How to Start a Buddy Meeting System

I have used this system by Barbara Sher for over 20 years and I can honestly say if you want to dramatically change your life, and move your art career forward, start a buddy meeting system. Make a commitment to try it for at least 3 months.

The instructions sounds simple, yet the results are dramatic. And best of all, it's free!

If you can't meet your buddy every week, try every other week. If you really feel unable to schedule anything, then that's a good sign that you need to do this! Commit to at least 4 meetings and see what happens.

How to Start a Buddy Meeting System

Its principle is simple: you and a friend meet once a week and work towards both of your individual goals. You team up and exchange support and resources: your buddy provides them for you, and you for them.

How do you pick a buddy?
  • They can be a close friend or roommate, a new acquaintance or a neighbor.
  • Choose someone who wants an action-oriented arrangement, not a social event.
  • Pick someone who is able to offer support for you to reach your goal.
  • If you are close friends, you’re going to have to keep the rambling, heart-to-heart talks out of the buddy meeting. Save them for after hours.
  • Don't be afraid to ask people. Most people are just dying to do something like this.
  • Find someone who also has a goal they want to work toward: Going back to school, starting a business, going on a vacation, buying a house, getting a new job, having an art show...anything!

Buddy Qualities
  • They must be someone whose values you respect.
  • Their goals don’t have to be in the same as yours.
  • Avoid picking someone who intimidates you, or is considerably more advanced than you.
  • Pick someone who is an equal, not a mentor.
A Buddy Meeting is NOT
  • It is not a kaffee klatsch;
  • It is not a beer-and-football party;
  • It is not a consciousness—raising group;
It is a goal-oriented strategy session. If it turns into anything else, it’s not going to work.

How to Conduct a Meeting

1. Select a goal

Each person must have a specific, measurable goal they want to accomplish in a certain amount of time.

For example:

"I want to submit my card designs to 10 companies in the next 6 months." (NOT: I want to get a line of cards together and submit them somewhere.)

"I want to figure out how to reorganize my life so I am able to enroll in digital art classes next semester." (NOT: I want to take classes when I get some free time.)

"I want to have an art show in 3 months." (NOT: I want to have an art show when I get enough pieces together.)

2. Be on time. 

This sounds like a small thing, but it’s the essence of self-respect. You aren't late for an appointment with your doctor, so don't be late for yourself. Your weekly meeting is an appointment with your future and with the person you can become. So no matter how you feel on the meeting day, try hard to be on time. And expect the same from your buddy.

3. Use a clock or a kitchen timer. 

This will structure the meeting and help you keep to the point. Each of you gets a maximum of half an hour, divided up roughly as follows:

4. First 5 minutes: Report in.
  • Tell what you did—didn’t do—in the past week, and if you did it, what were the results.
  • Your buddy will have it all written down from the previous week and will want a know about each item.
  • If you haven’t done any of the things you said you were going to do, you should still have the meeting. Usually you did do something, you just don’t realize it. You can also look at why you aren't able to find time to invest in yourself and your goals.

5. Next 20 minutes: Problems and solutions.
  • Tell your buddy about the problems you ran into, and invite your buddy’s suggestions.
  • If the problems you bring up have an emotional ingredient, air them out somewhere else before you come.
  • Be alert and attentive when your partner is speaking.
  • Watch out for the “yes-but” game.
  • Try to have fun with hard times. You can complain, but set yourself a limit of 10 minutes, so you can get down to brainstorming.

6. Last Five minutes: Scheduling.
    * Make a list of long term actions.
    * Get specific suggestions from your buddy on what you should do for next week.
    * Write down what day you are going to do it.
    * Your buddy should write down your weekly goal also.

    NOTE: All of this information below is found in the writings of Barbara Sher. She has an extensive amount of resources on her website (along with this text) on how to make real changes in your life.

    I would really LOVE to hear about people's experience using this system. Post your comments below.

    Copyright © Barbara Sher

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