Undertaking a goal, no matter how prolific, is never easy. It’s a hill to climb, something to achieve, a destination we want to get to.
Generally, when we get there, we want to share the achievement with everybody.
“Look what I did, look what I accomplished. I did it”.
But if there is a chance of failure, we don’t want to tell anyone.
We don’t want those doubts to escape us, we don’t want anyone to see.
So we protect ourselves and don’t share our projects or goals with anyone – if we fail, only we will know.
This is the wrong approach.
Maybe if you had a Goal Support Buddy (GSB for short), you would not have failed.
And even if you had, you would not be alone in sharing your failure.
Most importantly, you would not go down the inevitable path of being overly hard on yourself for having taken a shot but having missed (perhaps spectacularly).
A Goal Support Buddy – someone who is there to support you on your path to achieving your goal from beginning to end. Their role is plain and simple – to give you a kick to get going when you are not, to question whether you are really giving your best effort and to give you those pushes of encouragement when you are feeling down.
A GSB is not an expert in what you are trying to achieve. They don’t need to have already climbed this mountain. They are not a mentor in any sense of the word.
A GSB can be anyone – a family member, best friend, co-worker, etc., the list is endless. Whoever you pick, they don’t have to be impacted by that goal. I.e., just because I have a family goal, doesn’t mean the GSB needs to be a family member, it could be a friend or someone from the gym.
However, what a GSB needs to be (and have) is the ability to provide open and honest feedback to you without sugarcoating.
Are you missing all your deadlines? They should call you on it. Doing sloppy work? They should call you on it. Giving up when you are too close? They should call you on it.If they don’t have those minimum qualifications, move on, find someone else.
Why do you need a GSB?
It should be self-evident by now but here it is – what we, YOU, do is not easy. Pushing the envelope, striving to be better, reaching higher and higher, trying new ideas. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are doing, it is a constant grind to get there. Getting knocked down and back up again is hard.
Your GSB is there to help you in those low moments and encourage you to keep going. That’s the support part of their role.
A great side effect I have found with GSBs is the whole “bouncing your idea” off of them.
When we have a goal, sometimes we want to protect it and nurture it so it doesn’t crack or get hurt.
But throwing it against the wall, against your GSB, is a great validation of this effort.
What do you have to modify? What do you need to drop? What areas need more work?
If your GSB doesn’t get it, then will others?
Selecting a GSB
When selecting a GSB, always consider the following criteria;
1) Don’t get someone who is too close to the situation. Their views could be tainted and you really don’t want their own views coming into play on what YOU are trying to accomplish.
2) Don’t get someone who always flatters you (I’m looking at you mom). Someone who doesn’t give you the hard feedback you need is another pat on the back that you can get from twitter or some random commenter. You need someone who will question everything on what you are doing and make you better.
3) Find someone who is available to work with you. Sure there will be rescheduled sit-downs and calls – but if they keep pushing you off – it’s time to find someone else.
What you need to do now?
Take a look at a goal you are on now, one that you are stuck on and have been stuck on for a long time.
No matter what you do, you can’t seem to get it unstuck.
You know there is worth to it. But it and you need a kick, a swift kick, an ongoing kick.
If it’s really worth it, if it’s really something you want to accomplish, go find a GSB, get it back on track, turn it into something, and make it happen.
And when you hit your target and accomplish your goal – pay it back.
Maybe your GSB isn’t coming out and saying it, but maybe they need some help too.
Offer it, give it, and make it happen.