Commit to Something
I have been running for over ten years and one of my dreams has always been to run a marathon. But year after year has continued to pass by and I was nowhere closer to achieving that goal.
Last year, a typical run for me was 3k long with many breaks to walk. Obviously, I was nowhere near ready to run a 40k marathon. Even though I hadn't put in any of the training required to run such a distance, I decided to sign up for one anyway. The WG Marathon in New York State.
Immediately after signing up, I posted about it on instagram:
There was a bonus lesson where he talked briefly about inspiration. He said, "Don't keep your dreams from everyone because you're scared you're not going to realize them. Make it public and go for it. Use the pressure that you are getting from everyone to make you accountable for your goal."
He was speaking specifically about how he had this grand idea in his twenties to run a marathon in every state to raise a million dollars for charity. When he publicized it, he said that many of the people in his circle emailed him expressing their concern and asking him what would happen if he didn't actually do it. Is there really anything more motivational than getting that kind of attention?
When we keep our goals private, it is so much more easy to give up. That is why I decided to sign up for the marathon and post it on social media. It's kind of like that old adage, say yes first, and figure the rest out later.
Another instance I noticed this kind of pre-announcement accountability was from Ali Abdaal. Ali makes youtube videos about motivation and productivity that I really enjoy. Recently, he has started the long process of writing a book. I know this because he mentions it briefly in nearly all of his youtube videos. He also has the title "author-to-be" in his instagram bio. Is there any doubt in my mind that he is actually going to publish this book? Not a chance.
Apart from the accountability aspect on the surface level, an unexpected thing happened after I finally pulled the trigger and registered for the marathon.
All of a sudden I have found that I feel much stronger, I run with greater ease, and I can run so much farther without taking a break. I now continue running in the spots I'd always stop, like up the hill and up the stairs along my running trail.
A couple of weeks after I signed up, I ran my first 20k in over 5 years! I even kept up running all winter long, which I had never done before, and took every +0 opportunity I had.
So, what I would like to say is this; if you really want to achieve something, commit to it whole-heartedly. First you have to have a clear goal in mind and a deep desire. And then you need to have some kind of accountability.
Write it down, talk about it, and "make it official" so to speak, even if it's just a plan. In my case actually signing up for that marathon and becoming accountable to a specific date and distance has made the most enormous difference.
This is your sign - if there's a goal or dream you've always wanted to achieve but haven't started working toward yet, take the first step and commit to it.
And wish me luck!
Recommended Reading: Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill