Having a ‘Goal Buddy’ to support you in achieving your dreams, encourage you when times get tough and help you find new inspiration, is a fantastic way to keep yourself motivated and focused on your goals.
But what sort of person makes a great Goal Buddy?
1 – Someone who believes in you. We often look to share our goals with those close to us, but sometimes this can be a mistake. The people who love us don’t always believe in us in the way we’d like and they also have a strong incentive to protect us. Often that protection comes in the form of dire warnings about not taking risks or stepping outside your comfort zone. They mean well, but often they will hold you back.
A great Goal Buddy is someone who sees something in you that confirms your own belief and they don’t necessarily have to know you well to feel that. One of my best goal buddies has only known me 3 months. He lives a long way away and we only communicate by e-mail or occasionally phone and we’ve only ever met face to face, once!
2 – Someone who can listen well. The purpose of being a Goal Buddy is to be a sounding board for ideas and questions that arise for you in the course of working towards your plans. As the old saying goes, they have two ears and one mouth and they should be used in that proportion.
A good Goal Buddy will listen carefully, offer opinions and ideas when prompted, but sometimes will simply be prepared to be a sponge, soaking up your frustration and difficulty, without comment and especially without judgement.
3 – Someone who can see things clearly. Often the reason someone close to you does not make the best Goal Buddy is because they are not detached from your outcome. If you are starting a business, for example, their home and future lifestyle may be on the line just as much as yours and their fears may get in the way of clarity.
The ideal Goal Buddy has total detachment. Apart from their desire for you to succeed, they will not be materially affected by your achievements and this allows them a much clearer perspective and the ability to see things that you can’t.
4 – Someone who is good at solving problems. No matter how clever and creative you are, you will not be able to do everything on your own. A well chosen Goal Buddy will be skilled at coming up with possible solutions for the obstacles that you encounter along the way.
They do not need to be rocket scientists or math graduates, but an ability to reframe problems, look at issues from multiple angles and simply bring an alternative perspective will be invaluable.
5 – Someone with a good network. If between you and your Goal Buddy, you are still unable to come up with the answer to a problem, then the ideal candidate will have a strong network of friends and colleagues who can offer extra skills and access to capabilities that you may never have found on your own.
The most inspiring words you will ever hear from your Goal Buddy may well be – Let’s call John, he knows all about that.
So if you are looking to identify someone to support you on the road to your goals, before you pick up the phone, measure them against this 5 point checklist and see if they are cut out to be the perfect Goal Buddy.