Should You Tell Others Your Goals?

by Jarrod
39 replies
I've always heard that it was a good idea to tell others your goals. I've since changed my mind on that (albeit with a few exceptions).

I just found came across this:

Derek Sivers: Keep your goals to yourself | Talk Video | TED.com

(Video is just over three minutes. Watch it.)

Interesting little study that goes against the conventional wisdom.

What are your thoughts? Should you tell others your goals or keep them to yourself?

(On a side-note, the fact that the mind seeing it as done does not yield the end result goes against what a lot of law of attraction teachers claim.)
#goals
  • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
    I think it matters more so on the person.

    I know people who pretty much viral market their goals and never deliver. And examples to the contrary.

    I know people who never say a word and also never deliver. And examples to the contrary.

    By design, I have to share my goals with my Master-mind group. I choose also to share them with close friends and colleagues. It puts pressure on me to deliver, which I like, and which, understandably, most people don't like.

    Fortunately, I've been able to hit and surpass almost every goal over the last year. When I succeed, they know. When I fail, they know. I think many who hide their goals have a certain fear of failure or aversion to pressure, which is practically the same thing.

    As for the law of attraction or what not, that too depends on the person. I think a lot of people without any self-discipline, definite plan, persistence, or drive try using things like the law of attraction and when it fails them even once, it becomes a thread on this forum.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jarrod
    Agreed Dain. I wonder how the study results might have been different if those who told their goals to others did so in the context of either a mastermind group or a coach/mentor relationship who would hold their feet to the fire. Just telling your goals to others who are not going to hold you accountable can do more harm than good.

    I'm also reminded of the following Napoleon Hill quote: "Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it!"
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    • Profile picture of the author Dain Supero
      Originally Posted by Jarrod View Post

      Agreed Dain. I wonder how the study results might have been different if those who told their goals to others did so in the context of either a mastermind group or a coach/mentor relationship who would hold their feet to the fire. Just telling your goals to others who are not going to hold you accountable can do more harm than good.

      I'm also reminded of the following Napoleon Hill quote: "Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it!"
      My work requires me to look at multiple studies, clinical and otherwise, each day. So whenever I read that a study claims so and so, I tend to take it with a grain of salt.

      To illustrate my point, what you "wondered" above is exactly what I wondered. If all the subjects in the study were driven, level-headed entrepreneurs with knowledge of the Master-mind principle and so on, how would telling or not telling THEN affect the outcome?

      So is there really a cause-effect relation between telling/not-telling and whether goals were achieved/not-achieved? Or is the real cause-effect between the individual's capacity to deliver and whether goals were achieved/not-achieved?

      It's always entertaining to read these studies and watch these presentations, but I think many readers and viewers get overwhelmed by the scientific jargon (and the fact that an all-mighty-study said so) and automatically believe whatever's put forth.

      Anyways, that's not to say that we should ignore this study or TED talk. Try both ways and see what works for you. Just don't take the study or the TED talk as God's word, so to speak.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    it depends on the goal ,

    the one i am achieving now i started telling people a year ago .. and there was no way i could manage it at the time ..even two or three months ago there was no way .. but thing happen when you are focused..

    this is what i am doing this is why . and moving to the other side of the planet is a big step for someone who barely ever leaves the state .. so people write it off ..

    tell the people you feel can help you make the goals a reality ..and say as little as possible to those who don't think you can do it..or don't think you can do it because they could not do it .

    there a reason many addicts regress and diets fail ..
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    • Profile picture of the author Jarrod
      Originally Posted by Odahh View Post

      tell the people you feel can help you make the goals a reality ..and say as little as possible to those who don't think you can do it..or don't think you can do it because they could not do it .
      As uncle Eddy once said in Xmas vacation: "Bingo!"
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  • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
    if you play for germany sure. um brasil, sure but quietly
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    sometimes to get what you want the people who try to stand in your way need to be trampled on ..or just run over ..mom dad and the wifey or hubby may get more delicate treatment ..but anyone who did not give birth to you , is not committed to share your life and who you did not bring into this world .. who may be personally invested in you staying the way you are .. needs to be noted .

    my wife (to be) had the same thing go on with her in her family that went on with me in mine ..and she actually sees the potential i have,,has skills to help me and likes spending the money i have and will make ..

    surround yourself with those invested in your success not those invested in keeping you the way you are . or seeing that you fail .
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  • Profile picture of the author damiensuccess
    For me it would depend on the goals..
    Certain goals are kept for myself because others may interfere in a negative way. Whether they try it or not, their lack of understanding for my goals causes complications.

    Blabbering your goals openly and carelessly might not be good either because you may lose respect for your own words.
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  • Profile picture of the author naidyphoon
    A big part of my motivation to push on in tough times is the fact that I've announced my goals to many people, hence the pain of not achieving my goals exceeds the pain of taking massive action - might be healthy, or not. But it works
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Tell the whole World if you like: Nothing will stop you from accomplishing what's important to you.

    : )
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  • Profile picture of the author ceenote100
    It depends on who I'm telling. If it's someone that I know to be trustworthy and is able to help me achieve the goal then I would have no problem with telling the person. Other than that I keep my plans to myself. There are haters everywhere.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charles Douglas
    I never tell others my goals. I show it to them
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    • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
      Originally Posted by Charles Douglas View Post

      I never tell others my goals. I show it to them
      Well said.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jill Naver
      Originally Posted by Charles Douglas View Post

      I never tell others my goals. I show it to them
      I think that's fair enough love it, Charles!

      Best of luck to everyone here!

      Jill
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    When I saw this thread Jarrod I immediately though of the video you linked to. I'm in two minds but I can see the power of sharing as a way to satisfaction so I think he might have a point. I have felt the release of pressure just by talking about my goals which is why I refuse to set them anymore - a whole other story.

    I like (traditional) hotrods and there's a signature I remember seeing at the bottom of a post once that said "Don't tell me what you're gunnadoo - just show me what you've built"

    Good thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author minirich
    I'm also reminded of the following Napoleon Hill quote: "Tell the world what you intend to do, but first show it!"
    I second that sentence.
    I did it before and told all around me what my goals are. And then i slipped one goal after the other, an there goes the credibility.
    I figured out that if i announced my goals it felt like i don't have to do a thing to accomplish them. really stupid.

    I now keep it with my goals as i keep it with my business ideas. I keep them to my self and show the world later what they were. So nobody can beat me by implementing my business ideas or accomplishing my goals first.

    cheers
    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author AndreaBlom
    I suppose I would say that it depends on the individual. Some people work best solo while others need a team or support group to keep them on track.

    Personally, as others have mentioned, I prefer to gain some ground, have some success in whatever I am doing before I share it for the world. It's all too easy for people to doubt you, to be negative, if you have big dreams and goals but no proof of capability. I don't need to feel that negativity from anyone, that doesn't help me. Instead, work hard and prove to yourself FIRST that you are going to succeed, then share your dreams.
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  • Profile picture of the author edragonbiz
    I watched that video sometime ago.

    I don't share every single goal. Some I do, some I don't. Most of the time, I set my internal goals (reading something that builds up my mind for e.g) just for myself. I might share them with my husband. I'm more likely to share my external goals (starting a blog, ) with a broader range of people. I still filter the people I share it with. The less negativity surrounding me, the better. I may tell my goal when I already went through the hard part and I know now that nothing can stop me.

    To summarize, I treat my goal like an idea. I take action on it before I tell anyone. I'm most likely to keep to myself at the beginning and reveal it later on when I'm a few steps ahead on it.

    Great thread by the way, it allowed me to put in words my goal process
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  • Profile picture of the author 7MilesPerSecond
    Good video.

    More recently the book the Willpower Instinct the author talks about research that shows if someone reviews their successes they are less likely to take action.

    Even if they just think about the action they are planning they are less likely to take action.


    Originally Posted by Jarrod View Post

    I've always heard that it was a good idea to tell others your goals. I've since changed my mind on that (albeit with a few exceptions).

    I just found came across this:

    Derek Sivers: Keep your goals to yourself | Talk Video | TED.com

    (Video is just over three minutes. Watch it.)

    Interesting little study that goes against the conventional wisdom.

    What are your thoughts? Should you tell others your goals or keep them to yourself?

    (On a side-note, the fact that the mind seeing it as done does not yield the end result goes against what a lot of law of attraction teachers claim.)
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  • I think it depends who you tell. I might tell one person I trust, who has belief in me because then I am holding myself accountable to what I told this person. But I don't tell any others my goals because people tend to not believe you, or want to relish in your failure should you not succeed. I don't share my goals with people like that. I will tell people in my FB group but not the people I work a job with, etc...
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    • Profile picture of the author Underxman
      There are some articles i read that one shouldn't share his or her goals but i find that the more i talk about my goals the better because if i don't achieve them then i look like a fool. So in a way it is a way to motivate myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author kescape
    I would share my goals only to people who have a similar mindset like me. The problem of telling my start-a-business goal to, e.g. my wife, she would just shot it down because she wants stability. But when I share with like-minded people I get the support I need.
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  • Profile picture of the author Imfactsandsecrets
    Banned
    Originally Posted by Jarrod View Post

    I've always heard that it was a good idea to tell others your goals. I've since changed my mind on that (albeit with a few exceptions).

    I just found came across this:

    Derek Sivers: Keep your goals to yourself | Talk Video | TED.com

    (Video is just over three minutes. Watch it.)

    Interesting little study that goes against the conventional wisdom.

    What are your thoughts? Should you tell others your goals or keep them to yourself?

    (On a side-note, the fact that the mind seeing it as done does not yield the end result goes against what a lot of law of attraction teachers claim.)
    I don't mind telling people who wouldn't become a hindrance in my journey. Plus keeping it under wraps kind pushes you harder towards your goal...but maybe that's just me.
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  • Profile picture of the author cyberzolo
    Not to people who want you to fail, this could be your family members, stay away from those toxic people.
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    • Profile picture of the author NRabosa
      Originally Posted by cyberzolo View Post

      Not to people who want you to fail, this could be your family members, stay away from those toxic people.
      You should also avoid unsupportive family members. This is the case oftentimes.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jaysmyne
    YES!

    Telling people and including them in your process makes you accountable for what you want to do. That means if other people know your goals, they are going to check in with you from time to time to see if you have accomplished any progress towards your goals, and you better have a good answer for them! Including others in your goals is one of the best ways to actually accomplish what you want to do. This applies to all aspects of life from quitting smoking, to schooling to Internet Marketing!
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  • Profile picture of the author C G
    You will work on your goals on a daily basis until you achieve them. So why not tell everybody?

    Cheers,

    C.G.
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  • Profile picture of the author rickdangelo
    Personally, I don't because as far as my experience on telling others my goals, most of the time it gets jixed. lol
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    • Profile picture of the author grantveronica
      I just watched the video you shared.

      I wanted to lose weight before but I ended up gaining more. I kept telling my boyfriend that I want to lose weight but I just don't feel motivated when I tell others about it. I was just telling them what I'm planning to do to make it somehow "real" but I feel less motivated. Doesn't only apply to weight loss, goals shouldn't be told to anyone except yourself. All goals should be kept a secret until you've accomplished all of it. Unless you don't want to do it anymore, you can reveal it. I mean, I'm gonna focus more on achieving it than telling everyone I'm planning to do something I haven't even started yet or am not yet halfway through.

      It depends upon the person's motivation though. For me, sharing doesn't help.
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      • Profile picture of the author andrewmax
        Some of goals can be revealed to others, while few of goals are better to keep to yourself.
        We need support of others to achieve some of goals, better to reveal such goals . But many people often being jealous, try to pose problems in real life or they do simply so by denting your confidence. Anyways, once set, goals must be achieved all the way
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  • Profile picture of the author osamaye360
    The reason why telling others your goals is to serve as checks and balances for you. if no one knew about your goals, you probably will not care enough to wanna pursue it when you get discouraged along the way.

    But when you know someone is aware of your goals and that they might wanna find out how far you have gone, you will wanna buckle up.

    But it matters who you tell your goals to. Only tell people who motivate you or people who are your mentors
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
      Originally Posted by osamaye360 View Post

      ... if no one knew about your goals, you probably will not care enough to wanna pursue it when you get discouraged along the way...
      Perhaps if a goal isn't cared about it might be worth considering dropping it in favour of something more desirable. Can't see the point in keeping a goal just to keep someone else from embarrassing you. I rarely set goals but when I do it's a burning desire that I get totally immersed into. If a goal fades it probably wasn't that important to you and was most likely set due to someone else's suggestion (e.g. at a seminar in a moment of extreme hype). What other people think of my goals doesn't even factor into it.

      Keep them strong, keep them personal and keep them quiet except for...

      Originally Posted by osamaye360 View Post

      ...Only tell people who motivate you or people who are your mentors
      ...I agree with this.
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      • Profile picture of the author Patrick238
        Telling others about your goals can be good to hold yourself accountable and stay motivated.

        But whether this works not only depends on yourself but also on the people you shared your goals with. If they really care about you and ask about your challenges and successes and listen before they come with advice then you found a true buddies that will pull you through when times get rough.

        On the other hand, if those people only check in on you so now and then, ask you how it is going and leave it at that, then it is quite likely that they will do your efforts to achieve your goals more harm than good.

        Whenever you set yourself a goal, be sure to put a plan in place with (small) steps that you can follow and accomplish within a certain time frame. Keep your plan to yourself. Get started, be patient and see how things go the first weeks. When everything goes according to your plans for about a week or two-three, then you will have established enough confidence to tell others about your goals.

        But choose your buddies carefully as not everyone likes to see you change and achieve goals they wish they could bring up the strength for to pursue them themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    The best time to tell people about your goals or your income goals is when you are about to reach them.

    When you first start out, you don't want to tell anyone anything because they will just put you down and laugh at you.
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  • Profile picture of the author ddev
    You should tell your goals to the right people. There's nothing bad with that.

    For example, take a look at some launch calendars (muncheye.com etc). People are not hiding their goals. Instead, they're "sharing" them with mind-liked people.

    Just my 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
    Originally Posted by Jarrod View Post

    What are your thoughts? Should you tell others your goals...
    Not if it would be casting pearls before swine.

    Joe Mobley
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    Follow Me on Twitter: @daVinciJoe
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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Ray
    Personally I would suggest not telling anyone what your goals are unless you can be certain they either share your goals or that they will not become a disruptive influence.

    This includes everyone... even family.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Did Ghenghis Khan tell people his goals?
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  • Profile picture of the author RVS3
    I think it depends. If you are telling others your goals to impress them, then you probably don't have the right goals in the first place.

    If you aren't telling people your goals because you're afraid of being judged, you either have the wrong goals or are afraid of what other people think of you.

    In either case, make sure you know WHY you want your goals, and then the decision to tell or not tell others will become crystal clear.
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