This post is short and sweet, but i thought I needed some gifs to spice it up, but now it looks too much like a buzzfeed article. Oh well.
So it’s almost 2014 and from what I’m seeing everyone is tempted to sound off on Twitter and Facebook the things they want to do different in 2014. My advice would be to keep your mouth shut, seriously. Not just because it gets old, and not also because everyone pretty much has the same goals.
But because you’re making it harder to achieve a goal when you announce them. Seriously.
It doesn’t make sense at first because it feels somewhat empowering to announce your goals, like you’re putting reminders all over the place, but the opposite is happening. This is a topic that has been studied since the 1930s and there’s now an array first hand research illustrating just how much you’re undermining yourself.
NYU psychology professor Peter Gollwitzer talks about this in his 1982 book “Symbolic Self-Completion” – and recently published results of new tests in a research article, “When Intentions Go Public: Does Social Reality Widen the Intention-Behavior Gap?”
Four different tests of 63 people found that those who kept their intentions private were more likely to achieve them than those who made them public and were acknowledged by others.
Once you’ve told people of your intentions/goals, it gives you a “premature sense of completeness.” Our goals are normally impressive or envious and when someone is impressed by them after we tell them, psychologically, we consume it and feel as though they are already impressed by us. This is dousing the fire that would have been the catalyst for change.
So when I tell my friends I plan on buying a house next year, or I plan on losing more weight, or I plan on writing a novel(check out my bio page, it’s years old and it’s still there and still not done). Just by stating it, I distance myself from achieving it.
However, if you’re insistent on telling people, only tell one or two people and ask them to become motivators. Ask them to constantly check in on your progress and if you’re no closer to a goal, tell them to beat the crap out of you or something, or create some type of situation that makes you accountable for not succeeding in your goal. (ex. If I don’t lose 30lbs, by June, I’m giving away my 60″ TV) That takes the appreciation for the things you already have, and converts it into motivation.
Personally, I like to just keep it simple, so if someone asks me, “Logan, what are your goals for 2014?” I’m going to tell them it’s (respectfully) none of their business for the sake of achieving them, and I suggest you to do the same.
Take care and Happy New Year.
-Logan T. Miles