Why You Like To Tell People Your Goals

Stop posting your new year’s resolutions. Don’t tell people “what you have always wanted to do.” Stop telling your mom about your career aspirations. In the words of Nike:

Just Do It.

This idea of not telling people your goals is not a new idea that I have manufactured. It is not original by any means. In fact, if you googled “Stop Telling People Your Goals” then you would stumble upon many psychology articles like this, this or even this.

So why do we continue to do this!?

It’s easy

The simple answer is that it is much easier to tell people your goals instead of ACTUALLY DOING THEM. I mean c’mon, who ACTUALLY wants to drop 20 pounds? Or who ACTUALLY wants to read 5 books a month.

Ah, BUT if I could just TELL someone about my goals, maybe that will provide some comfort. Truth is: It does.

But why?

Why do we feel comforted when we tell others our plans? Turns out it boils down to our “identity goals.”

Psychology Today describes identity goals as “goals that ultimately influence a person’s concept of who they are.” We all make these types of goals each year, and some even take their list of dreams to Facebook to show just how they will change this world this year. Chances are, they won’t.

When you announce your goals to the world, typically people will praise you for this brave act of typing words onto a screen, making promises to yourself and them that you won’t keep. As you make this announcement, however, your brain starts to do weird things. You slowly start to feel accomplished, like you are somehow closer to achieving the goal by stating what it is. Studies back this up.


Maybe We Don’t Really Want To

Let’s be real. We like the idea of us caring about things, more than actually caring about things.

MAN DO WE LOVE POLITICS. We love to enlighten the world with our incredible, fresh perspective that will shatter the minds of all of those who scroll past it on Facebook. And man, we really feel accomplished when all those likes and comments roll in, egging us on in our journey to stardom.

But when was the last time you gave money towards your party? Or helped raise money for a cause you care about? Or just read the news? Nahhhh.

We LOVE to let others know the 20 pounds we are planning to lose in the next 10 years, but how often are you making true sacrifices to make this happen?

We love the IDEA of being a person like that. We love to be a person who ASPIRES to achieve that. But we are just too dang busy with all the Netflix we have to catch up on.

Make it Personal

Here’s what can help you resolve this problem:

Make your goals personal: STOP LOOKING ON GOOGLE FOR YOUR RESOLUTIONS/GOALS. What goals would you like to achieve, if nobody knew or saw any of the process, and you would be satisfied with the product?

Stop Sharing: Don’t pat yourself on the back for thinking of an idea. That’s really taking you nowhere. Except back to the couch. To watch more Netflix.

Make it Happen: It’s that simple. Stop making excuses for yourself.

I’ll leave you with this quote that I found in a blog:

“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” — Farrah Gray

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