Key №1: The Goal Buddy [excerpts from the book]
How to methodically and with perseverance reach even the biggest of our dreams? Well, we’ve discovered that there are exactly four keys that can do that flawlessly. Today we’ll look at the very first one – the Goal Buddy. Who is this person? Why we need them so badly? How is it all working?
Right out from the source
For almost a decade we’ve been collecting data, exploring the best practices on the topic of goal-setting. Nowadays we can finally say that we know inside out how to succeed.
We summarized everything we’ve learned in the book “The 4 keys to achieving goals”. And then we published it because we want that many more people be able to fulfill their dreams. To those who can’t get our book, we would like to offer our free website resources.
That’s why in a series of articles we will present the four keys separately – the Goal Buddy, the vision, the 90-day goal, and the weekly step. These series will be a quick look at the pages of the book to outline the main points of the bigger picture.
A few words for starters
We, humans, have survived by successfully adapting to the environment and this includes the social one as well. It turns out to be true not only for us as a species but as individual members of it. There is a very strong co-relation between reaching a given objective and our capacity for socializing.
In the context of isolation (which is just keeping some physical distance), we think it’s crucial to look deeper into the meaning of supporting each other.
We will always need people who have different experiences, attitudes, skills, etc. Taking into account this fact will significantly expand our ability to succeed.
No one can do it alone
Everybody would agree with us that any great success is the result of the efforts of many. Elon Musk did not launch a manned spacecraft all by himself. No Olympian trained without a team of professional coaches and specialists. And while only the athlete gets on the medalist stand we are all aware their accomplishment is the result of the work of many people.
The good news is that you don’t have to get a whole team.
The help of the Goal Buddy
It was almost by accident how we discovered the power of social support. In the beginning, it was only when we were talking about our objectives. It went like that for a couple of years. We used to discuss at length what we wanted to accomplish, how far we had come, and what the challenges were.
Perhaps it was our intuition that pointed us in the right direction. We are still amazed to this day how well things work out when you have someone next to you so that you can share your journey towards your biggest dreams.
10 times easier
Reaching a given objective could be extremely difficult if you are trying to do it all by yourself. It requires incredible will and self-discipline. Very few have those while some others are fooling themselves they do.
However, having a Buddy next to you is a game-changer. It will make things not just possible but also 10 times easier. This works at two levels:
- The definition of the vision and goals – a better and deeper understanding of your direction as well as the strategies you need to employ ;
- The action – a focused and uninterrupted process makes for a great opportunity to learn.
And speaking of a journey…
The very first key: The shoulder to lean on
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
We quote this African proverb here but we also did that in the 4th part of our book where we lay out how the Goal Buddy is the best thing that can happen to you.
That’s why it’s good to invest the time and effort in building that type of relationship.
The Goal Buddy and the other three keys
Think of it as a sports game. You and your Buddy both have to play by the same rules. Only, in that case, it will serve its purpose.
These rules are the precondition for good communication with your Buddy which, in turn, ensures that the other 3 factors for success come into full effect:
- Long-term vision
- 90-day action goals
- Weekly steps.
You and your Buddy must be on the same page. That’s how the two of you go forward at the same pace and avoid the traps of distraction and confusion.
It’s bad, for example, if one has been working on their quarterly goals and the other prefers to be on the one-year timeframe.
Here is how the first key (the Goal Buddy) links with each of the other three.
The link to the “Vision”
If we were to summarize the whole chapter “Get them to know your 30-year vision” into one sentence:
The better your Buddy knows your answer to the “why” question, the more helpful they will be.
We need to reveal in full our long-term objectives in front of the Buddy. They must be fully aware of what we expect from life. That’s how the two of you can have a working relationship based on trust without which no support could be truly helpful.
The link to the “90-day goals”
The chapter “Explain to them your 90-day goals” begins as follows:
You should make sure that your Buddy knows the plan for fulfilling your big dream. The reasoning is, first, that they can provide feedback with such questions that brings in more objectivity in your thinking. Another upside here is that they can help you stay on track and don’t get distracted or give up well before time.
Let’s have a quick look at the two main points:
- In the process of defining a goal, it is a good idea to involve someone who could be critical but with a supportive attitude of non-judgment.
- The well placed and timed feedback is essential since any questions will help us choose the right words for the action goal.
- Sometimes we tend to switch strategies too early if our efforts don’t give big and immediate results. The Buddy is the one who can stop us from rushing it. In the end, we stay on top of it with more focus and perseverance for a period of time that will yield good results.
Let’s look at the moment when we roll up our sleeves and start working.
The link to the “Weekly Steps”
We called this chapter “Get them to know your weekly steps.”
That’s where the Buddy will regularly help in a very specific way. They understand well what you want and how you plan to get it. Therefore, they will be able to provide support weekly.
We have found that the only working mechanism for achieving objectives is when regular small achievements accumulate into a much bigger result. That’s why the tactic is to take a step every week and discuss it with your Buddy.
It’s a basic law in our system – we talk weekly with our Buddy about what’s going on, i.e. progress, issues, and how to solve them.
The very fact that we have to share is what would motivate us like nothing else to get down to business.
Write it down and then share it
We’ve said it many times before but it is never a bad idea to repeat it once again:
Let’s not fool ourselves – if you don’t have a goal written down then you may not have it as well.
This fully applies to the vision – if it’s not “documented” then it won’t amount to anything of use.
It’s also true for the 90-day goals. If you didn’t make the effort to find the right words for it then you run the risk to either forget it or, worse – you end up doing something different. That’s how you lose momentum, get off track, and eventually feel completely lost.
And finally, the weekly steps are to be written down too. If they don’t then you won’t manage to go through all of them.
Isn’t it great to have a Goal Buddy! This person won’t allow us to do some cheap talk or get stuck in daydreaming. All of the above is true thanks to the way the two of you communicate. At the core of this is the clear definition. Let’s see what we mean by that.
Meetings with the Goal Buddy
In the book, we have described in detail what needs to happen during these types of meetings.
It’s done once a year and lasts for one full day (as in our workshops). This is a very good investment to do all the exercises, to explore and revise the vision, and eventually set the next objectives.
This shared experience forces us to think hard for a day about ourselves, where we are going, how we are doing in general. It makes a big difference when we are in the presence of someone else. But that’s also how you know for sure why we are doing it all, i.e. we will have a crystal clear answer to the “Why” question.
The 90-day meeting
It’s to be done at the end of every 90 days and lasts for a few hours to analyze the past quarter and figure out your next steps.
One role of the Buddy is a regular measuring of progress. The other part they play is in helping us to identify and formulate our next 90-day objective. It must be such that it’s firmly linked to action and builds upon previous successful steps while being solely focused on our long-term vision.
The weekly meeting
Big dreams are fascinating and can inspire us. Devising strategies and plans are exciting too but everyday life isn’t so much. It is hardly helpful to us in that respect. There are all kinds of obstacles, emergencies on top of the inevitable limiting beliefs, and the chronic lack of time. In short, no plan survives the first time it runs into the unpredictability of life.
This is the time for the most important meeting – the weekly meeting. It’s supposed to ensure that you act by taking a small step forward even when it’s not so easy. So, that’s the crucial moment for you to get help when you need it most.
During this meeting, we share what we have achieved during the week on each of the quarterly goals. We also talk about the tough moments and what we have learned. Another must here is choosing where to go next. That’s how we get consistent results and never get close to giving up.
Make your own daily “meeting”
You might think it is close to impossible to forget your goal. After all, these represent what is important to you, aka something that can’t just slip your mind, right?
It has been shown by some recent research that it takes only a few days to forget how you formulated at least one out of, let’s say, three small weekly goals. This happens unless each one of these is being written down and worked on each day of the week.
So, we do this – we go over our written objectives again and again. You don’t have to spend much time. Just a couple of minutes will do.
How to best communicate with your Buddy
No, we are not going to forget about this.
The rules of the “game” must be followed by both you and your Buddy. And if you do that the whole process will become much more meaningful, straightforward, and predictable. We have prepared a list of 12 agreements to review and print out.
We have the key to the castle!
Now we are all convinced that the most potent force that can turn our dreams into reality is the social element of our system, i.e. the support of our Goal Buddy. We also know why we need it and how to use it effectively. We also understand how it binds the other 3 keys of the “GoalBuddy”. These will be covered in our next articles.
Until then, if someone still doesn’t have a Buddy we would strongly suggest that you get one. And, please, make a comment or two in the section below how you did that! It will be not only nice of you but it will also help and inspire many other readers. Thank you very much!
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