉

    • Wendy White

      I totally agree-you completely need great friends on your side as well!

  3. Patricia Dawn Severenuk

    I’ve been mulling this over for a while now, and I think that you bring up an interesting point: we don’t often like it when our friends challenge us. Maybe that’s why “they” say that friends shouldn’t go into business together – anything that requires some action doesn’t always work when you’ve got to hold each others’ feet to the fire!

  4. Wendy White

    I agree-we don’t like it when our friends challenge us. Sometimes that just seems beyond the social compact we make with them. Also, when you have a pre-existing relationship of friendship or family, there are all kinds of other elements that get involved that are no longer just about the person and what they want. That is why you don’t want to coach your friends or family. As another coach put it on my page the other day “coaching your partner is a great way to not have a partner!”

    • Patricia Dawn Severenuk

      I dunno…I mean, I think of you as a friend, and yet I’d be glad and relieved to have you give me a motivational kick in the patootie because I know that it would be for all the right reasons, and because I probably deserved it!

  5. Wendy White

    Dawn-I’d be happy to kick your cute patootie! And, of course you are my friend!!!


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