Why I wont be telling you my new year resolutions

TED: Derek Sivers: Keep your goals to yourself

This video from TEDGlobal 2010 confirms something I have always felt. The warm fuzzy feelings you get when you tell people what you are going to do, gets interpreted by your brain as a reward for doing it, or at least for making steps towards your goal. You have done nothing, but your mind feels it has made some progress. I suspect we’ve all been here. I certainly have!

What I didn’t realise was that this not only be detrimental to your progress but can actually stop you achieving your goal. It can even stop you starting your goal!

Whats less clear is how telling people affects your goal after you are on your plan to achieving it. For example if your goal is to run a marathon, how does say sharing your running times and distances with friends affect your performance? Or sharing how much weight you have lost? Does the pat on the back from your peers cause you to sit back or does it force you to proceed and improve I wonder?

In any case I wont be telling you my new year resolutions! And if you have any it seems best if you don’t tell me, at least not until you are actually on the way to achieving your goal.

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