As Declare It Day draws near, three #FFCrew members share how success is measured by more than a checklist, and why this year’s goals might look a little different than before.
By Karen Pederson
FFCrew + FF Blog contributor + runner
As I approach my third Declare it Day with Fellow Flowers, I’ve spent a good amount of time reflecting on my past goals and trying to determine what it is I want for myself in 2016. My first DID goal was to run a 10K and a total of 500 miles. I crushed that goal – and 2 half marathons. The following year, my goal was to run 5 half marathons and PR at least one of them. Crushed that goal too!
So for the past month, I’ve been thinking, what’s next? I’ve always needed a running goal, something to keep me motivated throughout the year, and I’ve always thought that each year has to be bigger than the previous year, that it “should” be bigger. I keep going back to making this year’s DID goal a marathon, simply because it’s bigger than what I’ve done before. Except, running a marathon isn’t what I want to do now, and I don’t know if I ever will want to do one.
I’ve read the Say Yes Manifesto so many times while trying to set my goal for 2016, but I know I have to be careful saying yes to a goal I don’t fully believe in, to setting a goal simply because my thought process tells me I have to. I have to be careful saying yes as I watch all these amazing women declare these huge goals. I’m not in competition with anyone. When we set a goal out of obligation or when we get caught up in the moment, we run the risk of setting ourselves up for failure.
I have to say yes to something that lights ME up. So for 2016, I’m choosing friendship and fun. No PR’s. No set number of races. Completing my goals gave me such satisfaction, but being in training mode for two years was exhausting! I still have to train for all the races I’ve committed to in 2016, but I will make it fun, enjoy running and make more meaningful connections. THAT is what is going to light me up – and I’m excited about it. I am running races with friends, running a marathon relay with women I’ve never met before and for the first time, will be an angel for My Team Triumph. My goal may not be “bigger” this year, but I can already tell I’m going to feel so much more fulfilled. I’m saying YES to this goal because it’s exactly what I need right now.
This past year I upped the ante with my goals and went BIG. Bigger than I had ever thought. Declare It Day 2015 looked like this: one half marathon, 700 miles, and complete one round of Whole 30 to improve my energy and eating.
2015 turned out like this: I completed 32 races, including a 75 mile relay race, a challenge distance race, TWO half marathons, a few 10Ks and a LOT of 5Ks. I also maintained my commitment to cross training and ended the year at 1,034 miles ran.
I know – woah! Even with all those race and miles, the one thing that scared me the most was saying YES to me. To doing Whole 30. It was a huge commitment and only I would know if I truly did it. No finish lines, no medals, no entry fees to be paid. If I didn’t do it, no one would know, right? Wrong. It was already September, and let’s face it, I managed to put it off for almost nine months so what was another two – right?! WRONG! I am on my third round of Whole 30 and have lost 30ish pounds. The one thing that scared the crap out of me wasn’t the running – it was the eating!
I’m proud of my accomplishments but I have my sights set even higher this year. This year is about taking the leap and finding to courage to do big things and hard things. To saying YES to myself wholly.
By Sarah Russell
FFCrew + FF Blog contributor + runner
This year will be my second year participating in Declare it Day. Last year, my goal was to run three half marathons – I had two set and one more to figure out. I would only complete one, but that one would change my life. The half marathon in Madison is where I met some amazing women that changed my life in so many different ways.
These ladies became my inner circle, my celebration/failure/accountability/kick my butt circle. I finally started to feel secure and slowly started sharing my story, the real one. This all happened when running started to feel like a chore, just chugging along to some goal I didn’t spend enough time setting properly.
Looking back on 2015, I realize I may not have accomplished my DID goal – but I could not be more happy about it. For the first time in my life I let myself be vulnerable – I forged new relationships, grew personally, and was pleasantly surprised by new opportunities that came my way. I didn’t follow a plan, I let things happen, I did what felt right, I set boundaries and HELD them. It was a life-changing year.
I feel like for the first time I am not wearing blinders, reaching for one specific goal, and it has allowed me to see and experience life in a new way. I have a new opportunity to turn my passion in to a job, I learned that I inspired someone to run, someone I respect told me I’m strong and courageous, I’ve deepened my relationship with my husband and kids, and forged new life-long friendships. So this year my goal is different. It isn’t another race, or a better time, or a longer distance. I’m holding boundaries, loving more, digging deeper, supporting and lifting others up and being willing to fail.
Declare It Day is February 6.
Join us. Honor your journey, your reasons, your failures.
Be willing to fall… determined to rise.