Are You Motivated by Sharing Your Goals?

In the past few years, I’ve noticed a correlation between sharing my running goals and, well, falling short of them.

Last year, I did a personal experiment. I did not share too much of my training nor the races I signed up for here or on social media, and voila, I completed both of the races. This was despite having thrown my back out a few weeks prior, falling short in training, and being completely nervous going into the race weekend. Boom!

Here I am, with another set of races laid out before me this calendar year and while I’d love to share what I’ve signed up for, and when, I know for sure I will most likely not complete those goals if I talk too much about them here or in person.

There may also be a huuuuge race in my future I’d want to shout from the rooftops, but I won’t know until the lottery is picked… and well, sorry, you won’t know until after I complete it; if I even get in.

Unfortunately, I have gone from someone who can write daily about her workouts and races registered for, to one who cannot speak of such things in order to accomplish them.

I actually started out in blogging via a running blog and met my friend Liz! My very first few years of writing was directly related to my training for races and sharing those races. That blog has now disappeared, but since then I find any time I share my goals openly, I fail.

Share Your Goals! Be Accountable.

Countless studies tell you that sharing your goals keeps you accountable and helps push you across the finish line. This worked pretty well for me at one point, when I was in a sea of running bloggers as part of a blogging community platform.

I would share my goals, then work hard to post each and every run or workout to get to the finish line. I’d feel deflated though when I looked at other people’s race times and even though I accomplished my goals, I felt disheartened about my slow pace of running.

Since I’ve gone off alone here and um, had two children, I’ve noticed in the last 5 years that when I share my goals on my blog, I flop.

Keep Your Goals to Yourself! You Braggart.

So when you are just starting out on the road toward a big undertaking, it is probably best to let your actions express your intentions louder than your words. Pyschology Today

Now, I’ve found it motivating to keep fitness goals to myself.

I can share the training I’ve completed, but no one knows the goal distance or when that race is coming up. It feels great!

While it’s not as exciting as saying, “Wahoo! I just paid $100 to run 32.4 miles and feel like crap this year!” it does somehow help me stay on track.

When other people take notice of one’s identity-relevant behavioral intentions, one’s performance of the intended behaviors is compromised. When Intentions Go Public

Here’s a great TEDtalk explaining the research:

So, friend, while I have some big hairy goals this year with running, you won’t know of them. Instead, I’m going to share my training as I feel it would be useful to share.

With that said… here’s how the past week’s running shook out:

  • Sun 1/21 – 4 miles
  • Tues 1/23 – 2.3 miles
  • Wed 1/24 – 2.5 miles
  • Sat 1/27 – 5 miles
  • Mon 1/29 – 2.3 miles

I am tracking my mileage this go around in a handy-dandy running journal, so I may not feel like retyping it out here. We’ll see. Regardless, I do want to hit my goals this year, so mums the word on the goals.

What About Sharing Financial Goals?

I wonder if sharing my financial goals has helped or hindered our progress the past few years. I feel like the expense reports keep getting more, well, expensive!

I have yet to cut back our spending as I thought I would when posting them. January is shaping up to be another whopper of a month compared to what I thought it would be when we started.

Looking back at how last year panned out without sharing my running goals, I’m starting to question if I should continue posting on my mortgage payoff goals or our expense reports. Could sharing our financial progress and goals be hurting us in the end?

We paid off so much in a short time years ago without a single post on the internet. It’s amazing how we accomplished that without outside motivation! Now telling others about it, it seems like it’s almost real already without it being so…

Hold On There Mr. Expense Report

I’m going to skip expense reports for a few months, and also hold off on mortgage updates. Maybe I’ll review it quarterly while we quietly continue to pay it off.

I guess, I just don’t do well under pressure like I used to. Having other people know my intentions seems to make me less likely to accomplish said intentions.

I’m all talk and no action people… I’ve got to stop telling people I want to be an Ultra Runner.

Seriously, forget I ever mentioned it.

Then maybe I’ll get better use of my Camelbak water pack.

How about you…

Do you find you’re more motivated in sharing your fitness or financial goals? Or do you tend to slack off because once the idea is floated in the air it’s halfway completed at that point?

2 thoughts on “Are You Motivated by Sharing Your Goals?

  1. Hey, Kate. I can definitely sympathize. I blabbed my quest to publish an ebook this spring, and now the added pressure to make that happen is psyching me out. I mean, c’mon. My ebook isn’t a tomb. It’s only going to be 65-70 pages. But now I get up each morning and take three hours to pound out a page. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!

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