We have come to the final installment of our 3-part motivation series! While I do find a lot of benefit using both Emma and Sarah's methods (list-making and rewards), I also find that using a “group” method of motivation is a really helpful tool for me as well. There’s something about having a common goal with several other people that can really keep you on track and get you excited to reach your own goal while you help them do the same. Here are a few of the reasons that group motivation is so effective for me (and maybe they will be for you too!):
1. Groups are so excited (and they just can’t hide it). I love reading, but I have to shamefully admit that as I get older, I tend to read less and less. Once I actually get into a book, I get hooked and can’t put it down until I finish, but it can be hard to start that process. I think it’s partially because I’ve spent the last 7 out of 10 years completing my undergraduate and master's degree, and when I finally got a break from work and school, pleasure reading was kind of the last thing I wanted to do for a long time. Anyway, a couple of my girlfriends were feeling the same way about their recent lack of reading, so we decided to start a monthly book club and pick out a new book to read and discuss at the end of each month. It felt really good to join with others who were also excited about reaching the same goal, and the shared enthusiasm made me eager to complete the desired tasks. Excitement and encouragement multiply quickly when you add in other enthusiastic people.
2. You get exposed to new ideas. Groups and clubs are also an excellent way to gain new insight or tips into a particular topic. I loved hearing all the different thoughts my friends had about the book, and I discovered several new authors I never would have known about otherwise. The same goes for groups where you are all learning or practicing some sort of skill. It’s a great way to get tips from others who are more experienced than you and a way for you to share your own knowledge of what does (or doesn’t) work. Whether it’s learning a new strategy for your small business or simply a better crocheting technique, knowledge is power, people!
3. It’s not all about you. I’m not trying to turn your world upside down if your momma told you it IS all about you, but I mean this in a positive way. If you are checking off your dream list all "Lone Ranger" style, it can be hard to get back on track if you miss a few days. But if you miss one group meeting, you know that the group didn’t fall apart without you and you can just pick right back up at the next meeting. If one month is too hectic for me to complete my book club reading, I can always start fresh the next month since the whole system doesn't hinge on just my personal record being perfect. Phew!
4. Guilt trips (the good kind). Groups and clubs can bring a big dose of accountability to the list of things you want to accomplish. Some of the girls at the studio started a running club last year to encourage each other to keep up with working out. I know that I have trouble consistently running like I want to, so this was a great idea for me. We had a list of upcoming 5k races to sign up for, and I definitely ran more consistently than I would have otherwise because I knew I had another race soon and all the other girls were training for it. There were a lot of days I would have much rather stayed on the couch, but I didn’t want to be the only one unprepared, and that’s ultimately what got me out the door to run.
5. You can make new connections and friendships. Sharing the same passions on a regular basis is a great way to deepen friendships and strengthen existing bonds. And as fun as it is to make progress on your goals with existing friends, groups are also a good way to meet different people and network with new connections. If you don’t happen to have any current friends with that particular common interest, check for local clubs that already exist—you’d be really surprised at how many existing groups are out there already. You can search for local established groups online or inquire about clubs in a place related to that activity (ask about a book club in a library or a painting group at an art council). Just don't join any creepy sounding clubs on Craigslist, that seems like a bad idea…
Obviously this group mentality can be applied to lots of different goals. Want to craft more? Start a monthly crafting club! Tired of not putting your photos in actual albums? Host a photo book night at your house (like this one)! Trying to get your small business off the ground? Meet with others who are doing the same (and a few who have already done it successfully). There are lots of ways to join with other people with common goals to motivate you towards checking off your own to-do list. Even if your club doesn’t last forever, that’s OK! You’ll still get more accomplished while it does continue than if you didn’t join one at all.
Hopefully these last three posts have helped you recognize a need for a thought-out plan to achieve your goals and have given you a path to making sure you actually get there. Everyone is different, so you may be more drawn to one motivational plan than another (or use all of them at different times like I do), but finding a motivational tool that works for you gets you one step closer to carrying through with your plans. What do you think? Do you have any other tips that work well for you? xo. Laura
Credits// Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.