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I am so lucky to have a best friend who is so similar to me. Yes, we have our differences, however, we have similar values and that is so important in a friendship relationship. She was distraught when she called me at the beginning of the year. “We have to set our goals together. I don’t want to do it alone. I just can’t right now.” She stated emphatically. That is when we scheduled a 2 hour phone conversation. During that conversation, my journal in hand, we hammered out our goals. She had 15 and I helped her whittle them down to five. I had three for 2023. Now that we had our goals, we had to GET our goals and sometimes we just need help.

There are many benefits to getting help either from a best friend or from an experienced coach.

Some of these benefits are:

  1. You get the energy and motivation from the other person. When you just are stuck or don’t want to continue, your coach can help you get over the hurdle in your way.
  2. You will actually do it.
    If you are anything like me you don’t want to Eat that Frog (See Brian Tracy). You don’t want to do the ugly stuff at all. You procrastinate. Yes, I have a to-do list. I kept putting off “update blog”. It moved from my #1 thing of the day to the next day, next week, next month, and next year.
    I was devastated by COVID emotionally. I thought I was resiliant and could handle tough situations and pivot with the best of them. I am smart, organized, and have may resources and great friends. However, for some reason I could not ask for help. And, I learned from that year March 2020 – March 2021.
  3. You will have more fun.
    Besides working, we had movie nights.  Watching 

Best Practices

  1. Set goals for the time together
    In retrospect, I would do this before the meeting. This will save time. I learned this fact because when my best friend and I met, she had the agenda for our 3 days together and I did not. This was good because I went with her agenda, however, I had to catch up.  
    The second time we were together, I had three priorities and a list of what I had to do under each priority.  Urgent, to do, and future.  Sure, it was a lot but, I thought I could at least do the 4 things under urgent and the 2 things for to do.  The future could be done later.
  2. Divide and conquer.
    We found separate tables in her house and set up our workspaces. Her goals were to work on financials, so she spread out all of her papers, receipts, and documents all over her dining room table. 
    I set up on her kitchen table with my computer and updated my website.  This was a task that I did not want to do but knew I had to do.
  3. Help with paralysis by analysis and procrastination.  
    As I was taking one of my first breaks, I noticed Carol on the floor in her bedroom dividing clothing into various piles.  I asked her “what are you doing?”, “Is this on your list?” We both started laughing as she rolled over in the submissive pose (as our dogs do sometimes).  She shouted, “busted!”  I told her that she had better do the same for me when I start to procrastinate.  We keep each other motivated and moving.
  4. Share victories
    When we finished each day, we sat on her couch (with a glass of wine) and described what we started, our progress, and if we finished anything yet.  
  5. Learn from mistakes.
    We realized that we got frustrated when we couldn’t complete all that we had to complete or when we had to learn something quickly.  I wanted to bite off more than I could chew.  I had way too much stuff to do and possibly not enough time to learn how to do it all.  We only had 4 days together.  We wanted to make the most of that time.  
  6. Do better next time.  
    The second time we got together, we had agendas.  We knew exactly what we had to do, and we started to do it the first day.  We started with such gusto!  
    The next day we were both frustrated.  I needed to be creative.  I didn’t feel creative that day.  I felt like I was not helping myself and moving in circles.
    She needed to learn some very complicated applications and programs.  She had huge plans but had no idea how to make them a reality.  She is a hard worker, however, she felt very overwhelmed. 
    Then I told her that I could not create the stuff I told her I could do.  I had been thinking about it and realized that I could not create her stuff for her.  I had my stuff to do, and her stuff would take my of time, energy, and it was complicated.  When I told her this fact, she got upset, then she got mad, then determined, and started to focus.  Getting into the second “fight” in 35 years with your best friend is not the best way to focus.  
  7. Just do it.
    My friend has big ideas, plans, and dreams; however, she has no idea how to do them.  She is a quick learner, but I have been using PowerPoint since it came out in 1992!  I am also better with designing logos and graphics.  When she needed a logo, it would have taken her days to research the proper application to create it and then a while to actually create it.  Since I have done this before, I just created one for her.  Yes, even though I had a ton of work to do too.  It made me feel like I finished something, and I love doing that.  I used my strengths and felt better and had a sense of satisfaction.

    With these tips, I hope that you can parallel work with someone and get your work done instead of procrastinating.  And that you can have some fun while in a new location and with your friend!  Let me know your plans that help you when you are stuck and don’t want to take action. 

#lifelonglearning  #goalsetting  #newyou

The Journal Book by Lori Ann Roth Ph.D

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