Spring Into Action with Dr. Sheri (Part 1)

by guest blogger Dr. Sheri Prentiss

Philadelphia Day 3

I used to have a habit of walking with my head down always deep in thought, planning my next move and sometimes very conscious of making a misstep. Then one day a stranger on the street yelled out to me and said, “Hey young lady, your future is too bright and your plans are too big for you to ever walk with your head hung low. Look up and see your wonderful life unfold, otherwise you’ll miss it.”

It’s possible you looked to the sky at the beginning of the year, saw great potential, set high goals or made New Year’s resolutions bigger and better than you ever did before. If you aren’t careful, you could be like I was and resume old habits of keeping your eye on your footsteps and losing focus of the big picture. I quickly learned that once you’re in the habit of looking up, you have a clearer view of any obstacles and you’re able to make sure your footsteps will lead you in the right direction. I encourage you to not fall back into old habits this year and to stop worrying about taking the wrong step. Instead, stay focused on the big picture, keep your head up and determine how you can make your goals your reality.

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.” Oprah Winfrey

Those who walk that extra mile and make an impact are the people who have goals. They set goals and don’t lose sight of them until they have achieved them. It has been only three months since you made those New Year’s promises to yourself. But I bet that some of you have already given up. That’s the thing about goals. Setting them is easy. Losing sight of them is easier.

I am not someone who achieves every goal she sets; I struggle and procrastinate too.

It happens all the time. Confronted with choice, we take the easy option. We do what’s convenient, rather than what’s required. We float, allowing ourselves to get carried away without getting anywhere, rather than pushing ourselves and swimming to the intended shore.

Life is like that. Tempting us continuously with comfortable but unproductive options – moving us away from the hard work required to achieve our goals.

As luck would have it, the path to your goals in life is often strewn with obstacles. It’s a bumpy ride. There may be roadblocks and hardships, but it’s often the only way to get to your goals. There will be exits tempting you to leave the chosen path and take another road. Don’t succumb to it. The nice easy road may look tempting – but remember to check if it will take you where you want to go.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my post tomorrow, when I’ll talk about some tips that have helped me reach my goals. In the meantime, leave your comments below about how you have set goals and achieved them.

3-Day Participant Center –Tools for Connecting

Whether you’re participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® as a fresh-faced first-timer or a wily veteran, your Participant Center on the Komen 3-Day website is packed with resources to help you prepare for your 3-Day® journey.

I could fill a dozen blog posts going into detail about all of the nifty tools on the Participant Center, which empower you in your fundraising, training and event preparation, but for today, I just want to focus on a few that will help you connect with your fellow walkers and crew members. The first two resources below can be found under the “Connect” header in the left-side navigation menu on your Participant Center homepage:

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Message Boards – Do you have a question that you want to ask your fellow walkers or crew members? Are you curious about other walkers’ reasons for getting involved in the 3-Day? Are you looking for creative fundraising ideas? The Message Boards are a great place to post your questions or comments where other 3-Dayers will see them. The boards are divided up by 3-Day location, and then further divided into categories, making it easy to navigate the postings.

Komen_3Day_participant center_message boards

Friend Finder – The 3-Day Friend Finder an online database that registered participants can search to find other walkers or crew members in their area. You search the Friend Finder by zip code, and can also filter the results with other criteria, such as walking speed or gender, and if you’re looking for a team to join, you can also sort the results to find team captains with open teams. Participants don’t show up in the Friend Finder search until they’ve visited the Friend Finder page for the first time (and have checked “I am willing to share my contact information…” in their profile) so if you’re registered for the 3-Day, be sure update your Friend Finder profile so people can find you too!

komen_3Day_participant center_friend finder

Training Walk Calendar – So you’ve connected with your fellow walkers online and now you’re ready to hit the pavement and train with them. Under the “Train” heading on the left-side menu, registered participants can access the training walk calendar. This is another list that’s sortable by zip code, making it easy to find walks that are close to you. Training walks are also a wonderful place to meet new 3-Day friends.

Komen_3Day_participant center_training walk calendar

Your Participant Center is packed with amazing resources, so take some time to log in and explore! If you ever need help finding something you’re looking for, the coaches are ready to point you in the right direction. Give them a call at 800-996-3DAY!

Keeping the FUN in Fundraising

There are literally hundreds of different ways that you can raise money for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®, but if your personality leans a little toward the zany side, your Komen 3-Day fundraising is a great place to get creative and let your wacky flag fly.

Here are just a few out-of-the-box 3-Day® fundraising ideas that have worked for other walkers:

Prom Dress Sale – The life cycle of most fancy dresses—worn by prom-goers, bridesmaids or wedding guests—is: spend a lot of money, wear it once, stuff it in a closet. We heard about an enterprising young walker who realized there was money to be made from all that neglected couture. She collected up used prom dresses from her high school acquaintances, got a local dry cleaner to clean the dresses at no cost, and then held a big sale a few weeks before prom and resold the dresses at discounted prices. She raised more than $800!

Trick or Treat for Ta-Ta’s – A few years ago on Halloween, Twin Cities 3-Day participant Jenny C. dressed up in an adorable pink ribbon costume and went trick-or-treating—not for candy, but for donations. She said, “I wasn’t sure how it would go, but there were only maybe 3 or 4 houses that refused. The houses that gave me $20s made up for them! There were a couple that took donation forms, too. And one guy dumped his giant mason jar full of change in my Boobie Bucket!” About 2 hours of door-to-door work brought in nearly $200.

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Pink Ribbon Jenny and her Boobie Bucket!

“Flock” Your Friends – I’ve personally done this one, and it’s a riot! I bought a couple dozen pink plastic lawn flamingos and then under cover of darkness, I stuck all of them in my neighbors’ yard and left a note on their doorstep. The note basically said, if you want me to take these pink squatters off your lawn, make a donation. Then, to add a wicked little twist, that family then got to pick which of our other neighbors would get “flocked” next. This is great fundraiser for 3-Dayers with kids; my daughters were my sidekicks in sneaking the flamingos from house to house, and our neighbors’ kids were absolutely beside themselves with excitement when they’d wake up to find they’d been visited by the flamingo fairies. Within 2 weeks, almost every house on our block woke up to find the flamingos in their yard and I raised over $1000.

Backward Mile RaceBlanche C., a veteran walker, crew member and team captain in Seattle, has held the “Cupcake Classic Backwards Mile” Race for the past few years. It’s just what it sounds like: friends of all ages sign up to walk or run backwards for one mile. These reverse-running renegades pay a registration fee for the race, which goes toward Blanche’s fundraising, and she also holds a massive raffle at the race itself. Oh, and of course, there are cupcakes at the finish line.

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These clever “backward milers” brought handheld rear-view mirrors

Dance for Donations – Who doesn’t love subjecting their friends to a little public humiliation? We’ve heard of a handful of 3-Day walkers doing some version of this, and the results are hilarious. Basically, you ask friends for donations of a certain amount, and in exchange, the donor gets to pick a song that you will go out in public and dance to. Naturally, you have to have someone there to video you as proof, and naturally, that video must make its way back to your donors (usually through the power of social media). I personally think that the less skilled you are as a dancer, the funnier this whole endeavor is, but if you can’t fathom busting a move in front of a bunch of strangers, you can try a toned-down version of “embarrassment fundraising,” such as standing on a busy street corner wearing a sandwich board that says “I Love Boobies,” or the like.

Which creative, fun fundraisers have you tried? Share your ideas in the comments section, and if you need some fundraising inspiration of your own, visit the fundraising library on the 3-Day website at the3Day.org/library.