The first quarter of 2011 has been the year of 'wholehearted accountability'. I meet with my friend Kathy and my DH, Jeff, for dinner and inspiration one night a month. We share part of our writing, eat, hang out at a bookstore and thoroughly enjoy each other’s company. It’s our WriteNite.
My commitment for my WriteNite group is to write weekdays on my screenplay and to email my cohorts when I’m done. We committ to writing and then we go DO it. I scheduled writing for 10-11am three days a week and from 2-3 the other two days. Mornings are better as I have higher energy and look forward to taking a break from client work and digging into my character's lives. As part of my commitment to writing I’m participating in Script Frenzy for the month of April. It’s an online challenge to write a 100 page screenplay in 30 days! I had some written from the 2010 challenge but I didn’t complete it. In ten days my screenplay now totals 49 pages—I am so gonna slam dunk this challenge!
I’m also reading Bird by Bird this month by Anne Lamott. I’ve learned that humor is an invitation and incentive for me, I look forward to reading her hilarious experiences and advice. Kathy recommended I check out Janet Evanovich’s How I Write, and the library had it on audio book so I can listen via my iPod, yay. Janet is funny with a capital F! The theme these writing books have in common: just write. Get the story, idea, characters out of your head and the words on paper and sort the rest out later. I’ve committed to showing up at the page daily for ten days and feel jazzed about the results. It doesn’t even matter if it was good writing: I wrote.
Online I’m in a Facebook accountability group with a few other VAs to eat healthy, get moving, feel good, and release a few pounds! We support each other, share insights, resources, what works and doesn’t work. Sometimes we simply listen when one of us had a rough day and needs to vent. I weigh in weekly and post my results along with what I did that helped me be successful if I let a few pounds go. It’s like having a Weight Watcher’s meeting online without having to drive there!
For my biz I’m participating in an accountability group with three other virtual assistants from our online community AssistU. We call ourselves Accountable Me. 😉 We’ve shared our biz and personal goals for 2011 and broken them down into quarterly goals; then monthly and weekly goals and action items for that week. We’re using a Wiki to collaborate and I get a thrill each time I login and can use the Strikethrough font to cross off an action I’ve completed. We meet via phone or teleconference (if we need the Internet to share) each week for one hour. We connect and bond, share what we accomplished and what we’re tackling next week.
When you write your goals and intentions down it is motivating. When you speak them and share them with others it takes you to a new level of commitment. You are committing yourself to others to show up and play big. Deeply empowering!
For me this sense of support is an immense resource since I work virtually as a biz owner: it’s just me, myself, and I each day. Creating these webs of support, that flex as I need more or less, are part of my extreme self care practice and buoys me to heights I may not have aimed for alone.