Squad goals for the new year

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, January 2, 2019

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Have you made your goal list for the new year? Did you consider your family, friends or community in any of those goals?

In these weekly articles, you may have discovered that my central theme is often community. I write about Suffolk, my family, my history, the history of my faith, the history of our community, people I meet, and people who inspire me. I write about people because I am a people person.

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To me, our living is about who we experience the journey with more than it is about our accomplishments alone. I believe good is accomplished through community. The Bible tells me so. The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18 NIV). Suitable means that God considered someone comparable and able to accomplish work along with Adam. We were created for community. Read the creation story and it provides some insight into God’s desire for squad goals — what we can accomplish together.

Essence magazine in 2016 explained squad goals like this: “Squad goals is an aspirational term to describe achievements that you would like to see your group of friends accomplish together.” Although the hashtag #squadgoals has gained notice in social media over the past four to five years, the term is not new. There are several contradictions on the origin of its use. Nevertheless, I believe in squad goals.

Some weeks ago, my middle school daughter arrived home after school so excited. She was eager to tell me about a conversation she had with some of her friends during lunch that day. I was eager to hear this, because adolescent conversations are very telling of adolescent thinking. She and her friends dreamed their plans for high school and college over greasy food and milk cartons. What I loved most about their vision casting was that my daughter had inspired her friends by sharing her plans first. They agreed that they each would do the same and decided to attend college in the same location one day. The plan includes her attending college on the West Coast. I am not thrilled about all the pieces of the vision. But for the moment, I saw this conversation as greatly beneficial for my daughter’s squad. I encouraged their vision by saying, “OK, you cannot be the one to let your friends down. You must do your part, because you brought this dream to them. That means keeping your grades up and staying on track.” Association guilt can have a positive factor. It is easier to abort a dream when it is just you involved, but not when your goal is connected to others.

For this year, let us become accomplished by association. If there is something you desire to do, I can guarantee that the outcome is greatly improved by gathering together the right people in the pursuit of a common goal. What would you do if you had a squad? What will you do in 2019 with your current squad?

Take the time to consider your goals. Choose two or three that you can do with other people. Pray about those people that you ask to join you in the pursuit of that goal. Then contact those individuals and ask them if they would be willing to take on the goal along with you as a squad. They must be working on the same goal along with you for accountability purposes and encouragement to continue to completion. Commit to checking in as a squad on a routine basis. Set measurable milestones for your squad members. Most importantly, agree to celebrate wins together along the way. Lastly, set a goal date on the calendar when you will have a great achievement party.

What can we do together in 2019? One of my favorite influencers posted her 2018 summary recently. After sharing her goals for the coming year, she closed the post with a comical call to action that I will borrow for this closing. In the words of Kim Cash Tate, “I better not be on this path alone. Who’s with me???” Here’s to squad goals for the new year.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.