Accountability: Planned or Lifesytle?

I'm sure we have this in common: I want deeper relationships with other women. 
Not surface. Not just the "How are you?" with a quick "fine" response.
I want people to really know me. And I want to really know people. I want people to call me out when I am wrong. And I want women beside me who desire the same. Not to mention a healthy dose of genuine and intentional encouragement along the way.

So when our Women's ministry started pushing accountability groups a few years ago, I jumped right on board. Our women's minister has been in a group for years and a woman in her group, Vicky Wright, started facilitating trainings for other women interested in accountability.

I have to admit, I was skeptical. I question everything... especially things that seem standard for Christians (I like asking (and often do), "Why do we do this?").

I was convinced quickly that this was something that could (potentially) be life changing.

I have given the accountability thing a go before.
Typically, as women, we get stuck in just talking. It starts with good intentions and then becomes a talk fest. Sharing some things. Sharing even good Christian goals. Sharing prayer requests (often about others, not us). And typically sharing the same thing each week, because nothing has really changed. But not really sharing struggles, sin, and things that need to be done.
So to say that I was skeptical to give it a go again would be a minor statement.

But I did. I found 3 other women who I respected. 3 other women who I wanted to be more like (I think this is key). 3 other women who I knew would be honest with me (another key). And we started meeting. My walk changed. I mean it really changed. Our group ended up stopping after about 8 months (two girls moved and life just changed to where meeting just wasn't an option).

That was 1 year ago and I'd missed it. So since that group ended I've been on the lookout for women that met the same requirements: loved Jesus at a level that I wanted to emulate, spoke truth in love, spoke boldly (meaning, they'd call me out),.. and well, women I wanted to be around more.

And a couple of months ago I found them and we've been meeting again. And it has been just as good. And in a matter of weeks I see my walk changing again. Forcing me to be even more intentional with every step.

I recently had a conversation with a couple of friends about accountability that made me want to talk to you all about this topic. It seems the stigma of accountability is kind of a joke for a lot of people. They think of the old school way of doing it (not even sure what that means) and just laugh it off.

What I've found with accountability is what I've found with any form of group thing that is out there-- Weight Watchers, Sunday School, any addicts group, etc.-- there is power in numbers. Sharing your goals with someone else forces you to act.

The counter argument, well shouldn't we live life with accountability naturally. 
Yes we should. We should live our lives openly and honestly with others (and deeply with some). Totally agree. But is this a reality?

I want to hear your thoughts...
If you've done accountability before: What was your experience? What worked? What didn't?
If you haven't or don't now: Why not? How are you intentional with still being held accountable (for lack of a better word)?