You have probably heard or read that one of the best ways to achieve your goals is to share them with the world. The idea is that let’s say you want to have a new job, start yoga, or a new business, you will go and tell people around you. I’ve even seen people post this on their social media feeds.
But is this a good idea?
Of course you could argue that sharing goals with the world is a great idea, but as with most things in life: it all depends on you.
So let’s look at what the pros are if you share your goals with the world...
Pros of Sharing Your Goals:
- Making it public forces you to stay more accountable. This actually the #1 reason many people out there recommend you do this. Because you won’t want to be seen by others as a failure. It’s sad to admit but more often than not, we are OK with failing ourselves, but we do worry what others see us as. So sharing your goals can add extra incentive to accomplish them.
- It makes them real. Most of us have goals of some sort, but we keep them to ourselves, or maybe we put them in our journals, planners, etc but at the end- we are the only ones that know about them which makes them less tangible or real. If you share them with the world, they are now becoming part of your reality and they are no longer just thoughts.
- Gives you extra focus. Going back to the fear of failing to achieve your goals in front of others, forces your mind to stay extra focused and give more attention to it than you would have normally done. If you tend to jump from one goal to another without actually attempting to achieve them, then this may be a good tool for you.
2. Longer lasting motivation. Some of us struggle with staying motivated for a long period of time (even if that means just a few hours or days). But if you must achieve your goal in order to avoid public failure, then this fear can turn into motivation that will last longer.
So here we are, this is one scenario where worrying about what others think of us may actually be a powerful tool to help us achieve our goals. Who doesn’t want to look successful in front of the gang?
Now let’s talk about the Cons of sharing our goals to the world...
Cons of Sharing Your Goals:
- Sharing can increase anxiety and stress. If you are authentic and confident in who you are as a person with or without that specific goal, then you normally will not care about what others think of you. So if you are not at this level of personal growth, then sharing goals with the world may actually become a very unhealthy thing to do adding tons of anxiety and stress to your body. If this is your case, I would suggest your immediate goal to be working on yourself to become a better version of you who is confident of who you are today!
- Energy thieves may sabotage your efforts or achievements. While there are plenty of people that truly have your best interests at heart and only want the best for you, there are also those hidden haters. Many times we may not know what hides behinds people’s hearts and thoughts, and sadly sometimes they are part of our close circle of friends and family. These haters are not our concern right now, but what is interesting is to realize that they want you to do well, just not better than they’re doing.
- This energy thieves negativity may seem harmless, but it isn’t. A simple statement like, “Are you sure you want to run a marathon? Don’t you have bad feet? I’d rather spend the time with my children instead of spending it running,” can really take the wind out of your sails and completely know you down before you even get started.
- Thieves of gratitude. When you share goals and achieve them, those around you will involuntarily end up looking at themselves, who they are, where they are in life, and whether they have more success than you or not. When this happens, those not happy with where they are versus where you are now, tend to become negative people trying to discourage or undermine your achievement. This robes you from celebrating your accomplishment and hurts your gratitude with God/Universe
So if you are easily discouraged or tend to look for comfort in other people’s opinion of you then, you should consider if sharing your goals is the best move.
WHAT SCIENCE SAYS ABOUT THIS
While many self-help gurus are in favor of sharing your goals, science disagrees. Several studies have shown that sharing your goals publicly makes you less likely to accomplish them.
One of the most popular research about goal sharing and motivation was done by Peter Gollwitzer of NYU back in 2009. Gollwitzer and research peers suggested that sharing your goals with the world can in fact make you less likely to do the work to achieve it. The praise you receive for announcing your goals can actually sap your motivation to continue.
At the same time, is accountability always good? A study a Dominican University study found that more than 70% of participants who sent a weekly progress report to a friend reported successful goal achievement, compared to only 35% of participants who kept their goals to themselves and didn’t write them down.
So, should you share your goals publicly or keep them to yourself? It depends on you and really where you are in life. Try it both ways and see which way supports you more effectively. If you fail to accomplish goals, then could it be that you are failing to follow through?