At TEDGlobal in July, Derek Sivers talked about whether it’s a good idea to tell others your goals. It’s a short video, worth a few minutes of your time.
But I think he came to the wrong conclusion.
Derek cited recent research which studied subjects who told their goals to researchers. The people who stated their goals worked less hard toward achieving them than others who hadn’t. The researchers concluded:
Assuming that this was a reasonable study, I can follow the logic and might see some validity to it. But there’s a key point that they missed which Derek only alluded to at the end of his talk:
Telling your goal to a researcher is different than telling it to someone you have a relationship with.
Why would this be? Because a researcher essentially provides no mental pressure for you to achieve your goal. If you tell your goal to a friend, it creates a conversation inside your head: “If I don’t follow through with this, my friend is going to ask me about it, I’ll have to admit I didn’t do anything, and they’ll be disappointed in me. That will weaken our friendship and I won’t be as happy.”
It’s that pressure which helps you to work toward your goals, and will help you to sustain it over time. This is the real “trick” behind accountability partners, mastermind groups, and other groups where you talk about your plans and achievements.
So here’s what we’ve learned about setting goals:
An important resource
I briefly mentioned TED, so I thought I’d talk about that a little more. TED (“Technology – Entertainment – Design) is a rapidly growing worldwide movement which helps people to learn from each other, exchange concepts across disciplines, and incite entrepreneurial change. The best part is that all their (short!) presentations, by some of the most creative people on the planet, are available for free on the TED website.
You can also subscribe to the videos and audios as podcasts, to download to your MP3 player and consume when you have some free time.
Keep your mind open to new ideas – you never know where your next career inspiration might come from!
|Carl Dierschow is a Certified Small Fish Business Coach and author of the career management guide, Mondays Stink! 23 Secrets to Rediscover Delight and Fulfillment in Your Work. He is a career coach for those going through interesting transitions, and works with small business owners who need to create breakthroughs in achieving their business goals. Find out more at www.Dierschow.com and www.SmallFish.us.
If you are interested in individual career coaching, group coaching, or other resources which might help you with difficult choices, please contact Carl at email@example.com.
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