On the Value of Friends, Check-Ins, and Planners (not in that order)

Thanks to influences like Get Bullish, I have been very focused on accomplishing my goals for 2017. Those goals range from the petty personal (reduce body fat percentage to below 20%) to the large-scale (actively resist theracist, misogynistic, and eco-catastrophic Trump administration). But it’s easy to get lazy, drink the glasses of wine, click on political articles, and call it a day. So what keeps me going?

Planners

Everyone has a system. I’m not saying this will work for everyone. But Ink and Volt’s planner is specifically designed to help you (me) accomplish EVERY single goal you (I) set for yourself (myself) this year. With yearly, monthly, and weekly goals—including a place to break down the necessary steps for each goal—this planner keeps me honest. Wanna guess what the final goal for this week was?

Did you guess “write a blog post”? Because you deserve a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free cookie.

 IT’S HAPPENING. BECAUSE THAT PLANNER IS STARING ME IN THE FACE AND ASKING ME ‘WHY DON’T YOU JUST WRITE THE THING AND STOP THINKING ABOUT IT?’ So here we are. Last week it was “plan a blog post.” See? Step by step.

Check-Ins

When I first heard about account-able-a-buddies, I was totally in. Obvi: I’m mostly an extrovert, so I draw energy from interactions with others. Setting a weekly check-in has kept me focused as well as shown me how quickly time passes. It’s like, didn’t we just do this? Oh, it’s been a week? Crazy.

The way it works for me and my accounta-able-a-buddy, is that we remind each other of the other person’s goals from the previous week. We encourage. And then we state what our new goals are for this week (I mean, they tend to be the same. “Keep writing, read more, eat right”) and how we’re feeling about those goals.

Right now we’re using the app Marco Polo, a video texting platform, that lets us send video messages to each other regardless of whether or not the other person is available to watch it right then. It’s like Facetime without the pressure. I get to see my friend’s face, hear his voice, and get the special nuances of his mood/attitude at that moment in time. SO MUCH BETTER THAN TEXTING. And it’s free!!!

Friends

I think the check-ins would work even if my friends were just average humans, but I have to say, having really supportive, empathetic friends who are working towards the same or similar goals is really helpful. One of my friends is a dad, and he’s got the supportive “you got this” patter down. I walk away from those videos feeling truly special and appreciated. His kids are lucky.

Another dear friend leaves late night rambling messages that alternate between deep emotional insights and super random dream imagery. When she messages me, I feel like I’m sitting there on her couch, wrapped in the familiarity of trust and friendship.

One keeps me honest and questioning. Another keeps me vulnerable through her own precious openness. And another showed me grace, and since then, has kept me laughing through the generosity of her joy. 

Trifecta

It’s not one thing. It’s all the things. For me, it's a plan (planner), a check-in system (account-able-a-buddies), and friends (find the ones who light up your soul).

I will probably proofread this tomorrow after the fact and have a few typographical regrets. But I had a blog post goal…so here it goes…