There are always be times when we lose motivation, feel distracted and discouraged by slow progress. We may also feel stuck and without any idea how to proceed with our weekly steps. Today we would like to discuss this one thing that can save the day for us in such tough moments.
What would it take?
We know by now that a good understanding of what we want when coupled with focus and discipline is a must in goal-setting. However, the reality is such that at times we may find ourselves short of either of these two.
We do have a way in “GoalBuddy” to act in a consistent way building upon our previous success with the help of the weekly steps. That’s how we move forward in each of our 90-day goals. That’s how we get closer and closer to our vision.
The weekly step operates at two levels.
First – let’s go…
The hardest thing in any project of ours is to kick it off. Or to put it in the words of some wise men:
“A journey of thousand miles begins with a single step.”
With our first weekly step, we aim only to turn the wheel – it’s time to act. And from that point onward we have to keep going down the chosen road.
… and then, we never stop!
If we are ever to enjoy the regular progress at a smooth pace we have to learn how to take only one weekly step for each of our quarterly objectives (yes, only one!) And this has to be every single week without any exception.
The power of perseverance
We are sure everyone has a similar experience when you meet an old acquaintance. And it turns out to your surprise that this person made it, became a success as well as an example to be followed.
Well, we have some news for you – it didn’t happen overnight.
Progress is made of regular actions accumulated over time.
This is generally true for anything in life. If we’ve been going to the gym 3 times a week for years, we will be in good shape. If we have the habit to save money by making a small deposit every month, we will have a pretty good sum in the bank. Or if we manage to read a few pages every day, we will be able to stay well informed.
Little by little, each week with one small step forward we move closer and closer to our big objective. And on top of that, we get to enjoy the time-saving effect of this approach.
Only if it were so easy!
The weekly steps process is proven to work. And yet, there is no guarantee that we will always be able to use it all the time… Sometimes, it is easy to start but it is as easy to quit – around 95% of us give up by the end of the second week.
Our everyday life can easily take precedence over everything else and then we end up with less time, motivation and/or energy.
Being consistent and focused is hard but we think we can assist you with this today.
What does it for us is… the weekly meeting with the Goal Buddy!
It is your commitment to act and take the many small steps towards your quarterly objectives while being supported by the person next to you along the way.
The core idea behind the weekly meeting is to share your plans.
We, ourselves, have come a long way before we could fully appreciate the meaning of the word “share”.
The discovery of Ivan
Years ago, he learned from the David Allen system, Getting Things Done ™, the following principle: first to plan his actions for the week and then to get them executed.
But he struggled with it for over two years while his success was only sporadic.
“I knew how important the weekly goals review was but it didn’t work out until I found Niki.”
Ever since we became Goal Buddies we realized that this is the very first one of the four keys to inevitably achieve any objective. That’s why our system is called exactly that.
This works flawlessly
In practice, the review of the steps done together with the Buddy happens almost on autopilot and … has one other great characteristic – it becomes an inevitable part of our life.
Every single week, regardless of whether we are too busy at work or on a vacation we make sure we do have our weekly conversation. And we do it even if there is not much of a problem. We have a look at what happened the previous week and what we plan for the next.
That’s what spins the wheel for us – even a short talk gets us back on the right track.
Why does it work?
To put it bluntly, big dreams are inspiring and bold new ideas are exciting by their nature. But the drudgery of everyday life could be overwhelming in its monotony and triviality. And these last two are far from helping. Problems with discipline, time or focus – all this is eliminated when we do the weekly review together with our Buddy.
Let’s look at the factors that make it so effective for everyone who chooses to try it.
# 1 Awareness instead of justification
The following is simply a manifestation of human nature:
When we are pressed to find out why we didn’t follow through, we start coming up with all kinds of excuses. “The moment wasn’t right, I had a lot to do, I didn’t feel ready”.
But we all know that this won’t fly with our Buddy. So, we make sure to do what was expected from us out of respect for the Buddy as well as our sense of self-esteem.
But there is more to it here.
Help without judgment
The idea is not to give each other a hard time. On the contrary, that person will help us to understand the true reason for our trouble and to make sure that we can overcome any difficulties in the future. The result is that we aren’t too harsh on ourselves and we don’t feel too bad when failing a weekly step.
# 2 Bringing up our confidence
Everyone needs from time to time to be encouraged with a good pat on the shoulder.
In the race of modern life, we rush from one emergency to another and often we don’t even notice how much we have accomplished.
However, during the weekly review, we always must take a moment to credit ourselves for what’s been achieved so far. We share what we have accomplished and learned and that’s how by talking about it, we become more appreciative of our achievements.
With every step forward, no matter how small, we feel better and that elevates our confidence as well as our ability to keep going despite everything.
# 3 Help in defining our weekly plan
Somehow, it is always tricky to come up with the best possible weekly step. It might be too general and not fully action-oriented while looking perfectly okay in our head. Not to mention that if we go back to it in a couple of days we will be having a hard time figuring out what it was about.
When you are laying out in front of your Buddy the plan for the weekly action you are doing yourself a favor – you end up getting a much better definition of what you will do for the next.
The advantage here is that the Buddy provides you with invaluable feedback by asking questions and encouraging you to be as careful with your wording as possible. And when you know exactly what to do, it’s much more likely that you will succeed!
# 4 Motivation to act and stay out of the trouble
We have to admit:
We are no exception and sometimes we “get off track” too. It could happen, for example, after long vacations or business trips. And then it could take us a couple of months before we get back to speed. Of course, it is much harder to do that on our own only.
However, since we have started employing this technique, things are much better. Regardless of all challenges and problems, our first Buddy agreement is not to let the other fall behind or give up on their dreams. We will keep calling until they pick up the phone and tell us what’s going on.
Let’s look at some tips.
The good tactics
- We meet every week at the same time (for the two of us it’s a phone call on Monday morning).
- We follow a clear protocol: 10 minutes talk to one, then 10 minutes to the other. Every one lays out what he did over the past week and what he failed to do and what lies ahead.
- First, we listen carefully and then we ask questions.
- We do not go into the details so that we avoid turning the whole thing in some long and exhaustive affair. If we are willing and have the time, we can engage in some more detailed discussion afterward.
- We can interrupt each other if anyone gets off-topic.
The meeting can take you to a whole different level. A moment ago you might have been busy deciding on tea or coffee and in the next moment, your mind is fully engaged for half an hour with your plans for the future. It is quite a powerful experience, right? That’s where the value of this technique comes from.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together!”
We cannot agree more with this old African saying. A friend’s support is what matters most to our persistence.
Small steps are easy, but they are also easy to miss. The weekly review when done together is ensuring that we can deal much better with any of the issues we might face.