Why You Should Never Tell People About Your Goals

in #success5 years ago


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One of the mistakes that I have committed a 100 times, is telling people about my goals. Most of the times, if i tell people about them, I didn’t achieve them and it feels horrible if you announce that you’re going to achieve something and it doesn’t end up happening for one reason or another. I would simply lose interest in the middle of a project and quit or I would reset my priorities and postpone it. I always felt that telling people about your goals isn’t the most effective method. But I never implemented it, I tried it a couple of times but I would forget about it in the middle of a long conversation. When your friend asks you, so what are you going to do next? And then you do it unconsciously, we’ve all been in that situation because we all have personal goals. Losing weight, learning how to play an instrument, going to the gym regularly, traveling, starting your own business or learning a new language.

We constantly set personal goals and we have this tendency to share them with people as if we’re seeking some kind of approval. “I started my own YouTube channel” “Didn’t I tell you about my new weight goal?” In fact, some people think that that will actually encourage them. When I tell people about my goals, I will feel more accountable and then I would have made a public commitment, therefore, I will more likely work harder on that and if I don’t I might find myself in an embarrassing situation. Or if I tell my family about it, they might encourage and motivate me. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really end up working that way. Your friends might congratulate you but no one truly cares about your goals except yourself. But if you give it a closer look, whenever you tell people about your goals, in 95% of the cases you do not achieve them. As if you start losing interest in pursuing your goal right after telling people about it. Something magical happens and you no longer have that motivation you’ve had before. On the other hand, you usually end up achieving your goals if you publicly do not talk about them.

There is actually a pretty logical explanation for this. A lot of researchers have released studies supporting this statement but let’s take a closer look at one by Peter Gollwitzer. Gollwitzer used a group of 163 people and asked them all to write their goals down. Half of them had to publicly announce their goals while the other have kept them to themselves. After doing that, the half that announced their goals mentioned that they felt very close to accomplishing them. What came next was a 45 minute task they had to complete that would lead them towards their goals. They could decide on their own when to stop. The surprising part was that those who didn’t announce their goals, would work the entire 45 minutes and said that they felt like they still had a long road ahead of them. While the other half worked 33 minutes on average. That is because revealing your goals to others, especially those who are close to you, will give you a false sense of achievement.

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It will make you feel as if you’re boasting about it. Especially if your announcement gets a cheerful response from friends. You get the feeling as if you’ve already achieved what you wanted or you’re not far from your goals. The fulfillment that public acknowledgement gives you will trick your brain into thinking that talking is the same as doing. You’re more likely to achieve what you desire by writing your goals down on paper and transforming them into a detailed plan. If you just keep them in your memory, they will fade away slowly. In fact, work on them in silent until your work is done because you know what they say: Work hard in silence, let success make the noise.

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