I know you’ve been receiving a lot of emails this January promising miraculous success this year especially when it comes to setting and achieving goals. I want to share a video sharing advice that is quite contrarian to what you’d have heard recently about achieving your goals. We’ve all heard that sharing your goals publicly helps to create accountability.
Watch this video and you’ll understand why you should keep your really important goals to yourself this January.
Basically, the gist of the video is that saying your goals out loud makes you feel good, but that good feeling sabotages you and makes you less likely to take action and ultimately achieve that goal. Shouting about your goals to gain accountability is therefore not such a great idea.
This makes a lot of sense to me because the big hairy audacious goals I achieved last year, the one from my 3-year goal and vision board was one I told no one about! I didn’t tell anyone about it because it just sounded impossible from where I stood back in 2012! Yet I achieved them and only realised I had achieved them when I was coaching a client through her goals.
By the way, I don’t make annual resolutions anymore. Like most people, I deplete my will power reserves very quickly on inconsequential decisions usually involving ice cream.
Behavioural psychologists call it ego depletion, the reason why most diets go to pots on Fridays and New Year’s resolutions don’t last past February.
Obama famously talks about ego-depletion and his strategy for counteracting it by wearing the same shirts and suits everyday “You’ll see I wear only gray or blue suits,” [Obama] said. “I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.”
Fortunately, I’m more self-aware now than I was some years ago so I focus on my long term aspirations to give myself the space to accommodate periodic failure. Yeah – I know, I fail regularly. It comes with the territory when you keep pushing your boundaries and want to achieve something you’ve never achieved before.
So go shock yourself with some big goals, write them where you can see them daily and zip your lips whilst you do the work.