This may come as a shock, but it has only been in the last three years that I have given serious thought to goal-setting. Of course I have always had goals, but until I joined a goal-setting organization called The New Hollywood created by my dear friend Brianna Brown, I didn’t fully grasp what it meant to set SMART goals, and why having a good accountability partner is the number one thing you need to help you actually reach them. Think about it, you are much more likely to go to that workout class if you promised a friend you would meet them there. It works the same across other areas of your life. Scroll down to learn how our accountability partnerships work, and how you can form your own to help you reach your goals and achieve your dreams. And in case you’d like to set goals along side our group, here is a link to purchase the guide book Manifesting Your Mission that we use in The New Hollywood.
How to Form an Accountability Group
- Third Wheel It: Through much trial and error, our group has found that a partnership of three people works best for accountability, so ask two friends if they would like to join. Your friends do not have to have the exact same goals, but it does help if you are focused on similar aspects of your life: career goals vs. personal goals. Someone in the throes of new mommyhood isn’t the best partner for someone whose main focus is to grow their business.
- Have Daily Check-ins: Daily check-ins are essential in forming a routine of accountability. We all agree on a 2-hour daily window and text a short update five days a week.
- Set 12 Goals Per Year: We create 12 goals per year in our group, and break down 3 goals per quarter. Our check-ins are a simple text message we copy and paste to each other each day that restates our goals and a bulleted list of 1-2 things we did to help accomplish the goal. We add a check mark emoji or an X mark if nothing was done. We offer encouragement when needed, but it’s meant to be a quick check-in, not a space to complain, give excuses, or offer unwanted advice.
- Set SMART Goals: SMART stands for: Specific, Measureable, Attainable (in your control), Relevant, and Time-bound (meaning there is a deadline). Many people make the mistake of setting goals that are completely out of their control. For example, a bad goal for me would be to sign ten clients in the first two months of the year. I have very little control over this, and setting that kind of unrealistic goal would end up making feel like a failure. A SMART goal would be to reach out to ten potential new ideal clients the first two months of the year. Signing them would be a bonus, but the outreach is the goal. A bad personal goal would be to stop being so stressed out. A SMART personal goal would be to do the Headspace app three times per week and turn my phone off every night at 9pm. Both of these things help lessen stress, but are way more in my control and very easy to measure. See the difference?
- Goals v/s Your To-Do List: There is a big difference between your every day chores and goal setting. Remember that going to the grocery store is not a goal, it is just on your to do list. Making three healthy meals at home every week is a goal. If your goal partners start rattling off their to-do list, simply remind them of the focus and try to bring them back to their SMART goals.
- Learn to Pivot: One of the things I love most about my goal group is that we build in a mid year check-in and change our goals based on what is working and what is not working. Not every single goal you make at the beginning of the year is going to seem relevant six months later. Life is messy and unexpected things happen. You have to roll with the punches and be ok letting go of goals that are no longer relevant, and creating new goals that will work better for you.
- Celebrate the Wins: When I was in high school, I wanted one of those colorful flags that everyone used to hang on the front of their homes in honor of Valentine’s Day or whatever holiday was coming up. I knooooow, I was so dorky. My mom really didn’t want one, but she promised she would buy me one if I made straight As that semester. Guess what? I made straight As, and thus got the flag. Promise yourself something specific that you will do for yourself once you reach your goals. Get together with your accountability group in person to celebrate together and discuss what’s working and not working. I promise it will make accomplishing your dreams way more fun!
“What we don’t measure, we don’t work on.” – Melinda Gates
I’d love to leave you with one of the most powerful questions a business coach has ever asked me: “What are you putting up with in your life?” On that day, the simple answer was that I was putting up with the fact that my new phone wasn’t yet connected to my car Bluetooth and it caused me a headache every time I got in the car and needed to make a call. So simple, and yet I fixed it that day! These tiny little annoyances add up and leave less space for us to focus on what we really want. You know, like our goals!