Goals – To Share or Not to Share

By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own. M.V. Hansen

The research is NOT clear. Some research suggests that keeping your goals a secret is the best thing you can do to ensure your success. Others posit that if you do not share your goals with others, you may not achieve them. So, what’s a goal planner to do?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this “sharing” dichotomy. 

According to Derek Sivers, “Psychology tests show that announcing your goals makes you less motivated to accomplish them”. Many agree that sharing a goal with others may take away the energy needed to pursue and persevere in accomplishing that goal. Others worry that people’s comments such, “this is a crazy idea!” or “are you sure you can do this?” may influence your ability to persist with the goal in mind. And finally, many believe that some “friends” who don’t have the courage to commit to goals may sabotage your ideas so that you do not get ahead and leave them behind.

On the flip side, other psychology research emphasizes the importance of sharing your goals in order to accomplish them. The claim is that sharing goals with others is powerful because it provides you with the resources and support needed to achieve them. Some will share tools they found useful. Others will provide encouragement and feedback that will motivate you to commit and persist in pursuing your goal.

Image of crossing the Panama canal along with a quote by M.V.Hansen "by recording your dreams & goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you want to be"

Personally, I bounce between the two options. I believe there are circumstances when sharing your goals is not necessary. It is a situation where you are clear on where you are headed and do not feel the need for support. On other occasions, such as when you are not clear on your path to reach a goal then it is definitely time for an accountability partner who will provide guidance and feedback. 

Since not everyone fits the mold, it is important to reflect on your reasoning and intent for sharing your goals. What are you hoping to get out of sharing your goal? Support to persist or opportunity to brainstorm? What type of advice are you seeking? Psychological or practical? Who would be the best person who can support you in accomplishing a particular goal? A friend, a business partner or a mentor? 

Ultimately, getting to know your goal and your reasons for sharing it will help you decide on whether or not to keep it a secret. Keep in mind that the predominant thought is writing goals is key to achieving them. Whether you share your goals or not is dependent on your personality, your goals and your personal reasons for sharing them.go

2 thoughts on “Goals – To Share or Not to Share

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