September 14, 2010

Keep it to yourself

One bit of advice you often hear when trying to achieve a goal is to tell several people about it. The thought process is that if you tell a bunch of people, you will feel accountable to them (whether or not they check up on your progress).

I caught this TED video the other day that shows that maybe that isn't the best way to succeed. Most goals take a lot of work to achieve. When we tell people about our goals and they cheer us on, we experience  some of that satisfaction and gratification of success without having done the work. There is already a sense of completeness in our mind.

What is recommended is that you talk about the steps you are taking, rather than focusing only on the end result. As Chris McDougall said last night when he chose not to talk about his next project, "I want to gain a little traction before I tell people what I am working on next".

Of course keeping goals entirely to ourselves could bring down a lot of blogs. I will of course continue to blather on about my running goals and what I am doing to achieve them, but I think I will keep my next project to myself until I get some forward momentum.

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