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One key strategy in achieving your goals is to create a personal success circle. Surrounding yourself with people who support you helps to keep you on track and motivated. Think of your success circle as your go-to group who are committed to offering you encouragement, ideas, resources and an objective opinion.
Here are five steps to create your success circle:
1. Take inventory.
Think about who you are currently spending most of your time with. If there are people who are not fully supportive of your goal, consider spending less time with them. This will create some space to allow different or new people to come into your life.
Make a list of those individuals who currently support, encourage and inspire you. These are your hot people. They are already contributing to your success. Some of them may be good candidates to include in your success circle.
2. Decide what you need.
Think about what things would help you to achieve your goal. It might be more accountability or someone with whom you can brainstorm solutions. It might be specific information or resources or having your own cheerleader. It might be a buddy to do an activity with.
With those needs in mind, make a list of the people you value for their expertise and/or perspective. They might be the people who are already on your hot list. They might also be people who are not currently actively involved in your life. Remember that willingness to have candid conversation and be creative is a key characteristic to look for. Decide who you would like to invite into your success circle. Three to five people is a good place to start.
3. Ask for what you want.
Ask people if they are willing to be part of your personal success circle. Tell them what you admire about them and why you want to include them. Share your focus or vision so they understand what you want to achieve.
Be specific about what you want from each person. If you are looking for accountability, explain what that looks like for you. If you want encouragement, give examples of what you would want them to do. People are more willing to step into your success circle if they understand what commitment you are asking of them.
4. Create a structure.
Design with your success circle the ways in which you will interact. Would you like your whole group to work together or would you rather connect with them individually? Consider whether you would like an informal or "on-call" structure or whether you would prefer something more formal such as a regular weekly get together. Decide on the best way to communicate - by phone or email or in person.
Again, people are more willing to participate when they are clear about your expectations. Be open to hearing their suggestions. Someone might be okay with connecting one way but not another.
5. Return the favour.
Find ways to show your gratitude to your success circle. Say thank you. Sending little notes or a coffee card are simple gestures that demonstrate your appreciation. Throw a success circle celebration when you have reached a milestone. Provide a "then and now" report on your progress. Make participating in your success circle a win-win for everyone.
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Author: Coach Benjamin S. Palaroan Jr., Financial Education Advocate