Who doesn’t like to share plans with family and friends? When we make an important decision, we feel like we need to tell the whole world about what we are planning to do. We think that this creates the accountability that you need to follow-through. But the truth is completely the opposite.
According to the researches provided in 1933 – when you tell someone about your plans, you are risking to never achieve them. A study has shown that people who tell others about their goals tend to feel like they have already achieved the goal and this demotivates them. It happens because you get psychologically satisfacted of achieving the goal without having to actually do anything. In other words, talking becomes a substitute for doing.
In 2009, Dr. Peter Gollwitzer provided four separate tests where 163 people wrote down a goal they want to accomplish. Half of them announced their commitment to their goal; half of them went silent. After that they were supposed to work toward their goal for 45-minutes and they were told they could stop at any time. Those who didn’t tell anyone about their goals worked the entire 45 minutes. Afterward, they said they still had a lot of work to do in order to achieve their goal.
On the other hand, those who had gone public, stopped doing their work averagely after 33 minutes. They felt they were already closer to accomplishing their goal and didn’t need to work the entire time.
So, next time you want to share your goals with someone – think twice! Remember the saying: “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do,” so why announce it until you have accomplished it?!