Why You Should Keep Your 2019 Goals to Yourself
It’s that time of year. Everyone around you is going on and on about their resolutions. Bloggers you follow are writing their yearly goals posts. I did this too last year. And when I look back at those monthly/yearly goals that I put out into the universe for all to see and compare it what I actually wound up accomplishing…yikes.
We have been told again and again that in order to achieve our goals we need to “speak them into reality”. We need to announce them so that others will hold us accountable. Has this ever worked for you? Because it certainly hasn’t for me. All it’s ever done was either make me feel pressure or make me feel like a failure if I don’t reach the goal I blathered on about to everyone. This year I decided to approach my goals differently. I have decided to simply keep them to myself. There won’t be any yearly or monthly goals posts on The Mod Woman this year. And my choice is backed by science.
A study on goal setting had 163 people write down their goals. One half shared their goals with the entire group, while the other half did not. Each group was then instructed to do 45 minutes of work towards their goals. The half that shared their goals felt they had done less work and had a long way to go to achieve their goals while the group that didn’t share their goals felt closer to achieving them and had completed more work towards their goals. Check out the TED talk by Derek Sivers which talks about this here .
This is called “social reality”. By announcing our plans and goals our brains tricks us into thinking that we have already achieved them. We feel self-congratulatory about goals and plans before ever starting them. So what should you do when it comes to your goals in 2019?
Write them down
Writing down goals is still an effective way to get started on the road to achieving them. A Harvard study showed that students who wrote down their goals for after graduation wound up making twice as much money in their careers than students who didn’t.
Create a plan
Studies have shown that simply writing your goals out and referencing them can often be enough to set you on the right path. But - a list of goals staring you in the face can be overwhelming and can make you feel discouraged before you even begin. Having a plan - even if it’s vague - can help quell a lot of the anxiety around goal-setting. If you don’t know where to begin? Google it. And go from there. The plan doesn’t have to be complicated or cover each step. It’s simply a road map to get you on your way.
Keep that plan to yourself
I don’t mean that you have to be secretive about what you’re doing. But sometimes we simply need to be quiet and just do the work. Don’t announce to your friends that you’re going to the gym this week. Just go to the gym. And tell them afterwards. You will feel a thousand times better telling them after the work has already been done.
Re-evaluate as needed
Sometimes we set a goal for ourselves only to either have life throw a monkey wrench into it or simply change our minds. Or the plan we’ve made simply isn’t working. Checking in with ourselves and our goal list helps with consistency and also helps us stay connected to what we truly want. It’s okay to change your mind. Or to carve out another path. By keeping our goals to ourselves this allows us the freedom to do this without feeling like we owe explanations.
I wish all of you the best in reaching your goals in 2019! Just remember - don’t announce them in the comments section ;)