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Caveats to the Buddy System and How to Overcome Them

A client of mine joined an online accountability group for added support as she worked toward her goals. Each week, members of the group called in to share their successes and discuss any obstacles that they were in the process of overcoming. Everything was going well, until, slowly but surely, one member after another stopped showing up for the group. The last one standing was my client, who bowed out once it became apparent to her that she had become a group of one.

While buddying up with someone—or several someones—can go a long way toward helping you achieve your goals, this approach to goal attainment isn’t without its shortcomings. Consider the following scenarios:

  • what’s working or has worked for your buddy might not be working for you, leading to frustration and/or discouragement on your part
  • if your buddy is too far ahead of you, you could end up feeling demoralized and lose the motivation to continue on your quest
  • if you’re too far ahead of your buddy, you might hold back out of guilt or in an attempt to avoid demoralizing your buddy, and do a disservice to yourself in the process
  • the two (or more) of you are in the same boat, and the blind end up leading the blind
  • as was the case with my client (above), if your buddy throws in the towel, regardless of the reason(s) for doing so, you could very well lose the motivation to continue on your own or find another buddy

So, who can you rely on to hold you accountable for achieving your goals? Whose company should you seek—and who might you want to steer clear of—in order to ensure that you don’t stray from your chosen path? While you are ultimately responsible for realizing your goals, others’ involvement can make the difference between achieving and falling short of your aspirations. Enter stage right, your Co-Active Coach®. Armed with powerful, thought-provoking questions, I’ll begin by clarifying your life’s vision, mission (also known as your life purpose), and values (please see my article, entitled How to Live an Integrated Life, for more on this topic). Then, I’ll assist you in identifying goals that align with your vision, mission, and values (please see my article, entitled SMART, SMARTER, or SMARTEST: What Kind of Goals Would You Like to Achieve? for more on this topic). Next, we’ll put action plans in place to assist you in meeting your goals, with the understanding that these action plans can be adjusted and re-adjusted as we go along. Have you noticed my use of the word “we?” That’s because, as your coach, I’ll be with you every step of the way. And when you find yourself feeling “stuck,” no worries; I have tried and true methods for working with (not against) the resistance that’s bound to show up (please see my article, entitled “I Have Met the Enemy and It Is Me,” for more on this topic). Additionally, by using a solution-focused (versus problem-focused) approach, I will assist you in identifying any number of ways in which you might overcome obstacles that you encounter, whether they’re internal and self-imposed or external and other-imposed. And, even when others doubt your ability to achieve your goals, I’ll be there to encourage you. And because your goals are aligned with your life’s vision, mission, and values, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing, both explicitly and implicitly, that you’re on the path you’re meant to be on, that is, the path to the life of your dreams!