Jullien Gordon Create More Happy Hours

Ep. 25: Creating more Happy Hours with Jullien Gordon

How to Create More Happy Hours

Jullien Gordon is a speaker, teacher, coach and the founder of The Focused Group.

In this episode Jullien speaks about:

  • Creating more happy hours, tracking our happy hours and tools that he has created to help people create more happy hours;
  • Re-defining success;
  • Setting goals, stacking goals and accountability partners;
  • Social Friends vs. Success friends

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – Henry David Thoreau

Tools and resources:

The 2016 New Year Guide

The New Year Event

The Focused Group

The Thank Account

The Other 4.0

[Tweet “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.- Henry David Thoreau”]

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Hello friends, welcome to another episode of The Carry on Friendspodcast. This is episode 25. As always, I’m so grateful that you are listening and I’m excited about this episode. So today’s guest on the podcast is Jullien Gordon and Jullien is the founder of The Focused Group. He’s also a speaker, a teacher and a coach. I first heard Jullien speak last summer at a blogging conference here in New York. And since then, I have been part of his – I’ve subscribed to his blog, I’ve just been following what he’s been doing, I participate in The Focused Groupand a few other projects that Jullien has done. And I’m excited that you are listening. In this episode, Jullien speaks about creating more happy hours, tracking your happy hours and tools that he has created that I have used to help people create more happy hours like the  New Year Guide, one of my favorite tools out there and we talk about redefining success and much, much more.

I’m very excited about that because as you know – and I’ve talked about I do a lot of journaling. Writing is so therapeutic, there is so many benefits about it and it’s a practice that I believe that if you take up the writing habit, you will find that as you get consistent with your practice, you start to be more intentional, you start to live more meaningfully, you start building stronger and achieving abundantly. It’s just so exciting, I’m very excited. Also, remember that we are on Twitter and Facebook and I will put the information in the show notes. So on Twitter, we’re @carryonfriends, it is Carry on Friends official. I am on Twitter @carryonkerry. I’m not sure which platform you are on or you are listening to us on right now, but we are on iTunes Stitcher Radio, tune in and you can also listen to the podcast on the blog. So please visit us if you haven’t already subscribed, please subscribe. If you haven’t left a review, it would be very helpful and so appreciative if you rate and review the podcast. So I won’t keep you waiting any longer, here is my interview with Jullien.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Hello Jullien. Welcome to The Carry on Friendspodcast. How are you today?

Jullien Gordon:I’m doing great. Good morning.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Good morning. I’m so excited to have Jullien on the show and guys, I’m really nervous about this, I will be very honest. Jullien is the teacher, I’m the student and I’m so excited for him to be here because I know he’s going to give you so much information and I can’t wait for him to inspire you the way he has inspired me. So Jullien, tell our audience a little bit about you.

Jullien Gordon:I guess the best way to capture that is in moments. I love taking my daughter to swim lessons. I love hosting potluck dinners with friends. I love taking walks around the block with my wife. I love speaking in front of people and not just inspiring, but transforming. I love creating tools that help people design their lives and get in the driver’s seat of their lives. I love writing. I’m a homebody. I am an up-and-coming chef. I have a few dishes under my belt, but it’s one of the things that I’m intentionally working on to improve. We eat three times a day, so those might as well be happy hours when we’re eating right?

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Absolutely.

Jullien Gordon:So yeah, that’s a little bit about me. Some of the labels that people look for is I’m a Jamaican-American…

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Whoop! Whoop!

Jullien Gordon:Yes, yes. My dad is from Trelawny in Jamaica and I’m originally from Oakland, California. I went to UCLA for undergrad, Stanford for business school. Then moved out to New York and now I run an organization called The Focused Group. And that organization is committed to helping people design their lives and create more happy hours through small groups that set goals together – some people call them mastermind groups, also through the tool creation and the writings and the webinars and the podcast that we have. So yeah, that’s our commitment.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:So that is a lot of information. Let’s start with why you got into creating The Focused Groupor creating more happy hours. Tell us what led you to follow this mission through The Focused Group and through creating more happy hours.

Jullien Gordon:Yeah, well it really starts with this idea of more happy hours. I’ve been around some “successful people” going to business school like Stanford and things of that nature and I’ve met millionaires. And I realized that our metric for success has been wrong for a long time and a lot of our success has been measured by simply money. And of course when you come from not a lot of money and I came from privilege, but my parents didn’t spoil me in that way. So I wasn’t just brawling, you know what I’m saying. I never had a pair of Jordans. My dad – I had shoes from Payless. My dad was a simple man. So I’m a simple guy as well. But you know I’ve seen people have a lot of money and still not be happy. And it’s one thing to be on the low end of the totem pole and be looking up and be like, “Oh man, they got all that money. That’s where the happiness is at.” because you don’t have it. But now that I’ve actually experienced people who have it and still seeing that they are not happy, I’m like wait a second, hold up, there’s something missing here. This is what everybody has been told to go after in order to achieve happiness and I see people with it, not just a few people, I see a lot of people with it and not happy. And so I said what if we just change the metric in terms of how we define success. For me, I believe it always starts with our definition of success and we each have a unique and individual definition. But what people really want is not just more money, what we actually want is more happy hours and there are 30 year olds on this planet who have had more happy hours in their life than someone who is 90 years old and has 10 times as much money as them. And so really it’s around changing this metric that we use for success and saying you know what? In my life I’ve had thousands and thousands of happy hours and that’s where my true source of wealth comes from. So that’s where it starts from and then out of that emerges all the tools, the webinars, The Focused Groupetc.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Okay, awesome. Creating more happy hours is, it is something that is defined on an individual basis and in this culture where everything is more on social media and we’re looking at what celebrities are doing, do you think it is hard for people to define what a happy hour means to them?

Jullien Gordon:No, I don’t think it is hard because in my emails, in my weekly emails, I lately have been asking people to reply back to me with their happy hours from the past seven days. And you know, often times when you’re getting emails from people who you subscribe to their [08:09], you let it go to your spam folder or you skip it and it just stays there. And the responses that I have been getting from people have been amazing. Like they receive my email and they are happy to get it and they are happy – I mean how happy are you to get email? Unless it’s a business deal or contract coming through, most of us aren’t happy getting email. People are happy getting my emails because I ask them to simply take a moment and reflect on your past seven days and think about the happy moments that you experience. And people are writing back such amazing things and they are thanking me for prompting them to do so. People know what happiness means for them and happiness is often times a vague, vague idea and term that is out there. And when you really boil it down to these moments, you can see that it doesn’t have to be this vague thing. It’s actually happening in our lives, the question is, do we really notice it. One woman wrote me because you know I was in Paris during the terrorist attacks and of course that paints a negative picture of the world and of humanity. And that week, the woman wrote – one of the people wrote back, and she said, “You know what Jullien, you having me do this exercise reminds me that there is infinitely more good in the world than there is bad.” And when you think about the media, what does the media magnify? It magnifies all the negative stuff that is happening. And what we’re trying to do with more happy hours is simply magnify the good that is already happening in our lives that we don’t notice because we are rushing or because we are focused on the bad. There are happy moments happening in everyone’s life today, I guarantee it. It could be me looking out this window right here and seeing a leaf change color and I see oranges and greens and reds and yellows. This is a beautiful scene, but if I’m focused so much on my to-do list and rushing through life, then I miss this moment that is right here and accessible to me. I miss the opportunity to help a woman carry her stroller down the stairs because I’m so focused on where I need to be. These are moments where we can experience happy hours. They are available to us, the question is, are we going to jump in the bubble or are we going to stay – jump in the bubble and actually be in that moment. Because a lot of us are trying to be in many places at once, and when it comes to a moment, a moment is like a bubble and you can only be in that moment. I can’t be anywhere else, but talking to you right now. If my mind is focused on my to-do list while I’m talking to you right now or the argument that I got in yesterday while I’m talking to you right now, I’m not even fully here in this moment, therefore I can’t fully experience it. And happiness only happens in the here and now.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Absolutely. I love that. So let’s talk about tools that – your top tool for creating more hours that you offer to your readers and to your audience.

Jullien Gordon:Yeah, the top tool right now for creating more happy hours is, the New Year Guide. And this just comes back to designing your life according to what you want. So many of us have navigated our lives unintentionally and it is really hard to experience more happy hours when you feel that life is happening to you as opposed to you co-creating the life that you have. Whenever you feel like you’re supposed to do something, it is really hard to feel happiness in the living of that life. And so, a lot of us have been taught to be good, get good grades, go to a good school, get a good job and we are on that track and we are checking off all these boxes, but it’s somebody else is planning vision for our lives and we are successful on that plan, but if you succeed according to someone else’s definition of success and not your own, it is really hard to be happy. And then so, it is really taking a step back. The New Year Guide is just a tool, it doesn’t just have to be done in December and January, but it’s a tool that you can download at any moment of your life and just step back and say, “What do I want?” And that is the hardest question for people to answer. A lot of us know what we don’t want; I don’t want this kind of job, I don’t want this kind of partner, I don’t want this, I don’t want that. But when you ask people to say okay, tell me what you do want, it is the hardest question for people to answer. But once you start to get clarity on those answers, and that’s what the New Year Guide draws out, you can start moving your life in that direction. And life no longer becomes this competitive thing because you’re not trying to race down a paved road to try to beat other people, “oh he has a 3.9 GPA, I need a 4.0 GPA”, “he or she is making $150,000, I need to make 160, 170”. You’re not competing against anyone, you are simply creating the life that you want.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Yes. I love what you said because I think I read it in the EMyth where you have to live your life intentionally and this New Year Guide, it really requires you to sit down and be intentional and think about be in the here and now, think of what you want for your life. So I love that about the New Year Guide. Now, the New Year Guide is not a little piece of paper, it is a really nice book and I love it. But what challenges have – anyone has any challenge about completing the guide? What do you find struggle with in terms of completing the New Year Guide?

Jullien Gordon:Great question. To be honest, I know that everybody who downloads the New Year Guide, doesn’t complete it. And I have actually been working on how to close that gap. So this year, I’m actually going to be doing a webinar after people have downloaded it, where I’m going to be guiding people through some of the pages in the book. Because you know, based on The Focused Group and the methodologies that we have there, once you get somebody started, they are more likely to finish, but when people print it out or they download fillable PDF and they look at it, it seems daunting. But I know that once people start, they are actually going to fall in love with it and continue to complete the rest of the pages. And you know what? Every page may not be for you at this moment in your life, but you do need to focus on the ones that are critical to you. The one that I always come back to is one, what’s your definition of success? That’s something we evaluate every single year. We don’t just have one single definition of success and that carries you through your entire life, no, it’s something that we need to come back to. Once you start from there, then we can say what kind of goals come out of that new definition of success you came up with. And so, there are some key pages that I think are critical, but then there are others where if the family domain of your life is perfect right now, then you may not need to set goals for that area, but if you don’t set goals in that area and create new intentions for it, you might find that next year the family domain isn’t as strong.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Right and you know I love that, what’s great about working with you is that you have these problems that get people to think. And I think the webinar is going to be great for filling out the 2016 New Year Guide. And also to your point, I am looking at my 2015 New Year Guide and I didn’t complete a lot of it because well last year, I wasn’t working. So I couldn’t fill in the section about what I’ll do differently at work, but I did scribble a little something about if I was working what I would want to do, you know comparing my last experiences. And right before we got on the call, I flipped through them like wow, I’m actually leaning in, I’m speaking up for myself. So I really – I’m so excited about the New Year Guide, I’m so excited about this webinar and I really, really want the audience – I actually had planned to go over my New Year Guide in a little bit to the audience, just to show what happens when you are intentional, when you write down these goals and when you look at it – well, we have looked at it six months ago, but when you look at it at the end of the year and you see actually what you have accomplished, I think it’s just really a great motivator. I was asking you for my new New Year Guide in August because I looked at it and I was like wow, this is happening. So I’m really, really excited about this and I really want people to get intentional about the way we live our lives. Because like you said, the new 4.0 isn’t necessarily the grade in school, it is your personal capital – I’ll actually let you talk about the new 4.0.

Jullien Gordon:Yeah, so it’s – you know we’ve been focused on the other 4.0 or the old 4.0 from junior high school. And a lot of people got good grades and they might have had a 4.0, 3.9 whatever and they realized that that had no bearing on their success. It might have opened some doors like where they might have went to grad school or where they went to undergrad. But at the end of the day, the – I actually know the valedictorian from my high school and she’s doing okay. She is not doing extremely better than anyone else even though she had the best GPA in high school. So I’ve actually identified this other 4.0 that is critical to your success throughout your entire life and that’s your personal capital which is how well you know yourself, your awareness and your gift, talents, strengths and skills or your gift, talents and strengths. And then there is your intellectual capital which is what you know; that is either mastery at some sort of skill, some sort of subject. And a lot of people may have majored at something in college and they may be working in an industry today, but they don’t have any mastery. They can’t go to the market right now – if they were to get fired today and they had to go sell their services as a consultant or a coach, they don’t really have any skill mastery or subject mastery that they can say this is my skill, I’m great at it and here is what its value is in the marketplace. Then there is your social capital which is who you know and who knows you and this is your networks in all directions; up, down, across and out. And finally, there is your financial capital which is who knows that you know what you know, so financial capital actually grows at the intersection of your intellectual and social capital. So the more people that know that you know how to help them get a job, the more opportunities are going to come your way in terms of coaching opportunities, speaking opportunities etc. But if you have this great intellectual capital and nobody knows that you have it, then guess what? You get no financial reward from all of that brilliance that you have. So this is the other 4.0. And what is beautiful is that you get to control your personal capital, you get to grow your intellectual capital and you get to grow your social capital? And the more you grow those three things, the more financial opportunities are going to come your way.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Absolutely and the other 4.0 is also laid out in the New Year Guide. And it is going to take some people longer to figure out to their other 4.0, but I believe that once you are committed to doing the work, because doing the work is, we can’t – you said it, you can’t cheat it. You just have to go through the process in order to know what that other 4.0 is and be committed to it and then you will start to see subtle changes and I think that is key. We all expect this big bang and everything changes overnight, but it is the subtle changes that build on each other. It is like stacking goals. It is building on each other to really start seeing the full magnitude of changes that have been to you over a period of time and not just like overnight. So yes, I’m so loving this conversation. Alright, so let’s talk about New Year’s resolutions. I purposely had you, on the podcast because it is the time of year when people start making New Year’s resolutions and by the end of January, a lot of those resolutions didn’t happen. And it is really, New Year’s resolutions to the opposite of creating happy hours because you are just doing it because you think you should. So let’s talk about why people do not stick to New Year’s resolutions and maybe what’s one challenge or one reason why people do not achieve goals or stick to their New Year’s resolutions.

Jullien Gordon:Yeah, that’s a great question. And all of people say, oh New Year’s resolutions don’t work, no that’s not true. It’s that we’re not working New Year’s resolutions right, but New Year’s resolutions work, people set goals all the time. The first and biggest problem is that most people set New Year’s resolutions on January 1st and that’s the day after they got extremely drunk and tired from the New Year party. Why would you ever set goals for your life the day after you drink more alcohol than you drank all year or you partied until 5 AM? It doesn’t make any sense. So that’s why the New Year event is on January 2nd, not January 1st. So that’s first and foremost, that’s just the funny side. But the real important thing is that we all have difficulty saying no, we are yes people because many of us are people pleasers. We think that the more people we please, the more successful we will be and that’s just not true. And so what happens is, every week we all get 168 hours. We all get 168 hours except for the last week of your life. And what happens is, we go from the last week of December into the new week in January and we don’t say no to anything. So if you are setting a new intention or new goal for your life, you have to ask yourself first and foremost before you even take action, what am I going to say no to that I did last week to create space in my life for this new intention and this new goal I have this week. So am I going to not sit on the couch and  binge watch my favorite shows to create space for this exercise goal, to create space for this new learning or cooking goal, to create space for my career search. Where am I going to find that time? Because often times people are trying to pour on these new things to a life that is already busy. So it really starts with getting control of your time and finding out where is the time that I actually have to make space for these things. 

And what’s interesting is when I was in high school, I found that I had better grades when I was in sports season than when I was out of sports season. And it doesn’t make sense because I always appeared busier during sports season, but the reality was, is that I was more efficient. When I didn’t have practice after school, I would go home 3:30, 4 o’clock and I would have maybe only two hours of homework to do, but I would let that two hours of work spill into 5 hours, simply because the space was there. Whereas, I was in season, I knew I only had two hours and if I didn’t do it in that two hours, it wasn’t going to get done. So often times, people think they’re busy, but the reality is, is that they are letting or allowing things that should take shorter amounts of time to fill up the emptiness in their lives. And so they are not that busy and so we need to figure out what we’re going to say no to and how we’re going to be more efficient to create space for these new goals and new intentions. And then of course, as you mentioned earlier, there is goal stacking. We set New Year’s resolution and we set a goal in every domain of our lives; health, food, our family, career, money – we set all these goals at once. But you know the way goal stacking works is you may set all those goals at the beginning of the year, but we tackle one each month. You stack one arm. So my first goal is the exercise goal. I am not going to do anything about my financial goal or anything like that in January. I’m focused on my exercise goal and integrating that into my life just like sleeping, breathing and eating. And now January is done, and oh I got the handle of that. I’m going to the gym four times a week, it’s integrated into my life. Great, now we pick the next one. Now, I’m going to focus on my financial goal and that’s February. And I found that when people do goal stacking instead of trying to do all these goals at once, they are more successful. Because if you’re juggling – if you’re about to juggle and I throw you 8 balls to catch at once, how are you going to do it?

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Can’t.

Jullien Gordon:You can’t, right. But if I say, here is one; toss that up and toss that down. Here is two, here’s three and all of a sudden, you’re starting to get a hang of it because you are adding them on one by one, not all at once.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Right, right. I just love that you said we essentially try to do too much all at once, and because we do that, that’s I think the easiest way to just give up on everything. Instead of scaling back, we’re like oh let’s just give up and not do anything. So it is really important that we tackle one at a time, like I’m looking at my New Year Guide again and I said I want to exercise three times a week. I’ve been doing that and my co-workers like, you have to eat differently, I’m like I know I have to do that, but let me just get a hang of working out three times a week then I could deal with eating differently. Because when I try to do too many things at once, I end up not really moving the dial as far as I really want it to go. So it’s not even the complicated things, some things as simple as exercising, you know you have to exercise and to change your eating habits, but you just have to tackle one at a time whichever one is easier. For some people, it is probably changing the eating habits first before the exercise. But the lesson here is, one at a time. So I love that about The Focused Group. It was in almost 12 months, all the things that I have accomplished, whereas before I looked at it like Mount Everest, I’m like how am I going to tackle all of this. And in less than a year, I have tackled so many things. That is amazing. Now, I want you to tell our audience a little bit more because you mentioned it, we have to create space in our lives, maybe we don’t binge watch Scandalor How to Get Away with Murder, but there’s other aspects that we have to do and you talk a lot about this social friends versus success friends. And before, I’ll let you explain what social friends and success friends are to the listeners.

Jullien Gordon:Yeah, so a lot of us have friends and a lot of our friends came to us based on convenience right? Nobody was out there, I’m looking for a good friend right now, you kind of naturally just met your friends whether that was through work, what it was school, church, wherever, you naturally met them. And a lot of our friendships are derived out of convenience which is cool, it is great that we meet people in that way. But when you find friends based on convenience, it’s almost like having a sibling. You don’t really choose intentionally about who your friends were. And there are your social friends that you party with and it’s all about having fun together and that’s great, we need social friends. But I found that sometimes it is really hard for your social friends to also be your successful friends. Your social friends want you for who you are; they like that you’re funny, they like that you play video games with them, they like that you watch Scandalwith them on Thursday nights etc. But your successful friends are the people who see you for who you could be and they actually are pushing you. They are like, “Kerry-Ann, you don’t need to be watching Scandalright now, your podcast is launching tomorrow. You need to go home and matter of fact, not only do you need to go home, I’m actually going to go to Starbucks with you and get it done.” And sometimes it is rare, but sometimes your social friends can be your successful friends and that’s a beautiful combination, but in many cases, they are not. And so, often times we have to surround ourselves with other people who believe what we believe and actually want better for themselves, but not just want better for themselves, but also want better for you. And so, that’s really the difference. And knowing if you go down the list of people in your phone, the top 10 people you call and you ask, “Wow, are they a social friend? Is it just about fun when I hang out with them? Do they just like me for who I am?” And that’s great, because you need people to know you for who you are; friends from elementary school etc. But you also need people around who are going to push you into who you could be.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Right, so as we wrap up, let’s look at the starting point. What’s the starting point for creating more happy hours? Let’s start with the New Year Guide. We start with the New Year Guide as a– I don’t want to say holistic, but let’s use holistic starting point to evaluating everything we have to do and then what comes next?

Jullien Gordon:That’s a great question. I don’t think you have to start with the New Year Guide. And this notion of creating more happy hours – let’s not even go there. Let’s just say acknowledging the happy hours that are already happening in your life because they are already there. So one thing I encourage people to do, you know I have my thank account and my thank account is my version of the gratitude journal and it is on my website. And I started this thing April 6th, 2011 and over the past four years, I have documented over 12,000 moments of gratitude in this little book. I call them millionaire moments or happy hours. And so that means just before you go and try to create happy moments, why not just appreciate the ones that are already happening in your life. The other thing you can do to really acknowledge where you are in terms of happiness and happiness is this hard thing to measure, I found simply get a calendar you know from your insurance people, you know State Farm might have a calendar that they give away for free that you put on your fridge. You put that up and every night before you go to bed or every morning when you wake up, you simply draw a happy face that reflects how you feel. If you feel sad that day, you draw a sad face. If you feel great as you go to bed because you had a productive day; you had lunch with a friend and then you had dinner with your family, then you draw a big smiley face. And after you do this – it is very simple, you put it on your bathroom mirror, wherever you are going to see it, you’re going to start to see patterns in terms of how you feel. And if you see enough sad faces in your row, you know that something is off. And if you see a lot of happy faces in a row, you know that you are in alignment. So that’s why I start with tracking your happiness and then two, acknowledging the good that is already happening in your life and then from there, we can start to create. That’s what The Focused Groupis about, the New Year Guide, well once we’ve already started to acknowledge the good that is already in our lives, now we can step in, how do I create more good.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Right, right. And so, I will have links to the New Year Guide, The Focused Group, the thank account – all of that in the show notes. But what’s one take away that you would like our audience to have outside of getting the New Year Guide coming to the New Year event? What’s really your big take away that you want people to have?

Jullien Gordon:Yeah, so if you really want to be successful especially if you are type A, I encourage you to not go alone. As type A’s, we are the ones who when our group was not doing well in our project and it was due tomorrow, we’re the ones like, “Just give me everything, I’ll do it and then I will turn it in and put everybody’s name on it.”

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Yes, yes, yes.

Jullien Gordon:And while you may have got the grade that you wanted, you did it with a lot of stress and a lot of frustration and a lot of resentment. There is actually an easier way to navigate life and to become the successful person that you want to be. And the easiest way to do that is in community and finding other people who are committed to not only their success, but also to your success. Yeah, so I really just encourage people not to go alone. At the beginning of the year, 2015, I wanted to be a better cook. I was tired of going to my own potlucks and leaving with my dish – my dish is supposed to be gone right? So I had this goal to be a better cook for a long, long time and it just wasn’t happening. And so, at the beginning of the year, guess what I did? I hired a friend to come in for one evening, I hired her for $150 and she came and taught me how to cook three of my favorite dishes. So I set the goal and then I got somebody else involved in the goal. And so for some of us, we have these goals and I really challenge you to get other people involved; it could be a coach, it could be a consultant, it could be a personal trainer, it could be a friend who is going to meet you at the finish line of that marathon. Get somebody else involved in your goal, do not try to go at it alone because we have this weird psychology about ourselves. As human beings, we’re more uncomfortable disappointing other people than we are ourselves. And so, rather than seeing that as a negative thing, let’s say how do I get other people involved in what I’m doing. And once you do that, you will find yourself achieving a higher level. It is the same way as a personal trainer, if you go to a gym and you are working on some push-ups, you can knock out 15 on your own, but you think that that’s it because it is just you. If you have a personal trainer there, they’re going to say – once you hit 15, they’re going to say give me three more. And all of a sudden out of nowhere comes three more push-ups. Where do they come from? In the presence of somebody else being there and seeing you for who you could be.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:And that’s what The Focused Groupdoes. And I spoke about working out three times a week, I knew I needed to work out so I went to my co-worker, I’m like, “Hey you know I have this workout DVD, we could go to the office gym and work out.” She’s like, “Yeah sure.” That is how I’m working out three times a week because I went to my co-worker. Luckily my employer, they pay for one yoga class and a Zumba class, so we just needed to fill out the other two and that’s how we got it done. And she was like, “You know what Kerry-Ann, thank you for coming to me with that.” I was scared to do it, but I’m like you know what, I really need to get this workout. And I knew that if I waited until I left work, commuted – you know if you’re living in New York City, you know commute could range from sick passenger to train traffic. By the time you get home, you’re like I don’t want to do this. So I figured, cut out the commute, my company has a gym, let’s utilize that gym for 20 minutes, that’s all I need, 20 minutes. And I’ve been doing it for three weeks, so I’m very excited…

Jullien Gordon:That’s amazing.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Yes, yes thank you. So accountability is such a key thing. The Focused Groupis the biggest accountability that I’ve asked for myself as a type A person. I’m able to – I’ve actually had goal planning parties in 2012 and I was so excited. And I was like holding everyone else accountable, but no one was holding me accountable. And soThe Focused Groupwas really that differentiator for me. I needed someone to push me beyond the way I push other people and it’s just been really amazing. So I really want my audience to, if not Jullien’s The Focused Group, you need an accountability partner, a success friend who will be an accountability partner because our social friends – because that goal planning party, they were cousins. They are not really going to hold me accountable the way I need to. They are like alright, fine. So you really need someone who is really committed to your success and hold you accountable to make sure that what it is, and not just say, “Alright, you know Kerry you want to do this.” They will ask you why you want to do it because they want to know that they are supporting you into something that they really feel will make a difference or like you said, sometimes our success friends, they see you in a different way than you see yourself and they have an outside perspective. And they can tell you like no I don’t think that is the right way to go. Ginger does that for me. So yes, accountability is so important. And for 2016, in addition to tracking your happy hours, acknowledging your happy hours, start seeking out accountability for the things that you want to ultimately accomplish. And over time you’ll see the people who will be your go to or your support. And I figure that this year I knew from all my goals which people I could go to, to hold me accountable to get my goals accomplished.

Jullien Gordon:Beautiful, beautiful.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Really amazing. I’m so excited! Alright Jullien, thank you so much for being on the Carry on Friendspodcast. It’s just really been a pleasure working with you, learning and I’m just looking forward for 2016. And I hope that my audience will just get on board and really be committed an intentional about the change that they are looking to achieve in 2016 and beyond.

Jullien Gordon:Indeed, it was so great to be here and I’m so happy for you and let’s continue to make it happen.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:Oh yes. Oh, before I leave, I want to tell the audience, the podcast was the first goal I set for myself in The Focused Group. So it is really apropos that you are on the podcast at the December episodes.

Jullien Gordon:Wow, that’s huge. That’s huge!

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:So thank you again for listening. Jullien, thank you for being on the show and let’s create more happy hours.

Jullien Gordon:Yes indeed. Thank you Kerry-Ann.

Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown:You are welcome.


Kerry-Ann Reid-Brown is Founder & host of Carry On Friends one of the first podcasts dedicated to the Caribbean American Experience. She is leading the way for Caribbean Podcast as the founder of Breadfruit Media, the first Caribbean podcast production company; and founder of the Caribbean Podcast Directory a place to discover podcasts by people of Caribbean Heritage.