I’m not sure when Kait is going to post this, but I hope it’s in the middle of ROW80. You see, I’m not a great middle guy. I start strong as hell, and if things go well in the middle I finish strong. If they don’t, I typically quit.
I’m a great planner. Get me interested in something and I can come up with some of the best kick ass goals you’ve ever seen. I can dream up things that really get me going, and I’ll start out like a fox with his tail on fire. My wife has tolerated my numerous “goals” through the years. They take on a surprisingly similar nature.
- Initial interest
- Dipping my toe in the water
- Intense research
- Goal setting
- Buying of all things required
- Okay, buying of all things not required too, but are they cool or what?
- Start out like gang busters
Here’s where it gets interesting. I’ll slowly ramp down and quit, or I’ll slowly ramp down to a realistic level, keep going, then finish strong as hell. What makes the difference between the two?
I’ve looked back over the years at my successes, and there does seem to be a pattern to the differences between the two. The great thing is that ROW80 falls within the pattern for success, IF YOU LET IT.
The four different things I’ve found that help me be successful with my goals are:
- Planning – ROW80 has a pre-start plan with your initial goal post (Ha-ha, football reference. I kill myself. J)
- Accountability – ROW80 has a regular check-in twice a week.
- Support – A support system is integrated into ROW80 (plus a ROWbro/ROWsista if you’re so inclined).
- Adjustment – A way to adjust is also integrated into ROW80
Note the acronym PASA. Okay, everyone that knows me can stop snickering. I am the acronym king…so sue me. Now I don’t speak Spanish, but I think “que pasa” means “what’s up” or a somewhat similar greeting. I’m running with it, even if it’s wrong. J
Setting goals is the initial step in ROW80. You look at what you want to accomplish, break it down into what you think you can do in 80 days, tweak it here and there, and post it for the world to see. This is where I was successful in one NaNoWriMo. I pre-planned the hell out of it, because the first year I didn’t and failed. Similarly, the third year I tried NaNo, I didn’t plan well and failed. Those of you who have seen my goals for Round 4 know I’m going for NaNo again this year. I’m taking a NaNo Road Map class in October so that I plan things properly.
Twice weekly check-ins drive the hell out of me. In Round 3, I don’t know how many times I would wait until I had “caught up” before I would post my check-in information. It killed me to have to post that I was behind on my goals. The few times I did, it inspired me to be back on track by the next check-in. If we don’t have some way to measure ourselves along the way, we can get so far behind that we become discouraged.
ROW80 is built to support the people that participate. Other people read your check-in posts and comment on how well you’re doing. I always appreciate those that stop by and comment on my goals and how I’m doing, and I try to support as many people as I can along the way.
I also highly recommend finding a ROWbro/ROWsista. Gene Lempp and I partnered up in Round 3, and again this round too. We helped each other with goals, we were cheerleaders when required, and we were “no, that’s not acceptable behavior” kick-each-other-in-the-butt-coaches too. Gene did a post regarding this à “The Buddy System.” THE KEY WITH A PARTNER IS COMPLETE AND TOTAL HONESTY. I can’t emphasize this enough. Gene and I weren’t jerks to each other, but we gave each other permission to call the other one out if we saw them veering off course. I know some of my WANA711 buds (all ladies) have a ROWsista thang going on. It’s not a necessity, but it sure does make things easier.
Nothing is more deflating to me than having a grand plan, only to see it get skewered by life. The great thing about ROW80 is that adjustment is built in. Soooooo, if you have life that comes along after day 20, just make an adjustment and move on. It’s difficult to do this for those of you that are hard-headed. *whistles and looks around so as not to make eye contact* USE THIS PEOPLE!!! It’s built into the system of ROW80. When I changed my direction in Round 3, it was like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders and I finished strong.
So “que PASA?” “What’s up” with you this round? What things help you when you’re stuck in the middle? I hope you’ll enjoy the middle and finish strong fellow ROWers.