I would like to take a little bit to talk about goals, accountability, and support. We’ve been indoctrinated into a system that sets goals for us and holds us accountable to the powers that be.
We’re sent to school and given assignments by teachers. We’re told to get a job and given assignments by employers. We can go an entire lifetime just doing what we’re told.
The entire system puts you into a way of thinking that it is not adequate if you’re trying to do something for yourself. New Year’s resolutions, starting a business, and creative ventures do not fit the only mold we’ve ever known. It’s not surprising that success is so rare when we break away from the system and are left to figure things out for ourselves.
Goals and tasks
Chances are you have a direction in life you want to be headed. To help navigate in that direction, it’s important to set goals that can be used as way markers on your journey.
Typically, these goals can be broken down into a set of tasks that need to be accomplished.
It can be a bit tricky to come up with these goals, make sure that the goals are right, and come up with the right tasks to get you to these goals.
Actually putting in the effort to do these tasks can be a challenge in and of itself. Procrastination and distractions can easily get in the way.
“Just do it”
The “just do it” approach has not worked for me. It’s easy to lose sight of the goals and get caught up in small tasks that pop up every day.
The tasks I want to do I find it pretty easy with this approach.
Unfortunately, there’re quite a few tasks that I need to do but don’t want to do. I seem to need the external pressure of a client, employer, teacher or some other party to make this approach work for me.
I’m a part of a paid community that has a board category for weekly goals. People post their weekly goals, discuss and post the results.
I’ve noticed that there’s a lot of positive feedback, but never any pressure to achieve the goals.
It’s easy to simply not post the results, which makes it easy to ignore the goals. Once you’ve start ignoring the goals and not posting results, it’s a short leap to not posting goals at all.
I’d kept seeing mastermind groups mentioned in various blogs. The idea is that a small group of people meet regularly to discuss achievements and goals. The idea is almost 80 years old, but I’d only recently started hearing about it. In practice, it seems an awful lot like the scrum methodology of agile software development.
I searched around for a local mastermind group doing similar things to what I do, but was unable to find one. I then googled around for how to find an existing mastermind group, but was mostly met with pages describing how to create one or saying to look on Meetup.com.
I posted a question on HackerNews asking how people there found their mastermind groups. There was a lot less discussion than I had hoped for.
One person mentioned that he had been in a couple mastermind groups and invited me to ask questions.
I guess I must’ve asked good questions because he started talking about forming a new mastermind group. We came up with a structure and are trying it right now as an experiment.
It seems to be working well for both of us so we may be asking more to join in the very near future.
If you want to hear Jeff’s take on the first week of this mastermind experiment, check out his blog at http://surroundedbywinners.blogspot.com/2014/11/one-week-of-accountability.htm
Finding what’s right for you
If you’re having trouble coming with up with a good approach for meeting goals, examine your support system and consider trying new things.
Maybe a coach or mentor is right for you.
Maybe you need to write one goal as big as you can on the white board and look at it every day.
Perhaps jumping into a structured situation such as a start up accelerator or goal oriented getaway is right for you.
What’s important is you find something that works.
Do you have any interesting ways to accomplish goals? I’d love to hear them!