Achieve your goals: find a goal buddy

Yesterday, I received this email from my son.  He was home on semester break, sitting in the basement, when he sent it to me with a copy to his dad and brother. We’ve done “family challenges” before (see a holiday challenge) and often use emails to get it started.


For a handful of reasons including the fact that I would like my parents to live past the age of 65, Jack to suck in that gut and so I can put on a little weight as well as run more than a mile without my lungs collapsing, I think we should have a family workout competition.  What I’m thinking is that on a week to week basis we would have a workout requirement of 3 days.  Your workout could be anything of your choosing, swimming, running, soccer, weights, yoga.  But there will have to be approval from the other family members (sorry mom walking around the block does not count).  The consequence for not meeting the weekly quota will be a $5 penalty that will go into a pot.  This is obviously on the honor system of the parties involved so mom and dad no cheating.  I think the best method would be to set goals for ourselves to reach in 4-5 months from now and the person(s) who reach those goals will split the pot.  Just a thought, let me know what you guys think about it.


The thing is each of us already started to set personal goals, but it’s so easy to make excuses to oneself.  It’s much harder to come up with an excuse when you have a “Goal Buddy”. We’ve all agreed to start the challenge next Monday.

Last weekend, I met Pat Schmatz, award winning author of Bluefish, who shared her interesting twist on having a goal buddy.  As a writer, she’s developed a number of strategies to keep herself on track. My favorite is her Sunday night phone calls from her writing goal buddy.  On the call, they set their goals for the week and review their goals from the previous. No excuses are allowed.  I suspect they are both pretty political because if they don’t meet their goal, they need to send $5 to the political party they do not support. It’s working for them.  They’ve never had to ante up the $5.  When setting their weekly goals, they also question each other if they seem unrealistic.

Making sure your goals are achievable is an essential part of the process.  Success will help keep you working and moving forward. Everyone in my family has until Monday to tweak their goals.

I think mine will have something to do with weight loss… muscle strength….maybe chocolate.     I try and work chocolate into everything I do.

This Week:  Find a goal buddy to help you keep those New Year’s resolutions.


21 responses to “Achieve your goals: find a goal buddy

  1. Mary Jo, this is an great way to keep your goals on your mind and on target. It always helps when there’s an incentive and when your accountable!

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

  2. Rachel Mary Bean

    This is a great idea! The problem for me would be finding another writer to buddy up with.

    • Rachel,

      Start by letting people know you’re looking for a writing buddy. There are some great online writing communities where you might find someone like shewrites or absolutewrite.

  3. Great plan! Good luck. (And don’t ever get rid of chocolate.)

  4. Being held accountable is a great way to meet goals. I sometimes state my goals publicly on my blog so that I feel more pressure to follow through. The old “throw your hat over the fence” strategy. (If you throw your hat over the fence, see, you then have to go get it.)

  5. Several members of my family are on their second round of a weight loss competition. Eleven participated the first time, & some newcomers have joined this go-round. I also know 2 writers who became goal sharers this new year to help one another stick to their goals. Sounds like it’s a plan that works.
    Kathy Cannon Wiechman (Swagger Writers)

  6. The best time I ever had working out was this summer when me and my daughters all spent time together with “Hip-Hop Abs.” We all had our own goals in exercising – rhythm, strength, and weight loss – but it was fun together. Thanks for the reminder to get back to this.

  7. Great post! Having a goal buddy is such a wonderful idea. It’s not just about achieving goals, but it speaks to our need to connect to others. When we can share our efforts — our accomplishments and failures — with those around us, life becomes more meaningful.

  8. Thanks for the post.. I agree that having a buddy makes every hard endeavor a little easier, whether it’s exercising or exercising creativity.

  9. I am so proud for you that you have taught your son such great goal setting techniques. Our critique group keeps me on track. My fellow Pen and Ink members aren’t good about accepting excuses for not writing,

  10. Mary Jo, I completely agree. Goal buddies keep you accountable and help make everything more fun. Chocolate is officially good for you (it’s a superfood! though not the easter egg compound, sugar laden type), so don’t eliminate it!

  11. I love this idea! We think of doing ‘biggest loser’ type challenges with friends and co-workers but how often do we think of doing this with our family? Thanks so much for this idea. Now, I’m off to write an email.

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