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In this blog post my friend Krijn and I will share our story of setting up an accountability and goal-setting group for people who want to create more awesomeness in their lives. Five people gathered to dare to live our dreams. We agreed that we need a safe space to explore our visions and next steps. Enjoy the learning on how you can set up such a great group yourself!
First off Krijn shares his experience of setting up the group:
The idea for having a regular accountability and goal setting get-together with people had been with me for a while. I had this need long before I started building up towards this specific group. Then during the summer, I noticed a strong need for support in moving forward and starting to make good use of this gift called life. After receiving some inspiring words from a friend, I decided ‘F**ck it, I’m just going to set out this intention for a creating a supportive group of people that focuses on action as well.’ So, off we went.
I started out by setting up a detailed invitation to make my own vision concrete and make clear to people what exactly they would be saying ‘Yes’ to. Getting this document set up was already a very fulfilling experience, because it helped me in sharpening my vision and getting a deeper insight into the needs that were driving this process. Sending out the document to people was actually quite vulnerable for me. There would be a risk that the people I sent my invitation to would respond with a strong and firm ‘No’, so it felt like putting myself out there.
This step outside my comfort-zone turned out very rewarding. Within a few days after sending out the invitation several people had responded enthusiastically and a group began to take shape.
Logistics Phase - Keeping up the excitement
When six people had responded positively to the invitation I sent out, I decided that it was going to be a ‘Go’. The next steps were setting up a whatsapp-group, trying to find a date for the first gathering and preparing the first gathering. To find a date we used the app ‘Doodle’, but there are of course many apps out there to find a date for gathering a group.
Then there was the preparation of the actual gathering. I asked both Adrian and another participant to help me out with building up a structure for the first gathering.
The Story of our first gathering
Creating a space of support for our hero(ines) journeys
Once we decide that we want to live our full potential we are going on many hero(ines) journeys. We need to claim our fears and overcome the dragons along the road that keep us for doing what we truly want to do. Sometimes that`s lonely business as we venture into the unknown to find our gifts and treasures. Check out the cycle of the hero(ine`s) journey by looking at the picture below and/or following this link to reflect on your own journey.
Our journeys do not have to be always lonely though: We came together to support each other, hold each other accountable for the goals that we set and challenge our limiting beliefs. Already in the first meeting we could feel how much we craved for not being alone in the challenges of life. Everybody had the space to share their dreams, current challenges and ways in which we can move towards being our own vision.
One participant shares her experience:
"A very nutritive space where I found myself comfortable sharing really personal information with nice people that share my interests, are willing to listen and help each other."
Dreaming big and taking small steps
We assessed why we joined the group and what individual needs we bring. Knowing what needs are around is essential for any community building effort as we want to match individual aspirations with a bold collective vision. The five of us had similar ideas on why we convened. Some of these are to balance productivity with rest, getting feedback on our (upcoming) projects, generating meaning together and be in a non-judgmental space. You can see the whole list of our needs below:
Decisions, Outcomes and Outlook
Everybody left with an enthusiastic feeling and excitement to move forward with this group.
We decided to meet every two weeks. . Yet, if needed we will also be available to each other outside of the official gatherings.
We use consent decision making (link), which is a great method to arrive at participatory group decisions.
We use Dragon Dreaming (link) as a methodology to foster individual growth, vibrant community and service to the earth.
We hope this idea of supporting each other spreads around the planet. We have so much to offer to each other! Let us know if you want to set up a group like this. We can always learn from each other. It is an idea that is easy to replicate in your own context. Just gather a group of friends and go for it!