There’s a lot to be said about “putting it out there.”
We all know I’m a huge fan of vision boards and creations (and from the superb emails and tweets I’ve received where you’ve excitedly told me about making a vision board and choosing words to live by of your own, I think we’re on the same page with this) but there’s no denying that while having aspirations and dreams is brilliant – and necessary – one of the best things you can do to bring them to fruition is to publicly declare them.
Quite simply, because it creates ‘possibility.’ It takes those dreams from nebulous swirls in your head, solidifies them and launches them out into the world. Boldly. With intention.
Not only that, on the journey from headspace to outerspace, hopes and dreams gather obscene amounts of energy and, unconsciously or consciously, we start taking purposeful steps towards their fulfillment.
This is what we want, no? We’re not just talking about our aspirations because they sound good, or because we think we should have goals, or because the girl next to us at work has them, so perhaps we should too – are we?
I’m going to assume that the answer to that is a categorical no! and tell you a story about why being held accountable is so powerful.
A Little Tale About Running
Growing up, I used to love cross country running at school and would go so far as to say I pretty good at it. I liked the challenge and enjoyed competing at different levels for a bit of fun.
Over the years though – and up until 2010 – the furtherest I’d run was about 11kms, and on average, “going for a run” meant busting out 7kms and that would just about do me. I only discovered outdoor bootcamp-style training towards the end of 2010, so up until then, most of my exercise was done at the gym – and it’s pretty hard to get excited about running for over an hour on a treadmill watching the news on the TV in front of you.
Anyway, my good friend Liz, who I also used to work with, had run a bunch of half and full marathons and despite the fact that the thought of running for two full hours
scared bewildered me, some curious (demented) part of my psyche thought running a half marathon would be kind of cool… so before I knew it, I was puffing my chest out and casually saying “Yeah, I’ll do it.” 21kms of constant running? No biggie. I’ve got this one, guys.
Comfort zone: I was out of it. But it didn’t matter. I think the reason I’d been so willing to sign myself up was that I’d never known any of my friends to compete in a race longer than 5kms before meeting Liz, and because she’d done several long distance races (and lived to tell the tale) pushing myself and my fitness to a whole new level became a possibility. This normal friend of mine, who had a full-time job and a busy social life had done it – why couldn’t I commit to something like that?
I knew upping my training load significantly would require a few sacrifices and a lot of hard work, and I knew there would be mornings where I’d grit my teeth through early morning runs when it was dark outside and my muscles were killing me, but I also knew I would be suitably rewarded when I crossed that finish line – regardless of the time I ran.
The moral of the story here is the number one thing that kept me on track when I had an I.T band injury that prevented me from training and when I was busy and I could have easily let my running routine slide was that I’d publicly commited to running this race. I told everyone at work. Liz, and other friends and colleagues, checked in constantly. Giving up just wasn’t an option – and when I crossed the finish line in 1 hour 55 minutes, happily exhausted, I was thrilled I’d done something “out of the ordinary” for me, because the achievement felt damn good. Every ache in my muscles the next day felt like a big cheer from my body, congratulating me on proving to myself that limitations are simply the product of our minds.
I know for sure that without that public commitment, running a half marathon would have been another wishy-washy goal that I pushed aside when life got in the way. Saying it out loud made it real.
A Space to Share + Inspire
I wrote this post today because I wanted to create a space where we could all shout our big goal/s from the rooftops, so that together we can make them happen!
If you feel like you need someone to keep you on track with your goal/s, simply leave a comment below telling us what you hope to achieve and by when, and then flick me an email with “Making my dreams a reality!” in the subject line. Once I receive your email, I’ll assume you’re in for a bit of cheeleading and I’ll check-in with you personally from time to time to see how you’re going.
How does that sound? Good? Great.
My Bold Declarations
The big, juicy goals I’m really commiting to for the next six months are all health related and are as follows:
Running 500km before 1 June: This means that before our wedding, I want to have clocked up 500km’s in my legs, or approx 25kms per week for 20 weeks. I’m going to do this over and above the km’s I run at my bootcamp classes three times a week as they’re too hard to measure, so looks like I’ll be hitting the track a fair bit in the next few months!
Quit the choc attack: This one is my most audacious goal for two reasons – 1. Because I’ve become reliant on my chocolate fix of an afternoon, and the fact I think I “need” the sweet sugar high scares me, and 2. Because reaching for chocolate has become a deeply ingrained habit that I know will take a lot of willpower to crack. But I’m determined! No more will I be a slave to the sweet poison. I’m going to reread Sarah Wilson’s awesome ‘I Quit Sugar’ ebook for added motivation and I’ll be focusing on healthy snack alternatives to help me through the 3pm munchies at work.
Alcohol once a month til June: This sentence is a bit clunky but it was the easiest way to word it. Basically, until June, I’m giving myself one occasion each month to have a drink and a good time, but apart from that I’ll be alcohol free. I’m not a big drinker these days anyway but I find even two glasses can leave me a bit fuzzy headed the next day. So apart from the special events (Blogger Meet Up, my besty’s birthday in Melbourne in Feb, my hen’s party in March and so on) I’ll be completely on the waters. And happy to be.
+ Now that we’re a few weeks into the year, what goal/s do you want to knock off the list you wrote on January 1?
+ You know what we were saying about making 2012 our best year yet? Let’s commit to that. Really. Leave a comment below with your goal and the timeframe you want to achieve it by and let me know if you want me to check in with you, because I’m as commited to helping you achieve your goals as I am my own.
Put it out there. Call it in. Make it happen. The time is now.