By Alison Romer

I love to live my life where the Woo hits the road. Where the ethereal planning in my brain manifests into physical action that moves my life forward.

And to my utter delight – last week’s kickoff of the Pledgettes Accountability League (PAL) did JUST that.

We kicked off the virtual session with our fearless leader, Melissa Mittlestaadt, did some introductions and started some mantra tapping exercises to get us in the zone (talk about the kind of WOO I am here for). And – like every Pledgettes meeting I’ve attending – all of us were game – even if we’d never tried it before.

Prior to the session, Melissa asked us all to prepare a few thoughts around who we are, our goals, our fears and what accountability looks like to us.

As the meeting went on, we did a round table on the specifics – digging a little deeper each time the turn to speak came back around. It was a slow, comfortable process to get to know each other. 30 minutes in, we were all settled in to sharing our wildly specific roadblocks, exact numbers of debt to overcome, or the continuous roadblocks we have been hitting. There’s nothing like commiserating in the shared experience of a roadblock!

Preparing for the meeting was simple and diving in deeper with the group was fun.

Surprisingly, I’ve never been much of a goal setter. I hate when people ask me my five-year plan because I don’t have one. I’ve never created multiple savings accounts for specific goals or announced my New Years Resolutions on Instagram.

But Melissa helped me realize that goal setting isn’t quite so black and white.

The process is the product.

In that kickoff meeting – as we circled around getting specific about why we want to achieve our goals and how we will feel when we do – my goals started to take more shape and I started to get more excited.

After the group call, Melissa scheduled a 1:1 with me to review our progress from the meeting and it was more magic! Our conversation helped move some of my emotional goals into practical steps for action.

I was skeptical that PAL was right for me. Because my biggest money goal isn’t really about money: I want to be a writer. I want to earn money from my writing – but more importantly, I want to write all day, everyday and dazzle the readers with my compelling craft.

When I was in sixth grade growing up in Nashville, TN – my parents enrolled me in a songwriter’s camp. It was all little 10 – 12 year olds sitting with songwriters like John Hiatt, Deanna Carter and other Nashville greats to write lyrics and put them to cords.

I remember those camp days and those writing sessions so clearly. We would just start shouting out scenarios and find rhyming words while our camp hosts strummed along putting backing to our freshly emerging lyrics. And at the end? It was a WHOLE.SONG.

At the end of camp – we performed our songs on stage for our parents. It was pure magic. Where there had been nothing – now there was music.

One of the songs I wrote in a group with a singer-songwriter I still idolize, John Hiatt, was called “Pigs Don’t Fly.” It was about a lot of things – the certainties of this world that will never change, even if we want them to.

But mostly it was a song about pigs. Who don’t fly.

What an incredible feeling to create something so powerful from something so silly.

As a gift that Christmas, my mom got my the little pink pig ornament with purple wings to remind me of this accomplishment. I’ve kept it for 23 years, moved it to five states and displayed it on countless desks. He’s missing one wing and his string has seen better days – but he’s an ever-present reminder of that creativity inside of me that has the power to transform into something beautiful.

At our first PAL meeting – Melissa encouraged us to bring one item for Show & Tell that represent our goals. I brought this little pig and held him up proudly on the Zoom to a screen full of smiling, supportive faces.

Not all our goals will count dollars in a bank account.

My first two meetings with PAL are helping me to figure out the tenuous relationship between my creativity, my work and my income. And all of these emotional stories have a place as we identify the actionable next steps I can take – one day at a time – to move the needle on my life’s biggest dream.

No goal is too small and no goal is too big. PAL is a rocketship to understanding yourself and your goals more clearly and creating actionable steps for which you will be held accountable each week.

If you are a dreamer, a doer, or anywhere in between – I reccommend giving your goals a shot with a little dose of accountability from Melissa, The Pledgettes & PAL.

You can get more information on the program and sign up for the Q2 session (starting in April) HERE.