Sunday, January 15, 2006

Goal setting: setting up a support structure

Achieving your goals is a job best done with support.

While it's possible to do it alone, a support structure around you is good in several ways.

o Support makes you more accountable for your actions.
o Support feels good when you're down.
o Support allows for excitement-transfer (it's always great to tell your support partner or partners your good news).
o Support is a way of sharing the energy.

The easiest support structure to set up involves having a regular telephone date with a buddy. This is how I set these date sup.

o I ask my support buddy to treat my weekly support call as only that. It's not a social chat. It's not a complaints session. It's purely support.

o I make the commitment to phone my support partner at a particular time on a particular day. A Thursday morning date is very effective, because if I haven't done what I agreed to do, I've still got one and a half days left to accomplish my actions.

o I phone my support buddy and report on my progress. I share my goals with this partner, and I share the specific actions I commit to taking.

o My partner is more than simply a sounding board.

o If I've taken my actions, the partner praises me, and asks what I'm doing next.

o If I haven't done what I've said I'd do, my partner asks me to recommit, and asks for a tangible, time-based action to replace the one I've missed.

o If I don't make my support call, my support buddy agrees to call me on the weekend. Missing a support call is just not cool. It wastes my support partner's time, and they sit waiting for my call.

I feel it's best not to reciprocate for my support partner. It's best to offer my support services to someone else, forming a daisy-chain of support.

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