Goal-setting/accountability group December 3, 2015 10:22 PM   Subscribe

I know that MeFi Health Month exists, but is there some Mefite-populated community resource like that for goals unrelated to health? I.e., any activity or project people feel they need to Get Done that they're not currently getting done, and want help with (creative projects, budgeting, job-hunting, etc). If such a place doesn't exist, is there any interest in getting together and making one?

It might be that activity-specific forums would be better for a bunch of reasons, I don't know, but what I have in mind is a simple forum for scheduled check-ins / finger-wagging / encouragement / troubleshooting.

E.g.: "Did you do this, like you said you would? Great." Or, "Why not, let's think through that and figure something out". And maybe some free-form back-and-forth around those exchanges, in between those check-ins.

I think, maybe, that subject focus is less important than the accountability / support factor, because researching unknown info could just be another goal. But I could be wrong.

I guess there are probably tons of communities for this sort of thing, but I think it might be nice to have a place for Mefites to help each other out in this way. I know (from Ask) that a lot of us struggle with ADHD, or are hugely P on the Myers-Briggs for whatever it's worth to you, or, don't have any kind of condition (or much P-ness), but have a hard time making consistent progress towards a particular personal goal anyway. I also know that not all those people would be up for this sort of thing, but maybe some would (or are)?

If there's not currently a place like that, and there is interest, although I've got no idea what would be involved in creating and maintaining such space, I'd be up for learning. (I would probably defer naming such a group to quippier people, because as of 12:50 EST, my suggestion would be, "Goal Setting and Accountability Group", which is terrible.)

Hopefully, I'm blathering on for nothing, and this already exists.
posted by cotton dress sock to MetaFilter-Related at 10:22 PM (32 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

hey if you guys can figure out a way to motivate me to actually get out of bed every day i would totally be down for that
posted by Jacqueline at 10:30 PM on December 3, 2015 [8 favorites]

I was going to post in Jobs if someone on Mefi wanted to be my Beeminder accountability partner for some goals.

Someone I have to Skype with at a set time on metafilter to blearily go "yes, I'm getting out of bed, no I'm not lying, I swear. I'm doing the pushups, I'm doing them. I am. Did you brush your teeth? SHAME ON YOU, you did not. Go brush your teeth. I'll do my push-ups. Then we can talk about Hannibal's love for Will Graham for five minutes."
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 11:11 PM on December 3, 2015 [8 favorites]

I realise this is very sad and pathetic, but I figured someone on refi would not make the side-eyed judge-y face I get in RL when I bring this idea up.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 11:11 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Zero judgement from me, ha. I'm all too aware of how Oprah-y this is :/ but the situation is such that I have to choose between physiotherapy and some kind of coaching or goal support (vs. therapy, which also costs), and in a "getting around" vs. "higher needs" face-off, getting around wins 10/10 times.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:25 PM on December 3, 2015

And, maybe I can also be helpful to someone else in some way. (Hypocrisy & projection FTW)
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:28 PM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is maybe only a little related but I feel like I've gotten a lot out of the two Blue threads on ASD women in the past few months and AskMe questions about depression as well. I'm usually too scattered for really concrete goals (like 100% P, no J at all) but I like this suggestion.
posted by thetortoise at 12:06 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

me me me me me, I just want to talk to non-judgy Mefites about these struggles, and have more accountability partners, and I would do the same for them.
posted by yueliang at 12:33 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

FWIW, I successfully used Health Month for non-healthy goals, like studying duolingo every day. Everyone was great and supportive.
posted by Room 641-A at 1:19 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Ah, cool! That's great to know, thanks! So any type of goal is suitable for Health Month? Maybe I should have properly checked it out before making assumptions :/ (Crossing "goal/accountability group" off list, putting "do due diligence before posting Meta" on)
posted by cotton dress sock at 1:34 AM on December 4, 2015

I just started school again this past September and could really use something like this. Procrastination is making things unnecessarily hard and I have no real support IRL. It's quite a lot harder to repeatedly rationalize skipping things like housework or exercise when it's not inside your own head.

My silly brain has been completely gamified. It's really arduous to do anything that doesn't generate immediate positive feedback. The only way I can get things done is if I start immediately upon waking up and work nonstop from then. The minute I sit down or take a break with some easy brain-reward activity like youtube or Mefi, then that's it for the rest of the day. Getting back on track is impossible.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 1:36 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Habitica guild?
posted by divabat at 1:50 AM on December 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm sorry to hear you're having a hard time, Freelance Demiurge :/ I hear you completely, I'm also in school (finishing something up, hopefully), and I do have some productive days, but it often feels like I can't get out of third gear. And it's the same for me, procrastination and binge-work or nothing (that my grandmother would be proud of, anyway).

Habitica looks interesting - thank you, divabat! There's a MetaFilter guild there?

I'm also consistently 100% P, thetortoise :) I'm glad you're getting a lot out of those threads. There's truly a wealth of insight and support here, it's wonderful.

yueliang, you would be an awesome accountability partner, I am sure :)

I just signed up for Health Month (as WalnutBrigade). A little intimidated by the rules and point system, at first glance (seems a bit J-y :/ but that is perhaps the point, and I'm sure it'll make more sense to me once I familiarize myself with the system).

(Sorry for going on, I'll stop responding now.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 2:13 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I used health month for a few non-health related habit building kinds of things. It lets you do custom goals. One of my favorites was the "Do something I don't feel like doing and have been procrastinating about" which was actually pretty successful.

The Metafilter community on Health Month was extremely supportive.
posted by sciencegeek at 3:13 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

In case there's anything helpful there, previously.
posted by daisyace at 3:43 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I like Healthmonth etc, but would like to have some personal accountability and more direct scheduled time.

I would totally be up for a shared spreadsheet or doodle.com schedule where a couple of us picked a goal and time and saw matched up timezone/goal-wise, and could group that into a regular check.

I really really have made super progress on a bunch of things this year thanks to externalising my big goals, but some of these smaller but meaningful goals are hard to get done *especially* self-care goals. Like, why eat a nutritious breakfast for myself when I can skip it and get to work earlier to make other people happier?
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:51 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Okay, so what about a Slack for this, with some scheduling? We could keep a pinned list of current monthly tiny goals and matched pairs at the top. Habitca didn't work for me because it was easy to rig.

There's what - 5-6 of us on this thread? So we can just start with 2 or 3 calls/emails. And a single slack chat. And then if it works, post another MetaTalk in a month to say hey this works, anymore mefites want to join, it's different from HealthMonth like this xyz reasons, and just park it over with secretquonsar and health month and crone island etc.

I put up a doodle schedule here: http://doodle.com/poll/5h4m225pbp92iva9 for times that I would super duper like to try - you can adjust it to your timezone.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 4:10 AM on December 4, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh, this sounds great. Me too, please?
posted by needlegrrl at 4:55 AM on December 4, 2015

I want to do this but I suuuuuuper don't like talking on the phone. Can I be in just for the emails part?
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:37 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I need help finishing what I
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:21 AM on December 4, 2015 [2 favorites]

As someone who's also falling behind in school and could often use an accountability partner, I would be very interested in joining a Slack group for this. I don't mind the phone calls either.
posted by lunch at 8:39 AM on December 4, 2015

I'm with chainsofreedom on not liking the phone, having to talk on the phone actually causes an outsized percentage of stuff I never get done. Plus I feel like there's probably people out there who wouldn't join just because it involves giving out phone numbers over the internet. Also, I don't have a super set schedule, but can almost always find 5 min. within a half an hour block to send an e-mail.
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:43 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I definitely prefer online stuff to phone, not least because the goal I most need help with is, uh, calling friends back.
posted by thetortoise at 11:46 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also, thanks to cotton dress sock for bringing it up and dorthyisunderwood for getting the doodle set up. There's no way I can get a slack set up this weekend, but if nobody has done it by Monday morning, I'll get it made.
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:51 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've used Habitica for this somewhat, but the guild there is not a party (the parties are the actual accountability mechanism), and I know that it's much easier to hold myself accountable when I have more of a social relationship with the people involved — unlike my current Habitica party of strangers.

So, yeah, added the Doodle to my list of things to do today! But I gotta get some shit written (for another MeFite) before I have time to think about that, so I'll vote/participate later tonight.
posted by klangklangston at 12:22 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

What dorothyisontheball (you sure you need this?)! Thanks so much for actually making this happen, and Gygesringtone, too! Obviously, I'm on board! Not least because I'm having second thoughts about "WalnutBrigade" as a username in the light of day, but also because, yeah, I can see it being harder to let particular people down than lose points. It's a relief to find community in shame and hope, ha. xo to everyone who needs this :)
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:56 PM on December 4, 2015

As a supplement for those who are ok with telephone, what about a conference call to which participants call in, thus not requiring disclosure of phone numbers? The service is free, save whatever it usually costs you to make a domestic call. (The main number is U.S.-based, with alternate access numbers in many countries.)

I've found this helpful for scheduled work sessions with planned check-ins. For example, say a call is scheduled for Saturday 12:00 EST. People dial in and share what they're working on and agree on a check-in time, then either mute or hang up and dial back in for the check-in. I've found this helpful in both academic settings and mixed groups.

Personally, I tend to use one-off bookending calls ("hey I'm gonna do this now." later "OK done" or "ran into this issue, here's next step I'm going to take.") more than I do group call options. For a while, there was a #bookend hashtag on twitter and I found it inspiring to be among strangers getting diverse things done.
posted by wonton endangerment at 1:40 PM on December 4, 2015

wtf. my grandmother collapsed and is in the hospital, just learned. i think i'm actually out for a bit, sorry.
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:51 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

or i don't know what's happening over the next bit anyway.
posted by cotton dress sock at 4:02 PM on December 4, 2015

Oh, sorry, best wishes.
posted by klangklangston at 4:16 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thank you.
posted by cotton dress sock at 4:29 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sorry for that, it was unexpected… and I'm sorry to have given this thread a cold shower, just when people were maybe interested in the idea, and picking it up... Please do carry on if this sounds like something that would be helpful - it does to me, it's just the moment. Thanks again to dorothyisunderwood, Gygesringtone and wonton endangerment (good ideas there).
posted by cotton dress sock at 4:34 PM on December 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

So I set up a teeny-tiny slack for metafilter productivity geeks: sockclocks. Memail me your email address to get an invite and we can start swapping skypes and checking in for accountability.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 3:38 AM on December 14, 2015

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