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Goad with Friends


Wanna change your life? It helps to have a group of nags.


I’ve done 2 things lately in the area of goal attainment. First is reading The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Kellar with Jay Papasan (aff. link, which are a joke btw). I’ll try to get a review of the book up in a few days. For now, know it is part typical-motivation-book, part myth-busting-genius. The second thing I did: I went to a party.

At the party, we had food and wine and plopped down with blankies and pillows to watch Shawshank Redemption. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’! Some of us did yarn art during, namely knitting and crocheting. I got gifted a pig (see photo). Afterwards we played a few party games. It was typical, fun stuff.

A partier crochets small animals and hands them out. I got one! We named her Butterscotch, and she is a Magical Comforting Pig.

During the movie, we all wrote one goal down. A book and a pencil went around the room and we all committed, in writing, to a goal. Some goals were health related, some career related. You get the idea.

A few days later, the Shawshank-goal-setting-party planning group on Facebook turned into an accountability group. Now the party’s hosts, fellow attendees and I are discussing motivation and goal-setting, and we’re stating publicly what we plan to do each week. One lady set up her Etsy shop like she said she would. Demonstrated success!

The group is in its beginning stages, but I have a feeling if I use it correctly, it can help me stay focused on my 1 thing (as per The One Thing book). A minor snag: *Actual* accountability is missing from the group. From what I’ve read about habits and such, the group should have a cash pot at a bank somewhere. After a certain amount is earned in the pot, the cash cache is donated… but get this – not to a group we are all aligned with. No. The money would go to a group that DISGUSTS us. Like Nazis. 

My yarn contraption for the Ravenclaw scarf I’m knitting. I brought it all with me to the Shawshank party.

That would be hard core. But man, I’d sure-as-hell rearrange my entire life to avoid paying even one dime to a hate organization. My 1 Thing? Writing, specifically: to submit at least one piece of writing a month (assumed is working on the novel as well). I’d stay up all night getting SOMETHING submitted SOMEWHERE on the last day of every month if that is what it would take to save my dimes and let’s face it, the world.

We’re not yet this vicious as to threaten people with such eternal damnation. But studies in the literature suggest this kind of extreme measure is just what some people need to break old or begin new habits. Hopefully the Shawshank partiers and I will achieve our goals without making a pact with such distasteful consequences. 

In the next several weeks, I’ll change my daily routines around fiction writing and blogging. I have paying freelance work, so that will always come first, but my goal is to spend 4 hours a day on my own creative work (advice from The One Thing book). 4 hours is a lot. I know. I’ll take the weekends off.

I want to see if I can be a powerhouse in writing production. I’ve been a powerhouse worker in other jobs. We’ll see if I can at least sit in my writing chair for 4 hours. Many writers say they can write fiction for 2 hours a day, tops. I want to go beyond that. I may be naive. Don’t know until you try, right?

Get a group together for your New Year’s Resolutions. If you really want to get a fire lit under their butts, have them toss money in a pot first. It can go toward a group dinner or Nazis or whatever else. You all have more of a chance of winning at this new-habit game if you do. As for me, if you see me blogging more often, then you know I’m at least part of the way there.