Anne’s Journal

by Tim Cimino

In the story on the Superprogram page, Anne does a tremendous amount in one year. It may seem that she  is an overachiever. But here’s a summary of what she does week by week for the first four months. It will help you realize that what Anne did isn’t all that incredible, especially since she got Buddy support to help keep her on track. Note that web site resources are italicized the first time they appear in the journal.

Week 1

I went to the Group Genie website. I read the Intro Page. Then I read the other four pages that were recommended in the sidebar.  The seven superhero ideas really impressed me!  I decide to study the web site in more detail later. (30 minutes)

Later in the week, I read more about the CLEAR Superprogram. I knew that I didn’t have the discipline to do this on my own, so I read through the Buddy System Page and then immediately call Tasha to ask her if she wanted to be my Buddy. (45 min.)

Week 2

I really like the CLEAR method! With my first call to Tasha, we both made the goal to look at all of the materials mentioned on the CLEAR Superprogram Page to get an idea of how they fit together. (15 min. for the call. One hour to do the reading.) Tasha agreed to read the Short Course in Goodness, so she can catch up with me.

When Tasha called me, we found out that we both did the reading and are even more excited about the program. We talked about some of the insights about doing more good.  Before we make a Life Pact, we decide to do one of the four assessments. We went with the recommended assessment, the Lifestyle Review. We chatted about other things, too. (30 min. for the part of the call related to CLEAR.)

The Lifestyle Review took 90 minutes to do.

Week 3

In our first call of the week, we talked about all the insights and ideas for action that we gained from the Lifestyle Review. Instead of taking 10 minutes for the call, we actually went almost an hour! But Tasha said to think of this as being like Sounding Board. So I decide that it’s part of my Capacity Building hour of CLEAR. (1 hour)

I felt a little guilty that I haven’t made my Life Pact and that I’m not doing CLEAR yet, but Tasha thinks we need to ease  into it. We set a goal to start to think of four-month goals to put on our Life Pacts. To get ideas, we both agreed to read through the CLEAR Actions Menu. (50 min. to read the menu and make a list of possible goals.)

In our second call of the week, I told her that I still don’t feel like I’m ready to make four month goals. I decide that I’ll do the Well Analogy Exercise to figure out what my priorities ought to be. Tasha goes along with that idea. (1 hour for the Well Analogy)

Week 4

In our first call of the week we discussed insights from the Well Analogy. Tasha says that it was better than a $50 seminar! My big insight was that being non-assertive is my biggest obstacle. In my personal relationships and at work, I let people push me around, and in trying to please others, I end up doing the things they should be doing. I decided to use the Integrating Assertiveness resource.  I decide to volunteer with Group Genie to help improve these programs. Tasha sees my point and she also joins. (1 hour phone call)

We commit to working at least 90 minutes on assertiveness before the next call. But I can’t resist looking at some of the other materials on the website for about a half hour. (2 hrs.)

In our second call we make it short. Instead of talking about assertiveness, we decide that it’s time to create a Life Pact, or at least make a first draft.

I draft my first Life Pact and it’s very simple. It takes about an hour. Here are the major goals for four months:

Capacity Building:   1. Work on and practice assertiveness to the point where I can use it as needed. 2. Cut fixed costs so that I can save at least $100 a month.

Live my mission:   1. Use the Life Mission Statements and Process Statements resource to explore for my mission 2. Otherwise, choose activities that give me deep enjoyment.

Add to the world’s stability:   1. Learn more about the Golden Rule 2.0 by reading about it on its “superhero” page. 2. Take the Ecological Lifestyle Assessment. 3. Read the Wise Giving material, and make contributions once I cut my costs. 4. Do whatever seems best week to week, maybe using the CLEAR Actions Menu when I need an idea.

Ripple Effect:   1. Tell my pastor at church about the goodness materials, and suggest the possibility of starting a Discussion & Action Group. 2. Look in my personal address book and email or call one person a week, pointing out a benefit of the CLEAR Superprogram that they’d likely be personally interested in.

Week 5

CLEAR this week was thrown out the window because my friend Sarah had a family crisis, and I was there for emotional support. Right after that, I got a bad cold and didn’t feel like doing anything for a few days.

Week 6

First Call: We discuss our Life Pacts. Tasha isn’t done and needs a few more days. I slowly began to work on my CLEAR goals.

Week 7

C: I spent 1 hour shopping for cheaper utilities, phone and Internet service. I save $50/ month, so far. I spend a second hour working on assertiveness.

L: I pulled out my guitar and played it.

E: Literacy volunteering.

A: I read the article about the Golden Rule 2.0 and the three fictions stories that illustrates it.

R: [Nothing this week.]

Week 8

C: I spend another hour trying to cut fixed costs. I begin to explore finding a cheaper apartment.

L: Played my guitar again.

E: Literacy volunteering

A: I take the Ecological Lifestyle Assessment.

R: I call an out-of-town friend to tell him how CLEAR can help him.

Week 9

C: More apartment hunting.

L: Guitar again. I write a song!

E: Literacy volunteering

A: I re-read the Wise Giving article that I had skimmed. It has new meaning now that I understand the Golden Rule 2.0.

R: I wrote a personal note to an out-of-town friend about how CLEAR can help her.

Week 10

C: I practice the assertiveness exercises with Tasha.

L: I practice my song on the guitar.

E: Literacy volunteering

A: I begin doing research to find good environmental charities and I donate to one.

R: I call and tell an out of town friend how Helper’s Helper can help him and his volunteer program.

Week 11

C: More practice of assertiveness. I am now mentally ready to use the skill in real life situations.

L: I tell my boyfriend that we need to talk about making changes in our relationship. I will be using my assertiveness soon!

E: I copy the article on Wise Giving and give it Doris at Church. I tell her that I think that her women’s group would love the article and also many other things on the Group Genie web site. I recommend that she read the five Introductory materials in the sidebar so that she can have have the big picture about Group Genie.

A: I re-register myself as a voter since my registration lapsed.

R: I tell a staff person at the Literacy program about the CLEAR Superprogram.

Week 12

C: Tasha and I finish working on the Integrating Assertiveness material, except for the reviews.

L: I negotiate some changes with my boyfriend that make us immediately both happier.

E: Literacy volunteering

A: I find an internet site about environmental issues and read up on a few.

R: I call an out-of-town friend and tell her how CLEAR can help her.

Week 13

C: More research on finding a cheaper apartment.

L: I begin working on the Life Mission and Process Statements material. I do the first of four sections.

E: Literacy volunteering

A: I do internet research and make some calls to find out the best charities that help poor people get the means to sustain themselves. Micro businesses for women in poor countries sounds like a good idea. I make a donation.

R: I follow-up with some of the people that I talked to about CLEAR.

Week 14

C: I find an apartment that will save me $80 a month, and it’s better!

L: I get an idea for helping my boss look good and give me some more interesting work at the same time. I ask for a meeting, and plan out my assertiveness statement.

E: Literacy volunteering

A: I write a letter to my two Senators about an environment issue: water quality.

R: I wrote a personal note to an out-of-town friend about how CLEAR can help her.

Week 15

C: I review the assertiveness. Tasha says that she needs to make a change and can no longer be my buddy in two weeks. I need to find another Buddy!

L: I meet with my boss and she likes the plan! It’s a go!

E: Literacy volunteering

A: I get my bike repaired and begin to use it for short trips (this helps health and environment and finances-but just a bit.)

R: I wrote a personal note to follow-up with a friend, encouraging her to try CLEAR and offering to be her support buddy.

Week 16

C: I ask another acquaintance named Maria to be my Buddy. Maria seems like she would follow through with contacts, and she’s told me before of some goals that she’d like to do. We talk, and I walk her through the process.

L: I do the second part of the Life Mission material.

E: Literacy volunteering

A: Since the bike is fixed and we had a nice day, I make a long trip for exercise (and pleasure.)

R: I wrote a personal note to an out-of-town friend about how CLEAR can help him.

Week 17

This week it’s time to move apartments. I take a vacation from CLEAR! Ironically, I have to use my assertiveness skills twice! It feels so good to be able to handle the situations!

Week 18

C: I do another review of the assertiveness skills. I’ve got it now!

L: I do the third part of the Life Mission material. I now have a vision of becoming a computer graphic artist, but I’m not sure if it’s for me.

E: Literacy volunteering

A: I write a letter to my Congressman about air quality standards.

R: I follow-up with one of my out-of-town friends about how CLEAR.

Week 19

L: I do the fourth part of the Life Mission material. I now have a vision of becoming a computer graphic artist, but I’m not sure if it’s for me.

It’s almost near the end of my four-month Life Pact, so I spend the week evaluating my efforts in all five areas. I redo the Lifestyle Review and find that I have done a ton! I do a first draft of goals for my next Life Pact.

Week 20

CLEAR: I finish creating a new Life Pact for the next four months. I will take a graphic design class, continue teaching literacy, and be part of the Discussion & Action Group to study the Group Genie website.

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