Let’s face it! This isn’t like being a regular buddy.
You need to meet on a regular basis; to build a long-term relationship of trust and support; to be a reliable “sponsor” of the person next to you. And on top of that, you have to do it all while pursuing your own goals.
It is nothing less than one tough and demanding “job” which nevertheless pays off with success and fulfillment. A complete understanding of the responsibilities involved is a good start. There is no way that we overstate the importance of qualities like reciprocity, being an effective communicator, the ability to build realistic expectations. All of these, plus many other, will come to rescue when there is trouble in the works.
Therefore, it makes perfect sense to treat all those partnership commitments as a form of a contract. In the spirit of our system, we would like to make life easy for you and present a classification, twelve short and clear “agreements”.
“Black on white”, signed and stamped
Just kidding, no stamp here…
The idea is that when things are spelled out in a written form they weigh more. Another plus is that you can always go back and re-read those.
Just as it is good to get the goals written down the same applies to our “agreements”. Things tend to slip out of the mind.
And if you think that makes sense then we invite you to sign them. Don’t worry! There is nothing like a contractual obligation here whatsoever. This is purely a symbolic act on the part of two people which simply means that you both are aware of and don’t object to the rules and procedures of your partnership.
Here they come, each with a brief explanation.
# 1 I promise to have the 20 minutes phone call each week regardless of whether I did or did not work on my goals.
First is to realize that from now on you have this one obligation.
You will be having the conversations in order to revise your weekly steps and to share your plans for the upcoming ones.
Make the call a second nature of yours and it will be a stepping stone towards turning goal setting into a life-long skill. That will lead you to success.
No matter where in the world you might be, how busy or whether you’ve made any progress on your objectives, don’t skip it. Make the call!
It’s equally important to set the where and when.
# 2 The day and time of our “weekly talk” are: ….
Now you have to decide on this together.
We recommend you do it on Sunday evening or Monday morning. This means that you still have the events of the past week fresh in your memory while the next one is just around the corner.
By having this fixed you are saving yourself the trouble to arrange over and over again. Just set a reminder alert on your phone “to call at 8:00 am/pm” and you’re done.
# 3 It’s my responsibility to interrupt if my Buddy goes off course or beyond the 10 minutes maximum. A conversation outside of the agenda can always be done at another time and place.
The purpose here is to give you some reprieve from the rules of manners in a typical discussion.
There’s no reason to feel bad about stepping in and taking control when your friend is losing focus and digresses. Act decisively and there should be no bad feelings.
Everyone could become quite engaging when they are passionate about their own objectives. The danger here is getting carried away from the purpose of the meeting which is:
First, to state what you did in the past seven days. In the case you failed in something you have to find out the reason and then to figure out how to stop it from happening again. Next is what your plan is for the upcoming week.
Only after covering these you can have a talk on any other topic of interest.
# 4 My role is simply to ask. I will not try to give advice unless I am explicitly asked for it.
With this one, you are promising not to bombard people with unsolicited “commercials” of your own life.
Your top task is to guide your partner towards their own understanding and subsequent resolution.
It’s easy and tempting to offer what you’ve learned from life yourself as a ready-made solution. But the hard and much more useful thing is to resist this natural instinct.
You pose thoughtful questions that will make your friend tackle the issue in a way that’s focused and effective.
What may work for you doesn’t necessarily work for others as well. Everyone’s experience is unique.
# 5 When providing an answer I will make it short and clear, no stories, no tales, not even a short version.
There are two alternatives how to deal with the question “why” when you haven’t done your weekly step.
One way is to tell the whole story with some explanation for some of your actions. This detailed information could be pretty much about anything, starting washing your teeth on Monday morning to what you did on Sunday evening. You also try to describe how you felt and what you were thinking about at any given moment. And maybe somewhere there you will get to the bottom of it (or the rationalization for it at least) – why you never did any work on your goal.
You’ll be right to think this approach is a bit overboard.
In fact, there is a better way. It’s our “trade secret” which is quite simple. You fight off the temptation to tell the long story and simply give its short version. It might sound something like this: “The week began with quite a few long meetings, then there were some emergency fires to put out and at the end, I didn’t have much time for anything else.”
We know it’s not easy, but try to hit on the breaks when the urge is to go into the specifics. The Devil not always is in the detail, you know. Stop yourself before the Buddy does it for you.
# 6 I have to do my best to help my partner if they have dropped out of the goals and stopped working on them. I have to do this carefully and with due respect so that a trustful connection be the avenue towards resolving the issue.
The best thing about our system, its most essential characteristic, is the social element that plays a unique role as a form of moral support.
As Buddies, you assist each other to get back on your feet. Therefore, it is crucial that you both have the right attitude and you are willing to practice an “a friend in need…”. That’s how you both stave off failure and damage to your self-esteem.
It’s also a matter of timing. If you get the sense that there is a risk of something going wrong then hurry up and offer a helping hand. Be ready for their reluctance, denial or even an outright rejection but don’t give up, don’t leave them entirely on their own devices.
Still, be well mannered and don’t stalk them. Don’t cross the line between being persistent and obtrusive! (Didn’t we warn you it won’t be easy. J )
# 7 I will spend half a day every 3 months to review the past quarter and plan for the next one with my Buddy.
This, as well as the next one, is simply a reminder of your commitment to having regular meetings for reviewing your visions and strategies.
# 8 I and my Buddy will be reviewing once a year the visions and 90-day goals.
The quarterly meetings together with the annual ones should be held with no postponement. Thanks to them you will firmly stay on track. See more in our article on the importance of those “rendezvous”.
# 9 I will provide support to my Buddy even when I don’t fully get their objectives or how to achieve them.
It is interesting how people can be so close and at the same time, they can be so far apart in terms of worldview and attitude. If ten pull-ups are your personal record while a hundred is just a norm for them, you will appreciate how useless is to impose your point of view on others. Your only role is to give support without reservation or much doubt.
In this regard, we are one perfect example.
Although we have similar visions, we pursue them in quite different ways. Whether we are talking about finance or health and fitness, our approaches have almost nothing in common. What we have is an understanding and respect for each other. Plus, we never quit trying to be as helpful as possible.
# 10 I intend to follow the system on a long-term basis and to focus on my friend’s goals as much as on my own.
There are two aspects to this one.
On one hand, long-term means that this “alliance” of yours is to last without having any expiration date on it. It is more realistic, though, to have a 90-day trial period. It’s more than enough time to find out whether your course of action is correct and if you have the will and capacity to do well in this.
On the other hand, it’s a must to keep a sincere interest in the efforts and aspirations of the other person. There is no need for you to get them to the fullest. It’s good enough if you just listen carefully and pose only those questions that assist them to reach their own conclusions.
# 11 My Buddy’s goals are strictly confidential and I will not make them public in any form or shape.
As in any relationship, old or new, privacy is fundamental.
Although we’ve said it before that it is beneficial for you to share your objectives, it is a personal choice after all. It’s entirely up to individual people how and where to set the boundaries in that respect.
# 12 Ultimately my intention is to build such mutual trust that we’ll be able to confide to each other any goal of ours, be that professional or personal.
This last one is about building and maintaining the sincere and open partnership.
It’s worth on its own merits to building a comfortable environment without any prejudice or judgment. It doesn’t happen overnight and it will take time but ultimately you have to be able to achieve it at one point or another. The one top prerequisite for any help to be effective is that you need to believe completely in your counterpart and share with them even the most secret dreams.
Are you ready?
There we covered the 12 most important things that we have to agree upon before the take-off. And if you do then the question is “Are you ready to do it?” If so, then you should print and sign.
But if you aren’t going to then it’s Okay too. We’ll be glad to find out that you are not taking it lightly but quite responsibly. Obviously, you weigh in your options and honestly think you are not ready to make these commitments.
The choice here is entirely yours. If you’ve met the kind of person you are a perfect match with then go ahead full steam. Your next step must be the first meeting. As for us, we have in store yet another interesting topic waiting for you next week.