Share Your Goals with Friends or Keep Them to Yourself

Do you share your life plan or goals with friends, family or perhaps randomly on the internet?

Or are you working towards your goals without letting anyone know about them?

If you’re unsure whether you should share your goals with friends or keep them to yourself, read on.

I always thought a goal and goal settings are private and personal… until, of course, I’ve read millions (ha) income reports published by bloggers.

Income report itself isn’t a goal.

But the information often contains a blogger’s future goals, what they achieved, what they failed to achieve and so on.

Some suggest you share your goals with friends.

Some say you’ll most likely fail to achieve your goals if you do so.

Confusing, huh?

If you’re like me and never thought about sharing your goals with someone else other than yourself, here are my experience and thoughts.

See whether you want to share yours if you haven’t already.

Or it’s just not for you…

Sharing My Goal

My 100 Day Challenge fits the bill.

I announced my intention of publishing a blog post every day for 100 days straight.

I have 39 more days to go.

I’m a pretty private person. So I’ve never done anything like this before.

I don’t think anyone really cares whether I write every day or not (sadly!).

That’s the thing though.

I’m still publishing it every day regardless.

Had I started this challenge in my private journal, I’d have skipped a day or two for sure.

The fact that I had announced it publicly kept me accountable, despite no one likely keeps on track.

As a self-motivated person, I’d never really felt the need to tell my goals to others to use it as my motivator prior to my 100 Day Challenge.

Turned out I was wrong.

Announcing this challenge on my blog has been the best motivator in my blogging journey.

It kept me going even though I couldn’t see the immediate result and didn’t know what I was doing while battling with terrible insecurity over my writing skills.

UPDATE: my 100 Day Challenge is complete now. You can read about them below, before, during and after the challenge in order.

But Some Say “Don’t Share Your Goals”

According to Derek Sivers, telling someone your goals makes them less likely to happen.

The premise is that once you tell your goals to your friends who in return congratulate you, you feel good about it.

It’s the same euphoric pull you’d feel after attaining your goals.

What it means is that the moment you tell your goals to others, your brain tricks you and makes you feel good as though you’ve accomplished your goals!

And now that you’re feeling good, you’re less likely to do the actual work that needs to be done to achieve your goals.

Keep your goals to yourself | Derek Sivers

It’s not conventional advice.

Neither is it convincing though.

If you tell your friends you’re going to run 5K in 3 months and they cheer you on your goal, you feel good about it for good reasons.

  • You set a goal: a lot of people go through life without one.
  • Your friends acknowledge it’s a wonderful goal: good to have people who share your enthusiasm and encourage you.
  • You imagine the day you run to the finish line that generates an awesome feeling.

Those good reasons would motivate us to start training, running several days a week to 5K in 3 months.

The only reason we don’t put in the necessary work to achieve our goal would be because we weren’t serious about it in the first place.

Not because we told our goals to friends then felt good about it.

So What Do You Do?

“Tell your goals to others or not” seems to present conflicting studies like diet or exercise.

And just like diet and exercise, all depends on individuals.

If you’re a self-motivated person who doesn’t rely on external motivation, you don’t really need to share your goals with others.

There are many people who don’t like to be told what to do or scrutinised by others and possibly judged.

They do their own thing just fine. 

On the other hand, if you find it hard to motivate yourself, struggling with making progress or constantly procrastinating, it’ll do wonders when you find like-minded people who work towards the same goal e.g a running partner.

Final Thoughts

I mentioned a couple of examples regarding external motivators such as grandpa who quit smoking after promising to his granddaughter or a dad who exercises nearly every day for fear of missing out on his daughter’s future.

Be that external or internal motivator, positive (reward) or negative (fear), when all is said and done, there’s only one question to ask yourself:

Do I even have goals: what are they?

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