I belong to a goals group.
It is a group of three women freelance writers who have been meeting together on Monday mornings at a local coffee house for the last two years.
This group started after we had all participated in a large writing project entailing incredible output and a drop dead schedule. We came out the other side of our finished project a little bruised but empowered in our collective “can do-it-ness.”
Deciding to keep the momentum going, we formed a weekly group where, much like a verbal to-do list, we presented our large goals as well as our weekly goals. We also reported on our previous goals indicating success or non-completion. We enforced a gentle honesty on each other.
We also realized, though, that life happens, babies are born, accidents occur, jobs are lost, and over the years we have refined our process to accommodate for what is predictably an unpredictable world. Some weeks, some of us send our goals by email. Some weeks, especially during school holidays, we just can’t meet.
One thing that has not changed, however, is our support of each other which has included references and pointers to contacts or information. Even though we are all writers, we understand that by helping each other we are helping the greater good. At this point in our lives, we’ve realized that it’s not just about us anymore. When one of us succeeds it propels the rest of us to try something new, to pitch an article with a different slant, to remember a contact we had years ago who might be able to contribute a quote or two. To gather the courage to try a project like that ourselves.
There is an enormously popular book out there called “The Secret”, it’s all about putting your intentions out to the world. If I want a shiny new red sports car then you post a picture of it over your desk and you visualize yourself (and I mean really, really SEE) yourself driving that car.
I’ve had problems with that philosophy all along. I can have all the focus I want in the world on a goal, I can state it to myself and my world until I’m blue in the face BUT unless there is a “Get-going” component involved, very little is going to be accomplished.
By stating my goals out loud to a group, by listening to and welcoming feedback on information that could assist me, and by sitting my butt down in the chair and putting these fingers on that keyboard, and finally, by having the accountability of having to report my progress status the following week, you can bet I’ll be making more progress on my writing than I would if I had posted a magazine cover on my wall and simply dreamed about being published in it someday.