It feels great, doesn’t it? To let your loved ones know your goals. To tell your aunt that you are going to eventually do an MBA and get a great consulting job or to tell your friends that you are going to lose 30 pounds this year. It almost makes you feel like you are getting one step closer to your goals, right?
Research has proven, that by publicly stating your goals, you become less likely to actually pursue that goal. Psychologists from Harvard University have found that by informing others of your goal and accepting their acknowledgment, your brain begins to perceive the goal as already completed. Once you have felt the satisfaction of external acceptance, your motivation to actually pursue those goal becomes greatly diminished.
In one study, 163 people were told to write down their goal. Half of them were told to announce their goals publicly and the other half was told to stay silent. After this, everyone was given 45 minutes to work on their goal but were told that they could stop at any time.
Results showed that those who did not say their goal, worked diligently throughout the entire 45 minutes whereas a large majority of those who did publicly announce their goals, stopped within 30 minutes of working. Those who did not announce their goals felt the urge to work more as they felt there was lots more to be accomplished whereas those who did announce their goals felt as if they had made great progress.
It is best to keep your goals to yourself until they are completed. This way you are able to stay motivated throughout the entire journey of achieving your goal. By refusing to accept external validation, you will continue to push yourself past your own limits and begin to transform from “talker” to a “doer.”
Have you ever noticed, how movie producers stay silent until the movie near completion? Why does Apple not announce their new product until it is fully completed?
These are the same principles recognized and applied by the elites of the world. So, the next time you feel the urge of expressing your goals to those around you, stay silent. You will be far more motivated to just focus on the work because that’s what is most important.
Just take it day by day