Here is the third of ten tips to help you set the right goals and actually achieve them. You can find the first two tips here:
I used to think that telling others about my goals was key to my success. After all, if I kept my goals secret, who would hold me accountable for following through?
Yet as much as I bought into the motivational power of the “fear of public failure,” the thought of announcing my intentions to the world — or even a few trusted friends — has always made me uncomfortable.
For one thing, saying that I’m going to accomplish something big (like writing a novel) feels a bit too boastful, a little too arrogant.
For another, there was always the chance that I’d share my biggest goal with someone and they’d respond with visible skepticism about my odds of success. Or straight up tell me I was chasing a pipe dream.
If you’re the type of person who is driven by the desire to prove others wrong, you might find this kind of thing motivating. I’m not that person. So I’ve always kind of hated the idea of making my goals public, even though I believed it was the right thing to do.
But then I watched this TED Talk, where Derek Stivers says telling people about our goals might not be a good strategy after all. Because the good feeling we get from telling others about our goals makes us less likely to actually do the work to achieve them.
Think about that for a second. If you set a New Year’s resolution this past month, did you tell anyone about it? How did that make you feel? And how much have you actually done toward your goal?
This doesn’t mean you have to keep your goals entirely hush-hush. But if you must tell someone, Stivers says not to tell them what you’re going to achieve. Tell them about the work you need to do to achieve it.
And make sure you’re telling the right people. Tell somebody who really is going to hold you to account. Tell somebody who is already doing the thing you want to do. Tell someone who's job it is to motivate you. Tell someone who has a stake in your success.
Image courtesy of Storyblocks.com
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