Going Public

I’ve gleaned from too many chirpy women’s magazine articles that I should publicize my goals. Perhaps a lot of folks in my social media circles learned that too because in recent years I noticed a marked uptick in people being very forthcoming in their fitness, nutrition, writing and abstinence (mostly from foodstuffs) goals. And it annoyed me. Really. I don’t want to know that you racked up so many miles on a run, or ticked off more poundage lost at a weigh-in. I don’t know how I should feel to read that it’s “Day Whatever” of a cleanse or a new eating regimen. And I have to say, if anyone is marking time by sobriety, it is notably absent from my timeline. Which has made me wonder – if something is TRULY at stake here, isn’t it better to be on the DL?

Yes. But no. Back to those women’s magazine articles. The point of going public with one’s intentions is that it holds you more accountable. It’s rarely enough, it seems, for women in particular to only care what WE ourselves want for ourselves. We have to announce it to make it count. We have to make sure we aren’t letting our audience down, once we’ve promised to achieve something. It rankles me, to feel that this advice is pretty much ONLY found in articles geared for women. I would love to hear from any guys out there: are you being offered this same advice?

As much as it needles me that women have to be encouraged to announce their goals in order to be goaded to achieving them, it is actually kind of sort of maybe probably true.

I noticed how much support people were getting when they gave updates on their progress. And I found myself cheerleading along, without irony. Like, wow – look – they’re doing it! They’re letting their guard down and they’re sharing their success. And not in a humble-brag way, but in an honest “Look Ma, I did it!” kind of inclusive joy.

I’m inspired.

My intention is to post every day of my vacation. Today is Day One. And this is my post.



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6 responses to “Going Public

  1. I’m not a big fan of reading others fitness or nutrition goals because it usually just makes me feel worse about myself. It seems too braggy to me. Other goals seem more tolerable.

  2. I know what you mean. And it WAS making me feel worse about myself, mostly b/c I wasn’t starting a “Runtastic Activity” – I was being immobile reading my newsfeed, and probably shoveling some food into my face. But the bigger picture was – if I declared a goal, I felt more motivated to achieve it. Personally, I would never admit to the world what my work-out goals were unless I was changing my profession to be an athlete which will happen never. 🙂

  3. carol

    I know men have this same kind of pressure and are encouraged to pull together a support system to help them with their fitness/weight loss goals as much as women do (I have friends who do this). But, men tend to have a much better relationship with their bodies than we women do and seem not to spend so much time in weight loss groups or fitness support teams. Check out men’s health magazine if you don’t believe me.

    Personally, having done weight watchers off and on for 20 years, everyone – male and female – is encouraged to build a social network to help them stay honest and motivated. So when we share that 2.1 lbs lost or 5k run it’s not bragging. For me at least, it’s just a way to stay on track. By announcing my goal publicly it is much harder to say “ah, eff it. I’m going to sit on the couch and not care that my favorite pants are too tight to wear.”

    My suggestion is to try not to take offense to people’s public goals. it’s not about you and it’s not intended to be braggy or make anyone feel bad or less than. It is just another way – thanks to the miracle of the inter web – people communicate what’s going on in their lives (and their bodies). Before, if you didn’t want to hear about someone’s personal fitness goals you simply ignored their phone call or talked to someone else at the party. Now, all you need to do is not read their post. The goals have always been there.

    • Carol. I completely agree. But I didn’t always. And that is because of my own hang-ups, mostly because I was always fiercely competitive but always felt I was losing in the appearance category. I absolutely have come around to seeing the value of publicizing personal goals, and being buoyed by the support of others, which we might not have if we kept it private. Also, there is something to be said about celebrating ourselves. If it makes us feel better, and it is not hurting anyone, why not? So true that the goals have always been there; I’ve just had to adjust to them being literally in my face. And that was purely my issue. I’m glad to be a changed woman about all that! 🙂

      • carol

        well, all I have to say is YAY. (And yes, sometimes it’s important to ignore ones Facebook for awhile so everyone’s business isn’t in our faces 24/7. I find that annoying as well, no question.) xx

  4. Pingback: Falling Short | Mama Jabber.

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