Recently I watched a very interesting video of Derek Sivers talking about keeping your goals to yourself (click here to view the video). In this video he talks about decades of research that goes against what most of us have been told about setting goals.
Throughout my whole professional career I have been told that we have a greater chance of achieving our goals when we tell someone about it. This way they can help hold us accountable to that goal. The research that Derek refers to actually says the opposite. That when we tell someone our goal our mind is tricked into feeling we have already achieved the goal and that feeling of satisfaction actually decreases our motivation to do the work needed to reach the goal. Our mind mistakes the talking about our goal for the doing of the goal.
My first reaction was that this is hooey. If we aren’t held accountable how will we ever reach our goals? Then, as I rolled some of these ideas around in my head I got to thinking about how unsuccessful most people are at reaching their goals. So perhaps there is something here, something for us to look at. If we are not having success at achieving our goals then we need to try a different approach. Is keeping your goals to yourself the new approach to try, I am not sure. But it sure gives us some food for thought.
If you would like to read Derek Sivers blog on this topic where he outlines the research in more detail please click here.