You’ve probably heard the phrase “finding strength in numbers” before. Maybe it described robust data in a research study. Or it was used to explain the benefit of people working together toward a common purpose. The phrase has certainly evolved to mean different things to different people.
And I’ve found that finding strength in numbers means different things to me too.
I cured my one more year syndrome last spring because I found strength in our numbers. After researching, planning, and creating a plan to fund our gap in early retirement – the numbers gave me the strength to finally say no to full-time work.
But I did fall back into my work habit last fall by filling most of my “free” time with side hustles. I ended up super busy and I didn’t work on building my exercise habit seriously enough. I chose wealth over health and basically set my extremely important goal of “improving wellness” aside.
I wasn’t surprised that my efforts had shifted back to working because we were going through so much change. After deciding to scale up our lake house remodel, I was concerned about all of the extra money we were spending. Keeping busy helped pass the days while we were waiting for the house to be done and it brought in some cash.
Late in December, we found out that the house was just weeks away from being done. And we also got the final bill for the remodel. Having the final numbers gave me the strength to shift my focus back to my health for 2018.
With this shift, I’m back to finding strength in numbers – but in some different ways.
As a school administrator, finding strength in numbers meant working with faculty, staff, and parents who were focused on a common mission – student learning and character development. But now that I work part-time from home, the “numbers” of people to collaborate with just aren’t there. I can see this being an issue for many entrepreneurs too.
Joining an Accountability Circle
One thing I’ve done to “grow my numbers” is join an Accountability Circle with four women I met at the PopUp Business School in Longmont last fall. We have a conference call once a week where we talk about our weekly goals and what we’ve accomplished. We also share challenges we’ve faced in getting things done. The feedback and encouragement I get from this group has been incredibly helpful.
And it’s not just a “feel good” hour long chat. We help each other to see blindspots too. We question each other to think more deeply and try new things. We may only be a group of five, but I’ve definitely found new strength with this group of women. I’ve never been in a “Mastermind” group, but from what I’ve read – there are similarities. If you’ve been in a Mastermind or any similar type of group, please share the strengths and challenges in the comments. The more we can learn, the better!
If you are an entrepreneur or if you work from home and find yourself struggling to meet certain goals – or if you just want others to bounce ideas off of, consider joining or starting a group like this. We are scattered all of the United States and it is working just fine. But we are all committed to being in the group and we think our group size is perfect for what we want to accomplish. Feel free to ask questions in the comments or send me an email for more information too.
Starting a Facebook Group
The Accountability Circle meetings have shown me how well working in a group helps to motivate me. You might be able to reach your goals on your own, but when you find something that works for you -take note of it! We talk about personal and professional goals in our group, but there was another area where I was seeking more support and synergy. And that is in the area of wellness.
How are those fitness resolutions working out for you? The number of “resolutionists” at our gym has already started to dwindle and I hate to see that every year. Again, some people have no trouble working out and eating right on a regular basis. Then there are the rest of us…
After reading Younger Next Year last summer and connecting with the idea that in most cases (other than serious illness or accidents) we can totally change our “aging graphs” – I thought about how fun it would be to find others who were excited about the Younger Next Year books. On New Year’s Eve, our Younger Next Year 2018 Facebook Group was started. I know some people don’t like Facebook and I’m not a big fan either. But it has been an amazing experience so far.
I’ll write another post about what is happening in the FB group because a few people have asked me to share more about it. We’re up to 214 members in 24 days – and I’ll tell you what, we’re definitely finding strength in numbers! People are connecting, sharing, and commenting on all kinds of wellness and aging topics. It is a super supportive and welcoming community – and we span more than four decades of ages (30-70+!)
- We find strength in numbers by adding people to the community each day who are working together toward a common purpose.
- We find strength in numbers by looking at data from heart rate monitors or pedometers and sharing how our activity levels are increasing because of being aware of the numbers!
- We find strength in numbers by sharing articles about calorie counting, fasting, protein, plant-based diets, and how they affect our weight.
- We find strength in numbers by being part of a caring group of people who are connected and committed. A key part of Harry’s rules. (And remember, this is a virtual group – which makes it even more interesting to us Baby Boomer and Gen X digital immigrants!)
And we even talk about money and retirement. “Spend less than you make” is one of Harry’s rules. But we’re finding strength in the numbers by going much deeper than that and talking about investing, health care, nursing home costs, and more.
I’m excited about what we have started. The sharing that is happening and the level of trust that is evident is more than I could have ever imagined. It’s easy to lead a group that is on the same mission and a group that believes in finding strength in numbers – no matter how you define that phrase.
Finding Your Strength in Numbers
Whether you have just started using a budget or reached a milestone on your net worth journey, there is strength in your numbers. Or maybe you are on a quest to lower your BMI or to run a personal best time in your next 5K race. There is strength in the numbers to help you reach those goals too.
And don’t forget the strength in numbers when joining a community (no matter the size) that helps you meet other goals – including simply having fun or meeting other people. It’s one of the smartest decisions I’ve made in a long time.
Photo credit: Michael Illuchine at freeimages.com