Do you still remember the good resolutions you had for this New Year? What were those personal targets you wanted to reach this year? Or, which targets did you have the past years that you still have not achieved?
Year after year, we carry over some personal ambitions that get postponed. It is really bothering us when we want to achieve some new goals, and we don’t develop and grow further. Yet, it is thought to overcome what’s in a German saying is called one’s “innerer Schweinehund”, as in the fictitious “inner pigdog”, where this symbolically is used to denote a form of a lazy procrastination to vanquish the inner temptation or to overcome your weaker self. It is a self-deprecating idiom alluding to the weakness of one’s will, the lack of self-discipline. We need to defeat this inner procrastinating lazy “beast” to get ourselves going.
This can have an end! In this post, we offer you a 4-step easy and fun programme to achieve your personal targets.
- Go public and create a Buddy-Group
Start by going public. If you are serious about reaching your personal target goal, and you are ready to stand up for it, tell people! Not the whole world, perhaps, but those who really care about you. Those who want to see you succeed. Go public and tell those close colleagues or good friends who are your supporters and can be your fans along the journey.
How to create your Buddy-Group?
From all the people you know, select a short-list of 3 to 5 and create a group, e.g. a WhatsApp or a Facebook group, an email list, etc. They don’t necessarily have to know one another. But they should have the same wish to overcome their own personal, procrastinating, lazy “inner pigdog”, and to achieve their personal target.
- Instil a collaborative self-competing spirit
In your Buddy-Group, you are not competing against each other, but against your personal lazy Self. This is your collaborative self-competing group. The purpose is not to win or lose against your Buddies, but that they support you, and vice versa. So you are only competing with your Self. You choose your own personal target. Your Buddies choose theirs. The others are simply collaborating with you to win your fight against your respective inner “beast”. Your victory is your long-term success.
How to monitor your plan?
Share your individual target goal with your Buddy-Group online, e.g. in a Google Doc, simply send a spreadsheet around, or hang up a sheet of paper in your home or office.
- Set a group date and individualised targets
We can only reach our goals if they are quantifiable. First, agree on a common and precise date with your Buddy-Group, e.g. Monday 31 July at 9am, or Friday 15 September 5pm. You should also set a milestone to monitor each other’s progress. Based on experience, I recommend a weekly update and a milestone every two months. Second, be specific with a personal quantifiable target (see how to plan your goals), e.g. how many pages you want to write, how many chapters you want to read, how many times you want to jog, or how many kilos you want to lose, etc. Be specific – be very specific.
How to go about it?
Mark the dates in your calendar. Once you have specified your target, write it down. The mere fact of having it written and visually in front of you increases the probability that it will happen. Write it on a good old-fashion piece of paper, a so-called “hard-copy”, e.g. in your personal notebook, diary or work journal. Place it strategically so you are forced to look at it regularly, at least once a week. Download your personal target goals sheet.
- Give yourself a personal reward
Come up with a personal reward once you have achieved your target goal. Think of a good incentive for yourself. What would make you happy? What personal, little (or big) present would you like to buy for your Self? What is it that you really wanted for a long time, but resisted to purchase? It might be a material gift, or an experience: the latest iPhone/Galaxy S8, the Nintendo Switch, an expensive dress or, alternatively, going for a go-kart race, a special Spa day, a beauty facial treatment or a paragliding jump (send us a pic when you do it!)
Start now, today, tonight!
Now, finally, go and do it. There is no point of waiting for ‘tomorrow’, or when You are ready. Your life is going on as you are reading these lines. Start now! Tell people about this article. Today, tonight! Gather the ones that are interested to join you. Tell them about the Buddy-Group, the purpose and how you plan to do it, and go! Make sure to get their personal commitment, and fight your procrastinating lazy Self: together You can do it, with your Buddy-Group.