Have someone hold you accountable!
Seriously! It was December of 2014 when I got the idea to have a goals group, which follows the Masterminds group idea. I had one friend in mind and an acquaintance that I thought would be a good fit. I nervously broached the topic with each separately and both were up for it. It turned out to probably be the best decision I made that year, in all areas of my life.
We've added a fourth member in 2015, and we meet once a month, usually at one of our houses, we have a meal, then drink coffee or tea and go over how we did in the previous month, and what we hope to accomplish in the coming month. We usually try to meet at the end of the month or early in the month. We all have different work schedules so we've done 8am breakfasts at a restaurant in town, weekends, weeknights, and even while all on vacation together in the Upper Peninsula.
You may be introverted and think you'll do better on your own or don't like sharing, but honey, I'm a major introvert and a lot of times just knowing I'm going to have to give an account of how I did is enough to push me to try a little harder. The key is finding the right people for your group.
There's very few ground rules, but here's a couple ideas.
When forming a group:
- Find people who are going to take this seriously, be encouraging and committed. You don't want flakers, no matter how fun they are to hang out with.
- Limit the group to an intimate number. For the sake of closeness and to keep meetings from lasting a whole days, I recommend just having two or three members, besides yourself. If you can't come up with two friends, you can do it with just one, as long as they're going to be dedicated.
- Plan on meeting at lease once a month. We also have a closed Facebook group to keep in touch during the month.
- Everyone takes a turn sharing how they did in the past month and shares their goals for the coming month.
- Everyone writes down each others goals, and their own.
- No goal or plan is considered stupid or laughed at. I think if one of us said we wanted to lose 20 pounds in the coming month, the others would step in and suggest a smaller goal or explain why that wouldn't be safe, but no goal is laughed at.
- We don't share each others goals with anyone outside of the group. You need a safe place for your dreams to grow. You can't do that if others are blabbing them to everyone else.
- Encourage each other. You may have wanted to exercise five days a week, but only averaged three. If prior you weren't exercising at all, that's still an improvement. Focus on the positive, but keep pushing each other.