Imagine you’ve committed yourself to achieving a goal.
Should you go public with your commitment? Will doing so help or hinder you?
There’s academic research on this sort of stuff. It’s a branch of what’s called “social psychology”. But I’ll try not to be academic here – I don’t want you falling asleep on me!
One risk in telling someone your goal is that, in doing so, you’ll receive a social affirmation. “Well done. That’s brilliant! A marathon in 2020? Wow!”
What’s the downside to that you might ask? It’s this: all that positivity flowing your way can make a part of you think you’ve already done the thing you’ve said you’ll do – thereby reducing your motivation to do it.
But isn’t it supposed to be a good idea to put your goals “out there” you may ask? The answer is yes – but with care.
So tell your goals.
But to someone who’ll praise you in arrears, not in advance.
To someone who’ll pay more attention to what you do than to what you say.
To someone who won’t congratulate you for achieving nothing.
To someone who’ll treat your goals with absolute confidentiality.
To someone who’ll help you SMARTen your goals. “You’re going to do a marathon? Well when are you going to go for your next run? And how long are you going to run for? And is that realistic?“
To someone who’ll challenge you when needed. “Well, how was your mileage last week?” “You didn’t get to do it? What were the obstacles?“
So yes – do tell someone your goals. But with care!
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