Keep your goals to yourself

“Repeatedly, psychology tests have proven that telling someone your goal makes it less likely to happen.” – Derek Sivers

As someone who is an obsessive goal-setter, I’ve learnt the hard way that you’re unlikely to reach your goals if you don’t actively pursue them in the right way.

There’s something great about telling people your latest goals and receiving encouragement for setting them – especially the element of feeling like you now have someone to be accountable to.

It’s something I have to admit I’ve done a fair bit in the past, but the success rate can be varied.

Image from Instagram

I think that’s why the above post resonated with me so strongly – why am I sharing with other people what I plan to do, rather than getting on and doing it?

Like most things in life, if your motive is to gain reward from other people, it can dilute your sense of conviction. If it’s yourself you’re trying to please, then you can focus yourself a lot better.

Image from Jack Brockway

In his TED talk, Derek Sivers breaks down this idea further:

“When you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it’s called a social reality – the mind is almost tricked into thinking that the goal is already done. And then because you’ve felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.”

Personally, I think it's a great idea to write down your goals on a piece of paper, date them and put the piece of paper somewhere safe. Then when you've accomplished things throughout the year, you can take it out and remind yourself of how far you've come.

Have many of you set yourself goals this year? Wait! Don’t tell me… let’s try keeping our goals secret and self-motivate to achieve them. If you feel in need of a little inspiration though, this quote is great to remember, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Let me know how you get on later in the year by sharing a picture of the goals you've written down and successfully achieved!  

Sam :)


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