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A goal without a plan is just a wish. We hear this quote all the time, and you know what? It’s true. Even more so, a goal without accountability and support is even harder. Plus, goals shouldn’t be all work and no celebration—what fun is that?
That’s why we created Declare It Day, and we’re asking you to join us and thousands of other women across the country in our national day of goal setting. We are asking women to write down a meaningful goal on their free declaration and together, we will step into this goal-setting process together.
Okay, so saying a goal out loud and writing it down seems relatively simple, right?
Here’s what we know from talking with thousands of you over the past few years: It’s the why you are doing it, the what self-doubts you must overcome and the how you will get it done that is the real work, both physically and mentally.
Here are 7 steps to get ready:
- Audit your comfort zone. If where you currently are (in life, in running, in work, whatever) isn’t working or you’re feeling stuck, overwhelmed or distracted, just take a quick step back and assess your comfort zone. You might be in the rut—sometimes if we evaluate this space BEFORE leaping into anything new, we get our best lessons. You don’t have to reach for the stars, but we encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, rut or routine, even if it’s just one step.
- Be honest with yourself and address your fears head on. When we quit hiding and start working with them, the braver we get. You may have to challenge some old ways of thinking, habits that hook you out of progress and fears that talk you out of doing the work required.
- Make it about you. What do YOU want for 2016? Don’t chase someone else’s dream or goal, and most certainly do NOT do what someone else believes is good for you. Focus on what you need instead of the ever-tempting comparison game. Who cares if someone next to you is chasing something big—if your needs are different, own it. This is your story to write! It can be about anything that is important to you. It doesn’t have to be about running.
- Create accountability partners. Who is in your celebration circle? Who has a seat in your #girlsquad? These are the people who will cheer you on, celebrate your wins and have your back throughout the journey.
- Give yourself milestone dates. If that scares you, think of them more as rest stops along the journey when you assess how you’re doing. Do you need more support? Do you need to re-evaluate? Do you need to work harder? Resist being vague as to protect yourself from potential failure. Be specific.
- Plan to celebrate the little wins. As much as the end goal will be amazingly gratifying, also consider how you will celebrate the journey of little wins along the way.
- You can have more than one goal, but consider how they support your bigger story. If you are struggling to narrow down a ton of possibilities or simply feeling overwhelmed, consider asking yourself this question: When I look back on 2016, what will my story be for this year? After you write out all of the goals you want to accomplish in 2016—big or small—identify the one that is your first domino to fall. There is often a high-leverage goal that is sort of the lynchpin that makes all the other goals easier and more possible. (HINT: It may not the most fun or glamorous one.) Start here, and allow everything else to be icing on the cake.