April 23, 2017
With the right approach, completing your agreement today will generate energy to boost you towards your personal growth goal the next. There’s a trick to choosing goals and agreements that create momentum, so run your agreement or habit through these four tests.
1. Choose a goal or a habit that excites you
The idea of your goal should generate energy at the get-go. It should excite you to think of the potential you’ll unleash. If it does, you’ll find that a little bit of energy is generated with each step towards the goal. This energy is necessary where personal growth is concerned, because how carefully you build energy and nurture it, will correlate with your ability to stay the course.
2. It needs to be a stretch
Wherever your goal takes you, it should take you one place in particular, and that’s beyond what’s normal for you.
Why? Because that’s the part of your journey that is shared with your buddy. One of you may be training for opening night at the Covent Garden Opera House, and the other might be working on making your home tidy and cosy, but as long as you are both making a stretch, you’ll find you have a lot in common. That’s because in a deep sense you’re not up against the Bow Street footlights or your toddler’s wayward Lego blocks, you’re up against yourselves when you set a stretch goal.
3. Take daily steps not daily leaps
Working with a buddy is about endurance not explosive effort, and a daily agreement shouldn’t demand too much at each step. Remember, no-one’s stopping you exceeding the daily task you set yourself as and when you want to. The power of daily agreements is the momentum of a run of yes-I-did-its. So when it comes to daily steps, put succeeding first. A heroic effort has its place, but it’s not something you can agree to every day. And Rome wasn’t built in a day.
4. Wild goals
Don’t set a goal to work on with a buddy if you are already supported in achieving that goal by your workplace, your church, your school, university or club. Being a buddy has to make a difference, or it is unrewarding.
Let’s say at your work you have an annual target, but they don’t care about your weekly milestones. It could work to ask your buddy for support you to hit each week’s target. You might set an agreement to create a list of prospects each evening ready for the next morning.
But don’t ask your buddy to support you to hit that weekly target if your office has a company wide meeting at which you have to report on your progress every Friday.
If you do, you’re kind of putting your buddy out of a job.
Goals which you are not already supported to achieve by work, school or some other group, I call wild goals. If you have support already, use that support, don’t ask your buddy. It won’t be rewarding for you, and your buddy will feel like a spare part.
But a buddy you’re tackling in the wild, away from other means of support, is perfect to bring to a buddy process, and your buddy will share the satisfaction of your progress each morning.