Conventional wisdom says we’re more likely to reach our goals if we have support, if we’re around people who goad us on, encourage us or point the way to success. In my experience this is true, but not just with people I can see face-to-face.
I’m using social media to keep me motivated as I train for another marathon and write another novel.
Take the running, for example. I know a few local runners but I don’t belong to a gym or club. I’m mostly on my own. Except, I’m not.
I follow a lot of runners on Twitter and now, Dailymile. When I read their race reports or tweets about training trials and triumphs, it makes me want to get out there and do the same. When I’m feeling lethargic or uninspired, they encourage me to keep at it. When I have a great run or reach a milestone, they’re the first to offer praise. It helps and I’ve logged more miles as a result.
I’ve also added push ups and planks to my workouts because of social media peer pressure. A couple of months ago I kept seeing the #pushupclub and #plankaday hashtags, so I joined the fun. If you can call it that. There’s a lot of groaning and shaking involved in a quest for stronger abs and arms. But if I miss a few days, the @plankpolice tweet at me, spurring me to get planking. I like that. It’s like a having a coach tell you to get off your butt.
This motivating influence isn’t limited to running or planks. You can leverage social media to create your own positive peer pressure for just about any goal.
Do you want to write a novel, eliminate debt, lose weight, quit smoking or travel more? With a little digging, you can find like-minded people who either share your goals or who have already achieved them and are willing to share their expertise.
- Search Twitter for hashtags about your topic. I found a lot of writers, for example, when I found the #amwriting tag through such a search.
- Use an internet search engine to find relevant social media sites. Search for “social media” and “diet”, for example, to find sites geared toward losing weight. You’ll find a lot.
- Pick one or two sites and make friends. Follow people, add them and interact.
- Offer the type of encouragement and support you want to receive.
- Share both your struggles and your successes.
- Ask for tips and advice.
- Have fun making friends while you work toward your goals.
Take it from me, it helps. Now, I better get planking before I get a tweet from the @plankpolice.
How do you meet other people who share your goals and interests? How do you encourage others on the same path?