You have a Passionate Purpose and you’re going for it, but your motivation is failing. You’re just not sure all the effort is worth it.
Or, you have a goal that you’ve started working on several times, but you just can’t seem to achieve it.
I feel ya.
Recently, I put on a “little weight” (and we all know what that means). I know it’s not good for me, I don’t feel very good when I overeat, and I don’t like how I look. I saw a picture of myself on my phone and thought, who’s the chubby dude?
So I set a goal target weight, figured out how many pounds I could lose per week, and decided when I would meet my goal. Then I planned how many calories a day I would consume.
For the first few days I was doing great! Then, the weekend came and I had a cheat day. That turned into a cheat weekend. Then, I was hit or miss on my diet. This went on for a few months.
I was so frustrated with myself. Why couldn’t I do this? I figured out that I hadn’t tied my goal to a strong enough why. When you want to eat your favorite foods, or you want to overeat, or you want to have a couple of drinks (high in empty calories) what are you going to tell yourself to stay motivated?
I have now created some strong short and long term “whys” for my weight loss goal. My daughter is graduating high school in 8 weeks. So I’m tying my goal and deadline to that.
Short term why:
To look my best for her party and all the family photos.
Long term whys: To live healthier and longer for my wife and daughters
To have more energy
To feel better after I eat (not stuffed and bloated)
To look better for my wife and myself
To be a good example for my daughters
Now every time I start to think about slipping back to my old ways of eating, I read my “whys.” That helps me focus on the short-term and long-term pleasure I will get instead of the short-term pain I’m feeling.
I still have a cheat day once a week, but I don’t turn it into an all-I-can-eat day like I used to.
You can use this with any goal or purpose you’re struggling with. Tie it to a strong why. Focus on it. Say it out loud to yourself if you need to. Meditate on it until you feel your motivation kick in again.
My oldest is a senior in high school and will leave for college in a few short months. She has been on a trip with my wife over the past several days auditioning for theatre departments at different universities. I’ve missed them both and it has made me face the reality that very soon I will lose the daily contact I have with my daughter.
I will no longer get to talk to her in person about the good and bad parts of her day.
I will no longer get to hear her singing and watch her dancing each day.
I will no longer get to eat dinner with her each night.
I will no longer get to hug her and tell her how much I love her before bed each night, and so much more.
Just writing that hurts my heart…
It’s not a surprise that my daughter is going to leave soon. We’ve been planning for it since she was born. We’ve spent a lot of time together and have a great relationship. But, now that the time has almost arrived, I have this horrible feeling that I took most of our time together for granted.
After my last blog post about planning your escape from your current job, I received an email: “Greg, it sounds great to go after the life you want, but haven’t you ever heard the phrase, better safe than sorry?”
My emailer continued, “I’m, nervous about trying something new and leaving my safe, stable job where I know I have a steady income.”
I totally understand where that guy is coming from. We were taught from an early age that the “safe” thing to do is to get a “good” job at a “good” company with a good salary, health care plan, and sick leave and vacation policy. When you get that, hold on tight and don’t let go.
I get it, and I always tell people that to decrease your risk you should keep your day job while you begin working on your Passionate Purpose. Then, slowly transition to your new thing.
With that in mind, here are the problems I have with the idea of “Better Safe Than Sorry:”
1) It implies that if you play it safe you will never be sorry.
Is that true? I’ve gone the “safe” route a few times where I still regret it to this day. I’m sorry I played it safe. I missed out on some great stuff.
No one on his deathbed ever said, “I didn’t really enjoy my work. I never went after what I really wanted. Maybe I could have lived the extraordinary life of my dreams. But, better safe than sorry!”
Don’t you want more than a job you barely tolerate because you think you won’t get fired?
During the 2008 recession, the United States lost 8.7 million jobs. How many of the people who were let go thought their jobs were safe? I thought mine was. Boy, was I wrong. How about you?
But, Greg, the recession is over. “Good” jobs are safe again. Really? Hmm…here’s a report from CNBC:
“In the first four months of the year, employers said they would hand out 250,061 pink slips. That is the highest total for the January-to-April period since 2009.”
I’m not trying to be a Debbie Downer. I’m a glass is half full kinda guy. But, I’m also realistic. You could lose your job today. There is no safe job anymore (unless you work for the government – then you’re more likely to die than be fired). So does it make sense to stay in a job you don’t like, or even hate, because – better safe than sorry?
I think it’s safer to follow your passionate purpose. You will enjoy your work and life more right away. Because you love what you do, you’ll keep getting better at it and improve your chances to generate more income regardless of what’s happening with our economy.
And you’ll have fewer regrets.
Are you fulfilling your Passionate Purpose with your current job?
Are you excited to get out of bed every morning?
Do you know that your life counts and that you matter?
Are you a success because you’re doing well financially, even if you don’t like your job?
Or, does your success come from using the gifts you were born with to make the most out of the purpose you were created for?
Is it time to start working on your Passionate Purpose today and create a plan to transition away from your current “safe” job?
Why we do something is vital to the level of motivation and persistence we give to it. It also figures prominently in determining how much enjoyment we get out of it. Sometimes we put out a lot of time and effort before we realize we’ve anchored it all to a “why” that doesn’t serve us very well.
I was reminded of this when my daughter was practicing the piano and working on a fairly difficult jazz piece. After a while she plopped down on the couch beside me, looking frustrated.
I asked her what was wrong and she said, “I want to impress people by playing this song, but it’s hard.”
Before I could stop myself, I laughed out loud. I reminded her that if it was easy, everyone would do it. But then we got to the more important point. Doing something to impress others will never truly satisfy. The feeling you get from it is hollow and won’t last. It also means you’re allowing others to determine your worth. Why would you want to do that?
We all know this, yet somehow the “impressive” trap can sneak up on us. My wife, Anne, admits how it got to her in the story of her two careers.
Her first degree is in finance. Anne had big plans to become a senior executive in the banking industry. In just her first few years out of school, she was well on her way as an assistant vice president in private banking.
But, then she started volunteering as a tutor for at risk students at an inner city elementary school. She loved helping the little girl who was assigned to her. After a while, Anne realized she enjoyed tutoring much more than she enjoyed banking. If she was going to be honest, she didn’t like her job at all.
Anne had thought about becoming a teacher earlier in her life, but she worried about what other people might say. “Anne, you’re a straight A student, why would you use that just to teach elementary school?”
She knew that people say they value teachers, but many think if you’re a teacher it’s because you can’t do anything else. Or, you just want your summers off. Anne knew that wasn’t true, but she was letting other people’s opinions decide her fate.
She finally admitted to herself that the main reason she chose to be a finance major and go into banking was to impress others. Anne wanted people to know she was smart. She wanted the prestigious job title. She didn’t want anyone patting her on the head telling her what a cute, little teacher she was.
Once she figured that out, it didn’t take long for her to rework her “why.” She wanted to help inspire and teach our children to make our future brighter. Anne went back to school and got her Masters in Education.
She has helped change the lives of countless children and just won the award for teacher of the year at her school. She gets great joy out of teaching! She found the “why” that motivates her.
The “whys” that truly motivate us for the long term, and for the best results, are intrinsic. It’s not about impressing someone, or making our parents/significant other/society happy.
It’s about creating the extraordinary life of our dreams. It’s about growing, learning, being challenged, and achieving. It’s about enjoying what we do, not just the results of what we do. It’s about being the masters of our fate and embracing that.
Most of all, it’s about transcending ourselves, making a difference, and living a life that matters.
“Human beings have an innate inner drive to be autonomous, self-determined, and connected to one another. And when that drive is liberated, people achieve more and live richer lives.” –Daniel Pink
When you first hear it, serving your way to success sounds crazy, doesn’t it? The idea of being someone’s servant even sounds a little bit demeaning. And don’t I have to focus on me to get ahead? No one else cares about me as much as me.
“I love me some me!” — Terrell Owens, former NFL receiver
That can lead to a downhill spiral – fast. You end up feeling greedy, selfish, and desperate. And, it usually leads to financial and relational struggles.
But, when you truly understand it, serving your way to success makes perfect sense. You can track every bit of success in your life to your service of others.
You got promoted and made more income by serving your customers, coworkers, and boss
Your marriage is great because you put your spouse’s needs above yours
Your business is thriving because of the way you serve your clients
You have lots of friends because you’ve shown that you’ll help them any way you can
Sometimes I forget this. Whenever I find myself pressing in my business, or feel like I’m working too hard trying to sell, I always notice that I’ve gotten away from the focus of serving others. As soon as I start looking for ways to help and serve, things start working out again.
I start to feel happier. I begin to create better relationships and friendships. I have more fun in my work. I help more people.
As a bonus, I get more speaking engagements, coaching clients, and book and online course sales. But that isn’t my focus.
Sports demonstrate this as well. You’ve heard people say about a great player, “he’s so good, he makes everyone around him better.” That doesn’t just happen by accident. The great ones serve their teammates by helping them become better. They give them tips on how to play their position, how to study film, how to be mentally tough, and more. They lead by example and by their hard work. They never ask someone to do something they aren’t willing to do themselves.
It’s true in more than just sports. The really great parents, friends, and business people make everyone around them better. And they do it by serving.
It’s amazing how the process of helping others makes you a better person, and leads you to greater personal success than you’ve ever known. Quite often it even leads to more income. That’s not why you do it, but it sure doesn’t stink.
Questions for comments:
How do you switch your focus to serve others?
What do you do to serve others?
How does that change how you feel and what you achieve?
If you aren’t an expert yet, check out my blog post: How to Become an Expert in Your Field. If you haven’t read that post, please read it before you continue with this one. I outline the steps to quickly become an expert in your field.
This post isn’t for anyone just pretending to be an expert, this is for the people who have put in the work to gain massive knowledge and experience in their field, and truly are experts.
Now, how do you position yourself as an expert? How do you let people know you really know your stuff? It’s time to display it.
1) If you haven’t already, it’s time to create your website/blog.
This is simple to do and is really a requirement if you want to be taken seriously. If you followed my earlier advice and blogged about your journey to becoming an expert, it’s now time to shift the focus of your blog to sharing your expertise with your audience.
Through your research and study you’ve discovered what your target market really needs. You know their problems and their pain. You have the answers for them. Focus your blog on that.
Ask for comments and interact with your audience. Give them what they want.
2) Guest blog and guest podcast for other experts in your field.
Blogging and podcasting can become a chore after a while. Most bloggers/podcasters enjoy having guests give them free content. This is a true win-win. The other blogger/podcaster gets some free content, and you get to build your brand and your expertise by having your content appear on another expert’s site.
The best way to do this is to read/listen and comment on a few blogs/podcasts that you enjoy. After doing that for a few months, reach out to the blogger/podcaster and ask if she would be up for having you guest blog or be a guest on her show.
Tip: It’s great to go after the big bloggers and podcasters, but many of them don’t allow guests to post, or want big names for interviews. Aiming at some of the lesser known but good blogs/podcasts might be the better way to go at first.
3) Write articles for a trade magazine or professional publication.
This is similar to guest blogging. You will still be trading your free content for exposure to their audience. Once you’re published, you can display this in an “As Featured In” area of your website. It’s a great way to continue to build your expertise and your brand.
You’d be surprised how many publications are looking for good, free content. You might be able to turn it into a recurring gig. That could lead to paid gigs and more opportunities as an expert in your field.
4) Create “How to” videos for YouTube
“How to” videos are super popular and a great way to show what you know. If you can solve someone’s problem in a short video, they will see you as an expert.
Make sure you tailor these to your target market.
Keep them short and simple – three to five minutes at the most
Let your personality shine through.
People want to see the real you, not an overproduced video.
Nothing says “expert” louder than writing a book about your field. For many people this sounds impossible. I get it. It took me a long time to believe I could write a book. Now that I have, I’m looking at writing a book a year.
Here’s how you can do it. Self publish your book so you won’t have to wait around for a publisher to choose you. You can do it even quicker if you make an ebook
I used Createspace and Kindle Direct Publishing to write my first book and ebook. It was easy and free. There are plenty of other sites that will help you self publish. Find the one that you like best.
Use your blog to write your book. The average non-fiction book is about 50,000 words. If you blog a 500 word post each weekday, that’s 10,000 words a month. You’ll have a book written in just five months. Even if you only blog three times a week, your book will be done in 9 months!
Of course, you’ll have to edit your posts to make them into a coherent book, but it’s a great way to repurpose your content.
6)Teach people you know “how to.”
Beyond making videos, go help someone. Start with a friend or family member. Ask your network who you might be able to help. You’ll start to be seen as the go to guy in your area. Ask for referrals from the people you help and start charging for your expertise.
Repurpose part of your book, blog, or videos and turn it into a 20 minute speech. Make sure it solves a problem for your target market. Entertain, inform, and give a couple of useable takeaways and you will be a hot commodity.
There are all kinds of networking, service, and civic groups that need guest speakers. Connect with the meeting planners and offer to speak for free. If you can give them a compelling description of your talk, most will be more than happy to have you. You can sell your book after the talk. Just make sure your speech has great content and isn’t 20 minutes of you trying to sell them something.
Take a step back and look at all you’ve learned and done in your field and your niche. Guess what? You’re a pretty darn good expert. Congratulations.
Greg, that idea about finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose sounds great, but haven’t you heard of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? You have to take care of the basics befor you go after self actualization. Once I’m a success, then I’ll worry about my purpose.
I’m a big believer in Maslow’s theory. If you don’t have anything to eat or a place to live, you’re probably not as concerned about going to a museum to look at a piece of art. I get it.
But, I think finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose helps you get everything else you need to live – not just to live better.
Most people have heard of Viktor Frankl’s classic, Man’s Search for Meaning. (If you’ve never read it, start reading it today.) He gives his account of what it was like to be in a Nazi concentration camp during WWII, and then he turns to the importance of purpose.
Frankl found that if a prisoner had no purpose left in life – if he saw no hope – he was doomed. If, however, a prisoner saw a purpose in life he could cling to, his chances of survival dramatically improved.
Research in some of the poorest places in the world has supported the idea that a strong sense of purpose keeps people going in the direst of conditions. In many cases, it helps people live happy, healthy lives where we would think there would be no hope.
People living in third world countries have said their Passionate Purpose is to:
Help my family survive.
Educate the children in my village so they will have more opportunities.
Spread happiness to everyone I meet.
Get my village clean drinking water.
Be able to move my family to a better place where we will all be safe.
These purposes keep them motivated and inspired to live a life with meaning -to live a life that makes a difference.
In fact, finding and pursuing a Passionate Purpose may be more important before you become successful. It’s what gets you up when you really want to stay in bed. It’s what gives you optimism when your circumstances can’t justify it. It’s what gives you courage to face the tough situations. And, it’s what let’s you enjoy this life, when others would wallow in depression.
My belief is that finding and pursuing your Passionate Purpose is at every level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs scale. Regardless of where we live, or how much money we make, to live our best lives we need it in everything we do.
The leaders I talk with, from all types of organizations, comment on the problems they have with employee engagement. The latest research I’ve seen shows as many as 60% of employees are disengaged or actually hate their jobs.
That’s. Not. Good.
That leads to high employee and customer turnover, lower productivity, lower quality of work and creativity, higher error rates, and more sick days taken. And the most important driver of employee and customer engagement is the desire for “purpose,” the “why” of what you do.
No matter what business you’re in, it’s easier (and more fun) to become world class at it, and give incredible service, if you’re doing business on purpose.
If you, your team members, and customers all believe in and rally around the same purpose, you’ve got a great start.
Everything you do should line up with your purpose. If it doesn’t why are you doing it?
When you have a strong purpose in your business, you don’t get lost, you don’t drift. If you don’t have a strong purpose, it’s easy to get sidetracked for things that sound like good ideas – or just for some quick money. Stay true to your purpose and it will serve you well.
Chick-fil-A has a strong purpose: “To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us. To have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.” The company strives to align everything it does with that purpose:
It’s always been closed on Sundays so all of its employees could spend time with their families and go to church, or have a day of rest. It gives up a lot of money every Sunday be being closed, but it stays true to its purpose.
It’s why they do so much volunteering.
It’s why they give free sandwiches to first responders in times of crisis.
It’s why they created the Winshape foundation to strengthen families and bring people closer to God and each other.
When you mean it, your company purpose will help you hire and keep the best people. Share it with the people you are interviewing. Most millenials say they don’t want to work anywhere without a purpose they believe in. And older generations might not say so, but everyone wants to be part of something with a great purpose that makes a difference.
“People want to work with a person, not for a company. Most (Operators) feel that this is more than just a job. They feel either a divine call or the satisfaction of a desire to make a difference in the world.”
— S. Truett Cathy Founder of Chick-fil-A
I just started reading, It’s My Pleasure, by Dee Ann Turner. She worked for Chick-fil-A corporate for 30 years. When she applied there, the interview process was four months long. That’s a testament to how much Chick-fil-A believes that the business is all about the people. They look for great character and people who believe in their purpose.
My 17-year-old daughter, Faith, noticed this at one of our visits to the restaurant. She happened to walk buy a manager interviewing a young teen for an entry level job. When Faith returned to our table she said, “Dad, guess what I heard the manager ask that young man…’Who are your heroes?'”
Do you think they’re asking that question during the interviews at McDonald’s? Right.
I also love the focus Chick-fil-A puts on super serving the customers. Every time I go into the restaurant I find happy employees who seem to really want to serve me. They do everything they can to help me and always say, “it’s my pleasure.”
It’s part of how they create raving fans and evangelical customers. Hey, it led me to blog about it, didn’t it?
“If we get better, our customers will demand we get bigger.” –S. Truett Cathy
Does your business have a purpose everyone can rally around? If not, can you create one? If not, do you need to find a company in whose purpose you share?
Can you use that purpose to help drive your success?
What ways can you come up with to super serve your clients beyond their expectations so they just have to tell everyone they know about you?
The following is a rough transcript of the podcast (except for my interview):
Today we’re going to hit on the idea of finding and pursuing your passionate purpose, how that makes a difference in the world.
Then we’re going to talk about how much habits impact our lives and how to get rid of the bad ones and create new ones.
And we’ll end with an encouraging message to go for the life you’ve always dreamed of.
Ready? Let’s GO!
We’re all diff, but some things are universal. You want to matter, count, and make a difference. You want to live a life of value and significance.
God made us that way. You want to live intentionally, with purpose and passion.
How do we do that? We have to find our passionate purposes in every part of our lives. We have to take the gifts we were given and increase them and use them to help and serve others.
When we do that, everyone wins. In our relationships, family, work, finances, faith. It all gets better when we’re doing what we were brought here to do.
I love seeing this in people’s lives:
We had family movie night at the Knapp house over the weekend and we watched Eddie the Eagle. It’s a feel good comedy based on the true story of Michael Eddie Edwards.
What I loved about the film was the message on the importance of a Passionate Purpose.
Eddie had knee problems as a child and had to wear a leg brace. The doctors told him he should give up on sports. His father told him he would never be an athlete.
But, when Eddie was little he read a book about great moments in Olympic history. From that point on he was determined to become an Olympian, have his moment, and prove everyone wrong.
He had a passionate purpose and he had a strong why that supported it.
He tried a lot of different sports and none seemed promising. He had spent years trying to get on the British Olympic team in downhill skiing, but couldn’t quite make it. Most people would have given up.
His passionate purpose continued to drive him.
Eddie figured out that no one had been a ski jumper for Britain since 1929 and there were no qualifying distances to make the team. (However, the Brits decided to rewrite the rules and set up a qualifying distance.)
He convinced an old, drunk ski jumper to coach him. Using his own money, and any he could borrow, Eddie trained for a year and made the Olympic team.
Not only had his passionate purpose turned him into a decent ski jumper it also gave his coach a purpose to get sober and do something with his life.
A strong purpose can change more than just your life. What strong purpose is motivating you to great things in your life?
If you don’t have one right now, it’s time to find one.
Greg, Can I Really Get the Life You Want? Yes! If…
You’re excited about the idea of finding and pursuing your passionate purpose. You’ve visited a few websites about it, watched some videos, and maybe even read a book about how to do it. You’ve been dreaming about what your best life would look like.
But…nothing’s changed. You aren’t taking action. Five years ago you were in the same situation and a year from now?
–Amelia Earhart said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
If you read my blog, social media posts and book, you know I’m a super positive, encouraging, optimistic guy. (And humble!)
But, let’s get real here, ya’ll. Tough love time. IF you really want to live an extraordinary life where you pursue your Passionate Purpose, I can’t sugar coat this.
If you have thought about it – or tried to do it – before and failed, you’ve made excuses.
Here are some that I’ve heard (and used myself from time to time).
Only the lucky few get to do that
I’m not rich enough
I’m afraid I’ll fail
I don’t have the right connections
I’m not a genius
I’m afraid I’ll lose all my money
You have to be really talented to do that
I don’t know how to do it
I’m afraid I’ll get divorced over it
I don’t want to sacrifice my wife/husband/kids/relationships to do that
I’m not educated enough
Now’s not the right time
It’s too hard
I won’t make enough money to live on if I do that
I’m not good enough
I don’t deserve it
People from my family don’t do that
It’s selfish and greedy to want to do that
I don’t have enough time to do everything I would need to do
I’ll do it someday
Those are just some of the excuses I’ve heard to make people feel better about giving up on their dreams. I’m sure you could help me come up with more. Some of these concerns are real. I don’t want to suggest that going after what you really want is easy and requires no sacrifice. That’s just dreaming.
But, if you really want to pursue your Passionate Purpose and go after that extraordinary life, you have got to cowboy up for a serious ride.
Do you really want to look back on your life and list the excuses why you never tried? Do you want to use your children, spouse and friends as human shields to protect you from your fears of going for something great? Do you really believe that ALL successful people are divorced, greedy, horrible human beings who sacrificed all their values to get where they are in life?
Am I going to stop talking in questions? Yes. Right now.
The reason you aren’t taking action and going after this isn’t because you don’t have talent—nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. It’s not because you aren’t smart enough, don’t know the right people, or don’t have enough money to get started. It’s not because you don’t have enough time. We all have the same 24 hours in each day.
Look, all the excuses really boil down to one. Fear.
Change is scary. All those excuses we listed create fear. Your mind is screaming at you to avoid fear and risk. Subconsciously, your brain is telling you that you get more out of not changing than you think you would get out of changing.
“But, I really want to change. What? Your actions are so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.” — Greg Knapp
IF you really want this, it’s time to convince yourself these aren’t just wants, they are needs.
Time to convince yourself that the fear and pain that always comes with change is worth it for the chance to live the extraordinary life of your dreams.
Time to convince yourself that NOT changing is risky, too. Imagine living your whole life and NEVER going for what you could have had!
If you are tired of just getting by and letting days, months, and years slip past without achieving what you know you were put on this earth by your Creator to do, then now is the time.
Get your mindset right.
Understand fear creeps in but can be handled.
Determine what you want.
Set your course.
How much longer will you wait?
Another thing that can hold us back is our habits. So much of what we do habitual. We try to change and we fall back to old habits.
We can use habits to our advantage if we can create new, good ones that keep us on course to live out our Passionate Purpose intentionally.
Charles Duhigg has written a great book about this, called, The Power of Habit- Why we do what we do in life and business, and he’s joining me now on Your Passionate Purpose. Charles, how are you?
I want to encourage you that you can find and pursue your passionate purposes in every part of your life. God gave you gifts and talents that he wants you to grow and use for His glory, to serve people and to live an abundant life.
Steven Covey said, “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment”
The world needs what you have to offer. I’ll see you tomorrow.
It’s a lot easier to pursue your Passionate Purpose when you have someone on your side, encouragins you, helping you, and holding you accountable.
Greg, is this going to be a post about having an accountability partner? That’s an old, boring idea. Come on, man.
Hang on a second. You’re right that it’s an old idea, but here’s a question for you: Do you have an accountability partner who’s helping you achieve your most important goal right now?
Don’t feel bad, most of us don’t. We all know it’s a good idea, but most of us never follow through with it. Some of us start off with an accountability partner and then over a few weeks or months, we drift until the idea fades.
The times I have stuck with an accountability partner have paid huge dividends for me. I used one to get serious about working out and I used one to write my first book. Anytime I felt like skipping a workout, or not working on my book, I knew I would have to answer to my partner. I also knew I’d be letting him down.
That pushed me and kept me going. Better yet, the encouragement I got from my partner for all my hard work really inspired me.
I even discovered something super cool about having an accountability partner. When you help someone else achieve their goals, that helps you, too. It makes you feel great, and it gives you extra energy and incentive to keep going after what you really want.
Ok, Greg, you’ve sold me. So, how do I get – and keep – a partner? And how do we hold each other accountable in an encouraging way?
First, you need to get 100% clear on exactly what you want and why you want it.
Write that down.
When will you do “x” by?
How will you know you’ve done it?
Write that down.
Who will you choose as your accountability partner? It should be someone who shares your desire for an extraordinary life, someone who will support you in your efforts and kick you in the butt when you need it.
Be careful not to get someone who really doesn’t think you’re going to achieve your goal. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I’ve seen people set themselves up for failure that way.
Search for someone you look up to, who has a reputation for doing what he says, and for following through.
I find the best accountability partners are people who want you to hold them accountable for goals they’re working on in their life as well. When you encourage each other and hold each other accountable, great things happen.
If you can find someone who has a goal very similar to yours, that’s even better. I have found that it’s often better to find someone who isn’t a family member or a super close friend. Sometimes, when we’re that close, we don’t feel comfortable pushing each other.
Is there someone in your circle of friends at church, work, or in the neighborhood you would feel comfortable working with?
Get an accountability partner today or tomorrow. Don’t wait.
Schedule a time once a week for an accountability phone call and half way through the week exchange an accountability email.
The content of the call and the email is simple. Ask each other:
What did you say you would do this week?
What work have you done on that?
What adjustments do you need to make to improve your progress?
What can I do to help you?
Encourage each other
Celebrate mini successes
Remind each other how far you’ve come
Support each other on the “why” behind your goals.