Here’s to the Focusmates

In Fall 2019, my 2B semester at Waterloo, a few friends and I got together and started an accountability group. We all had similar, ambitious mindsets and wanted to keep each other accountable. Our goals ranged from academics, careers, relationships, hobbies, finances, fitness, mental health and more.

We met weekly. First, reflecting on the past week and then planning for the week ahead. This went on nearly every week for more than three years. We called ourselves the Focusmates.” A nod to one of our favourite productivity apps.

Over time, our process changed, people changed, we changed. But through it all, this weekly meeting was a rock; a sweet sense of familiarity amidst all the chaos.

I reflect on what I accomplished since then: a semester at the library, 2 internships, living in Montreal, graduating university, solo travelling South America, moving to New York, and starting my first full time job. All this through a whole ass pandemic.

Sometimes I wonder how I would’ve turned out if it wasn’t for this group. I’d likely be fine but things would be much different. This practice was a forcing function to be intentional and reflective. Instead of going with the flow, I took the wheel and was captain of my own ship.

In the past, we joked that we’d maintain this ritual until we’re 50. It was hugely mutually beneficial to all of us especially as we were pursuing similar goals such as surviving school and job searching. But as our paths diverged, the meetups became less useful. Last week, we made the decision to call it off. While this group served us well, it was time to move on. The last three years have been one hell of a run. We all grew so much since we started and I’ll be eternally grateful to the other members.

Here’s to the Focusmates 🍻

December 22, 2022

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