The secret to actually reaching your goals

Mar 28, 2008 • Paul Singh

Many people will tell you that the only way to reach your goals is to get started today. I’m not going to dispute that but I will tell you the secret to actually follow through and reach your goal: find a goal buddy.

What is a goal buddy?

  • A goal buddy provides motivation. He or she will help you stay on track as you work towards your goals, give you a hard time when you slack off and praising your continued efforts to do well.
  • A goal buddy provides accountability. Being accountable to another person brings out our best efforts. Because we know our goal buddy is concerned about our progress, we’re more concerned. We don’t want to let our goal buddy down.
  • A goal buddy increases our determination. Having a goal buddy gives us the staying power we need to accomplish our goals. Achieving goals takes time and continued effort. (After all, they wouldn’t be goals if they didn’t force us to stretch and strive.) But if you don’t have a goal buddy, it’s too easy to shelve the goal, saying, “I’ll work on this later”. Having a goal buddy that we talk to regularly encourages us to make regular and steady progress.

So, here’s what you should do today:

  1. Brainstorm a list of potential goal buddies. Write down some names of people that you think would like to swap goal buddy services with you. Think of people that you know that have drive, persistence, and who are positive. Avoid picking someone who’s going to go easy on you. Also avoid picking someone that you’ll resent getting on your case such as your mother or spouse. Pick someone that might be a little uncomfortable. Don’t limit yourself to just friends and family. Think also of colleagues. And they don’t have to be located near you. Virtual goal buddies can work fine too. You can also look into mastermind groups, business groups, or activity groups in your area too (such as weight loss groups).
  2. Select People for Your Shortlist. Take all the people on your list and narrow it down to just a select few (ideally, no more than 5 people). Choose doers and non-complainers. Be ruthless, don’t leave someone on the list simply because you like them.
  3. Associate Each Person on Your List to your Individual Goals. (You do have your goals written down, don’t you?) Try to match your advisors up with goals they might have some interest in as well – it’s not totally necessary, but it’ll make them more likely to want to help you.
  4. Contact Each Person on Your List. Ask them if he/she would be willing to commit to being goal buddies with you. This would mean getting together at least weekly either in person or by phone to review each others’ progress on your goals.
  5. Get Started, Kick Ass and Reach your Goals.

If you have some experience using a goal buddy or being a goal buddy, let me know.