Want To Accomplish Your Goal? Then, Say Nothing At All

Snore! Snore! I quietly tip toe past my friend, who is asleep on the couch with the television loudly watching him. Creeping towards the door, he has no idea that I am leaving the apartment for a morning run. The elevator doors open, and I slip on my gloves and adjust my knit hat over my ears, preparing for the brick-like morning chill that will undoubtedly blast me as I jog around my neighborhood’s park.

A while ago, I came across research that stated that people who share their goals with others are less likely to accomplish them. Wait, what?! According to the study, when others offer congratulations, high energy, and even acknowledgment toward your goal, one’s body mistakenly interprets that information; it assumes that you are one step closer to the goal,  even though no work has been done. That good feeling that you receive from that person’s smile or well wishes translates into a false sense of satisfaction. Our mind misunderstands the talking for the doing because it experiences a similar feeling that normally happens after we attain our goal. Thus, we are less likely to perform the necessary work toward the goal because our minds are convinced we have done much more than we actually have.

So should one never share one’s goals?

You can still share your goals, but state them in a way that allows others to keep you accountable. For example, if you want to run a marathon, one should say: “Hey Friend, I would like to run a marathon and will need to go running at least five times a week. Kick my butt if I don’t!” This statement states your goal in a way that elicits shared accountability between you and your friend.

Once I told my friend that I was running in the morning, I stopped running in the morning.

When I did not say anything, my goal of losing weight and toning my body was personal, a goal strictly for me. When I said something, my goal entered the public sphere and suddenly, I became satisfied with my past success…unfortunately regressing in my ultimate goal.

No more sharing my goals with anyone; I would rather accomplish them.

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