Tomorrow morning during my introduction, I will be emphasizing to the group members the importance of maintaining their progress after the workshop. Everyone wants to know “what is the cure, how long will it take?” Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet as you may have guessed already after searching endlessly.
The workshop is the closest “magic cure” that I have experienced for myself and hundreds of others. The key factors of making and maintaining progress are:
- Jumping in on the momentum immediately following a positive experience
- Creating action plans
- Having accountability and support.
My inbox is flooded during the days and weeks following a workshop. I applaud each and every accomplishment, especially when I see that a previous negative thought pattern has been flipped around to a whole new optimistic perspective.
Months to years later, updates continue to flow in. I’m certainly not saying everything is always easy and effortless for everyone. I hear about occasional lulls and regression. Once the realization is there, “oh, I thought I got over it once and for all, so I wasn’t paying attention anymore”, they remember my opening remarks at the workshop and on our follow up calls and emails. And they get right back on track – quickly!
Whether you are starting fresh or have already made significant progress, I encourage you to create a hierarchy every couple of months and to establish an accountability partner to share your journey with. It could be anyone from a friend, colleague, boss, spouse or even someone you’ve befriended on social media. Your partner may have a completely different goal than you, but you can agree upon having similar steps and time frames to achieve your goals and decide upon how often to check in (daily, to weekly or bi-weekly).
If you prefer to have another type of accountability, consider the following example.
An example of accountability in attending Toastmasters:
- Tell a few people that you are going and how much it means for you to pursue this goal.
- Attend a couple of clubs if that is an option in order to determine if the club is a good fit for you.
- Give your accountability partner the schedule of meetings.
- Sign up officially at Toastmasters to be a member; they will miss you if you’re not there ; – )
- Start with the smaller speaking roles by signing up in advance (even if you don’t feel “ready”).
- Ask if you can help set up the room with supplies, or take meeting minutes. If fellow members are counting on you, you will attend consistently.
- Ask about a mentor – another great form of accountability!