Having trouble achieving the goals you set? Get a goal buddy. Whether the goals you want to achieve are personal goals, business goals, or a combination of both, a goal buddy can be your key to goal setting success.
- A goal buddy provides motivation.
He or she will help you stay on track as you work towards your goals, goading you when you slack off and praising your continued efforts to do well.
- A goal buddy provides accountability.
Being accountable to another person brings out our best efforts. Because we know our goal buddy is concerned about our progress, we're more concerned. We don't want to let our goal buddy down.
- A goal buddy increases our determination.
Having a goal buddy gives us the staying power we need to accomplish our goals. Achieving goals takes time and continued effort. (After all, they wouldn't be goals if they didn't force us to stretch and strive.) But if you don't have a goal buddy, it's too easy to shelve the goal, saying, "I'll work on this later". Having a goal buddy that we talk to regularly encourages us to make regular and steady progress.
How Do You Find a Goal Buddy?
Your own social circle is a good place to start the search for a goal buddy. Your friends and/or people within the groups you belong to may well have similar goals and interests to yours. If you want to work on business goals, for example, talk to the people in the business organizations you belong to.
Need to broaden the search? Online groups catering to special interests, such as forums, can be good places to find someone who's simpatico and interested in being a goal buddy.
Tips for a Successful Goal Buddy Relationship
- Pick the right person.
A goal buddy relationship, like any other, works best if there's give and take, so pick a person with similar goals and interests. If you're working on business goals, for instance, picking a goal buddy who's training for a marathon won't work well. Goal buddies need to be able to support each other.
- Structure your communication.
It's not enough to just tell each other what your goals are and then promise to call each other if you need to. Decide on how and when you're going to regularly communicate with each other. Will you call or email each other every day? Meet for coffee somewhere once a week? By setting appointments to communicate on a regular basis, you force yourselves to work consistently towards your goals and increase your chances of achieving them. (You can still talk to each other on an as-needed basis, too.)
- Establish your roles beforehand.
We all know what management styles we like and dislike and know what motivates us. For a successful goal buddy relationship, you and your goal buddy need to let each other know what works for you (and what doesn't) ahead of time. Drill sergeant, nagging mother, cheerleader - what role or roles do you want your goal buddy to play? If you backslide, for instance, do you want your goal buddy to dress you down or pat you on the back and tell you it's all right?
- Set specific goals and share them.
I've written before on the importance of setting goals you can actually achieve and how to set specific goals. Building an action plan right into the goals you set not only gives you a blueprint for achieving the goal but will give you and your goal buddy a framework for discussion and support. Otherwise, you and your goal buddy might as well be discussing the weather; you won't accomplish anything much.
- Set a time limit on your relationship.
A goal buddy relationship is a practical partnership. Setting a time limit on your goal buddy relationship at the outset helps both of you focus on the purpose of the relationship - to achieve the goal or goals that you are each working on. It increases your accountability to each other. So choose a time span related to how long you think it will take to achieve your goals, such as one month, three months, or six months.
At the end of the time period, you and your goal buddy need to evaluate progress on achieving the goals and how your goal buddy relationship has worked. Then you’ll decide to go your separate ways, renew your relationship and continue to work on the same goals, or create a new practical partnership working on new goals together.
- Celebrate your successes.
While you're working to achieve your goals, there will be bad days. But there will also be good ones. Successes, no matter how small, need to be celebrated. As a goal buddy, be ready to spot those small successes and praise them. Take the time to send your goal buddy a card or a small gift to celebrate. Make sure milestones are noted - and appreciated. It's amazing how motivating small gestures of appreciation can be.
Motivation, accountability and someone to share your trials and successes with - having a goal buddy is such a powerful aid to accomplishing the goals you set. You can certainly achieve the goals you want to achieve on your own, but why do it the hard way? Get a goal buddy and get on the fast track to achieving your goals.