If your goal is to be successful, science says don’t share your goals.
I’ve seen several articles and blog posts floating around lately regarding goal setting and being productive. One thing that seems to be repeatedly mentioned is the research article, When Intentions Go Public, done back in 2009 by New York University. (The research has also been featured in a TED Talk by Derek Sivers that I’ve posted the video of below.)
Essentially what the study showed, is that sharing our goals and aspirations makes it less likely that we will attain them. Researchers studied 163 people across 4 separate tests, asking each person to write down a goal they had. Half of the subjects announced their goal, while the rest of them remained silent. They were all then given 45 minutes to work toward their goal, and were then asked how close they felt they were to achieving it.
The people who had shared their goal worked for an average of 30 minutes, and felt close to achieving their goal. Those who kept it to themselves worked for the full 45 minutes, and felt as though they had a long way to go to achieve their goal.
A month or two ago before I had seen any of this research, I had actually decided to stop sharing my goals and aspirations, and instead just focused on working toward them. For me, it seems there is something to this. Like the famous quote says, “Don’t talk about it, be about it.”