Should You Share Your Goals Publicly?

You’re probably familiar with the idea of sharing your goals publicly. You announce to the world that you’re going to lose 20 pounds, learn Mandarin, or take a trip to Tahiti over next Christmas.

It’s common advice, but is it good advice?

Opinions vary on the subject. As with most things, it depends on the person.

Pros of Sharing Your Goals

Sharing your goals publicly has several advantages:

1. It makes you more accountable.

The most compelling argument for sharing your goals is being held accountable by your peers. It's a little easier to let yourself down than it is to face public ridicule.

◦ Most of us are concerned with how we appear to others, so sharing your goals can add extra incentive to accomplish them.

2. It makes your goals real.

Most of us keep our goals inside, which keeps them less tangible. Once you put them out there for the whole world to see, your goals are transformed from a mere thought to something real.

3. It keeps you focused.

The fear of failing publicly has a way of focusing your attention. If you routinely have trouble focusing, sharing your goals could prove to be helpful.

4. You stay motivated.

Your motivation is likely to stay higher when you share your goals. Sustained motivation is a challenge for most people.

There’s no doubt that goal-sharing looks good on paper and has several advantages.

Peer pressure can be a powerful thing. Who doesn’t want to look successful in front of the gang?

Cons of Sharing Your Goals

On the other hand, sharing your goals might be detrimental to your success.

See how:

1. Does sharing make you more preoccupied with what others think?

A fully developed, emotionally healthy person isn’t too concerned with the opinions of others.

If you find yourself preoccupied with what other people think, that might be something you want to address.

2. Others are likely to sabotage you.

While there are a few people that truly have your best interests at heart, many do not.

Some of these people might even be among your closest friends and family members. Many people want you to do well, just not better than they’re doing.

◦ When you share big goals and are successful, you force others to look at themselves. People feel the need to justify their own shortcomings, which is uncomfortable.

It’s easier to discourage you than to explain why they’re not as successful as you’re trying to be.

◦ This discouragement can 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.

Announcing your goals can clearly have negative consequences, too. It can depend on the people you have in your social circle.

It also depends on your basic nature. Are you easily discouraged?

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.

The praise you receive for announcing your goals can actually sap your motivation to continue.

So, should you share your goals publicly or keep them to yourself? It depends on you. Try it both ways and see which way supports you more effectively.

10 Steps to Making Great Decisions

Your life is largely defined by the quality of your decisions. There’s a big difference between choosing a career and spouse that’s right for you and choosing poorly.

And, that’s only two decisions among the thousands you make each month. Will you choose to eat an apple or a bowl of ice cream?

If you consistently choose one or the other, imagine the difference 20 years from now.

Great decisions come from a great decision-making process.

Try this process to make decisions that are right for you:

1. Know your objective.

What are you trying to accomplish with your decision?

Suppose you’re planning a family vacation. What’s the objective? Inexpensive? Relaxing? Adventurous? Family bonding?

2. Know your values.

Some decisions are more dependent on your values, such as choosing a career, a spouse, or deciding what charity to contribute to.

Can you rattle off your values without giving it some thought? If not, you have some work to do. Know your values and many decisions become clear.

3. List your options.

Take the time to write a complete list. You always have more options available to you than you realize.

Too many people discover that the best choice they had available to them was one they never considered.

4. Consider the benefits of each option.

What are the benefits and advantages of each option? List those as well.

5. Consider the disadvantages and potential risks of each option.

Now, take a look at the other side of the coin. What are the negatives? What are the risks? Think carefully and list them all.

6. Sleep on it.

Assuming you don’t have to make a decision immediately, take a night to sleep on it. Your brain is working away on the issue, even if you don’t realize it.

A night of sleep will provide new insight and understanding. You might be surprised how your perspective changes in the morning.

7. Make a decision.

It’s time to pull the trigger and make your decision. Avoid taking too long to make up your mind.

If you’re stuck, it probably means that the options you’re considering are all acceptable. Taking more time won’t help. It will just waste time.

◦ Compare the advantages and disadvantages. Consider your values. Now, choose. Avoid procrastinating. You can do it.

◦ Most people avoid decisions because it’s more comfortable to be in decision mode than working mode.

8. Consider the worst possible outcome and have a plan.

Now that you’ve made a decision, prepare for the worst possible outcome. You’ll be ready if it should happen, and you’ll also feel more confident.

If you can handle the worst, you can handle anything else.

9. Stick with it.

A common cause of failure is changing your mind. Once you make a decision, stick with it.

Only if it’s obvious that you’ve made a mistake should you change your mind. Hang in there and persevere.

10. Re-evaluate.

Learn from each decision you make. What was good and bad about it? How can you enhance your decision-making process for next time?

Each decision is a learning opportunity. Ensure that you’re learning as much as possible.

Decisions are important. The quality of your decisions determines the quality of your life. Obviously, making wise choices will enhance your life.

How do you currently make decisions? Do you have a process or just shoot from the hip?

Create and follow a process that will lead to making great decisions. You’ll be happy with the impact on your life.

Related Reading:

Did you find this post fun, informative and useful? If so, please share it with others!

If you have a comment, question or suggestion, please leave a comment below!

Cheers, Helene Malmsio

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