When do commitments not work? In order to achieve goals, sometimes it is better to keep quiet

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Remember that time you set an amazing goal and were so excited to tell everyone about it? Remember how a goal later started to feel like an obligation?

This has happened to me countless times. Just because I didn't know how to keep quiet and not tell anyone about my goals, it just happened.

...Of course, these days there are many specialists who say that in order to achieve a goal, you need to commit. 1 It is said that this way you will force yourself to work + you will get help from those around you.

But some interesting research suggests otherwise.

However, here lies the problem: not knowing who and how to express your dreams can only create more trouble. And these studies aren't even talking about the criticism you're sure to get.

It turns out that when you express your goals and dreams, you fall for someone...

First of all: You reduce your desire to work to the limit.

Back in 1933, 2 1982, 3 2006 4 and 2009 5 A series of detailed studies on human motivation and aspirations were carried out in 2008. The results of the research were somewhat unexpected.

It turns out that people who publicize their goals loudly, much more often do not fully achieve their goals. Expressing your aspirations brings with it a sense of completion. And therefore the desire to continue the work is lost. 

"People already know I'm into this" is an example of this sentiment. This is a particularly toxic mindset, because why keep working if everyone is already applauding you for how cool you are?

And public announcements on Instagram and Facebook to only semi-acquainted people are a great medium for promoting this feeling.

  1. You make up your mind that you want to be a better person.
  2. You announce that you have started sorting garbage.
  3. You are happy to receive attention, hearts, compliments.
  4. ...Really, why do you need to keep sorting that garbage? Well, well, you can... But after all, you probably started the challenge not because of your faith, but because of attention and recognition, or not?

I experienced the same feeling as soon as I posted about mine a month without garbage results... 🙂

...One of today's most prolific creatives, Derek Sivers 6 presents this idea in more detail in his TED talk:

Secondly: You imprison yourself in past decisions.

When you say your goals out loud, sometimes you also set a deadline. It's not bad, deadlines help you get things done... But the problem comes when you set a goal and see that it is difficult to implement in time.

And it happens. You promise to do it, and only after you start you realize that, ooooiiiiii... I'm going to be a little late. Or a lot. And now I can't do other things either. And everything burns.

Chrono-optimism is one of the biggest problems in creating new challenges for yourself. And while it helps Elon Musk raise more money from investors, because the optimism is addictive, working only for yourself... Well, you see how it works.

Another problem is sometimes only after starting to achieve the goal you see that you would not be happy in the end. You thought that everything would work out, but in reality it seems that... Well... 💩 it turns out.

And what happens to such obstacles?

  • It is clear to you that you need to change course - abandon the goal or change it completely.
  • However, it is not clear to others.

Of course, you can then explain to each of those people... But some of them will still, even after five years, hang around ooooo why did you stop doing that? Well, you wouldn't be such a loser if you had already...

Familiar, isn't it? 😀

However, if your goal is yours, it has the right to deal with it as it wishes.

Thirdly: You trick yourself into doing something.

One of my biggest hobbies is planning. Planning doesn't have to be complicated to feel like you've done the work. Just relax... Share ideas with your friends...

...And do that the plan.

Another one. After all, it's good to have a second plan, isn't it? There is no shame in stock! And, you know, maybe now I will draw that plan visually. And now I will use all of them 5 time planning methods and I will put everything in the calendar.

And now, you know, I'll talk to my friends and mom. They are not specialists, but maybe they will give you some advice. You know, you have to ask?

This is how my plans wall in the study looked in 2015. Guess all the planning paid off... 🤦‍♂️

The wall is covered with sheets and diagrams

By the way, on the left - the second version of my standing desk.

Fourthly: Open yourself up to doubt.

Not all people will understand you. And I'm not talking about useful criticism to learn from... But partly also about her. Every moment you spend doubting is a moment you don't spend trying.

However, admit that you know best about the idea - what you will do and how. 

And there is no shortage of "experts" who will find 394+ reasons why it will fail. They will explain through "logical" thinking and their 30 years of experience. Your parents or grandparents are not your enemies. They just don't know the whole situation.

Well, if the doubt seems worthy of attention to you...

  1. Set a smaller goal! Just a little experiment!
  2. Look what happens.
  3. If everything is fine, move on. If not, it's good that you doubted and didn't immediately set a huge goal, as I am, by mistake, I did.

It gets easier, doesn't it?

...What to do? Tell your goals only where and when it will be useful. Don't tell anyone.

Posting goals is, in principle, not a bad thing. It's just important...

Why: For a group of like-minded people.

If you want to get the most out of the advice - listen to people who have been in your shoes recently.

  • Those who experienced your problems 10+ years ago are already living differently. The memory is not so good that they remember exactly what they were doing then, and even more so, life was completely different then.
  • Those who never had your problem can just fantasize.

For example, if you are looking for a job, someone can recommend you "send an illustrated CV". 20 years ago it worked because there was no photoshop in those days. Today, unfortunately, different techniques would be needed. And what exactly - I can't recommend, because I can't even imagine what exactly works today!

...See? You need people who have recently solved your problem. Let's call that group of people the Mastermind group.

How to find it?

  1. Open your Facebook or Instagram. In your mind, go through other catalogs of people you know.
  2. See someone who recently overcame your problem?
  3. Ask him for help! 7
  4. Repeat with a few more people so that the advice is not one-sided.

Continue to communicate with these people and in time you will gather a circle of acquaintances. Invite everyone to meet. Enjoy the company. Enjoy useful, practical, honest advice.

...What if you don't know people who have recently gone through your problem?

  1. Ask on Facebook, Instagram, in the comments of this article - maybe someone knows and let them direct you to that person.
  2. Check out Facebook groups - there are groups for even very niche areas!
  3. If you work with serious businesses, visit BNI. There are live communities for other purposes as well - just search and visit. I recommend watching it Facebook events, you will definitely find something.
  4. Just go, say hello, ask someone you know.

Maybe you won't find the right people soon. It happens. Especially if your problem area is very niche. So the second part is also important...

How: By the way.

Your desire to share your dreams should not be your main desire. Don't tell about the goals until you start working towards them, don't tell if you feel that the story will become more pleasant than the work.

After all, your goal is the point. Not a story about him.

...Or not? 😉

  1. As in the book and the movie "The Secret" or from Lithuanian Olympic track cyclist S. Krupeckaitė's lips.

  2. Psychologist Wera Mahler At the University of Berlin, he then conducted one of the first motivational studies.

  3. NYU professor Peter Gollwitzer first mentioned it in his book Symbolic Self-Completion.

  4. Published in Personality and Social Psychology magazine "Subgoals as substitutes or complements: The role of goal accessibility".

  5. The aforementioned Peter Gollwitzer "When Intentions Go Public: Does Social Reality Widen the Intention-Behavior Gap?".

  6. by the way writing a very interesting blog. I recommend listening to him as well A 2-hour interview with creator Tim Ferriss.

  7. Yes, what's the worst that can happen? After all, nothing! Just ask and that's it.

  • Hello,
    I decided to write something constructive, maybe you will write interesting thoughts in the future.
    The structure is not very clear, there is a great lack of concreteness. First of all, I did not identify myself in a situation from which I should dig myself. The arguments that follow are very abstract with a bunch of links (I haven't looked at any of them), didn't change my mind 🙂 The statement that a spoken or written goal causes more vibrations and therefore has a better chance of being fulfilled is more acceptable.
    Fewer links, more thoughts. Good luck!

    • Oh, oh, love it!
      I've been waiting for something like this for a long time. Although I didn't fully understand what exactly got in my way, at least now I have the opportunity to consult with writers I know. Thanks for the observations, Rasiau! 😉

      • A goal is not the same as a goal.

        Let's say I set a goal to go to the World Cup in Brazil next year. I tell this to friends and buddies. One of them advises me to contact a well-known portal with an offer to deliver a photo report, for which I receive travel financing. Or when organizing an outdoor event, I set the goal of making it as popular as possible. I remind everyone I meet about this for two weeks, I ask them to participate and pass on the information to whom it is relevant. In both cases, there are alternative ways to operate quietly. In which case, the goals are more likely to be achieved?

        Well, when modeling the situation, describe it more precisely. And necessarily with examples so that the reader can identify himself in the place of the hero. Then the proposed methods can work better, and the advice will be more valuable 🙂

  • Hello, I started reading what you wrote and I was surprised - why can't you say goals? Why is the title of the article so categorical? After all, a smart person doesn't come up with 55 new goals every day 🙂 Anyway, everything is ok, maybe some goals don't need to be revealed, but you never know who can help you achieve your goal... good luck 🙂

    • Hi Ramune.
      Indeed, it is true that there are goals that are better to tell others. Only I encourage disclosure only when you know who to tell them to and know how to release them. Well, for the sake of convenience, I will not repeat what is written in the article itself. :))

  • Hello,
    I'm sorry, but I want to share a negative opinion.:) when I started reading the text, I expected to hear something more real. However, after the first paragraphs, it is clear that writing is worth writing. The internet is full of similar nonsense about self-optimization... More specifically, it talks about a "strong goal" at the beginning, and then about forcing yourself to achieve it... When you want to go to the toilet, you go to the toilet, not to tell everyone how you want to go to the toilet 🙂
    The advice is as follows - write about what really excites you, the spread will be greater and it will be easier to write...:)

  • I almost agree. And sometimes those people who find "holes" in that goal are really right and you understand that... well, really, it would have been nonsense to do that. Maybe the expression helps to see a more real picture, because in dreams everything is not always as complicated as in reality.

    • Right, good point. But that is exactly why I recommend telling about your goals not to just anyone, but to people who understand your goals (well, that is, just smart and experienced). And after hearing their answers, consider and plan, not just dream. :))

      Because really, there are advantages to speaking out. But not widely and thoughtlessly when publishing.

    • I think the problem here is that others dissuade you from something. Any thought/idea is like a virus and those who find holes in your dream (real or unreal) thoughts about it infect you and you give up. In other words, you infect your mind (which generated that great idea) with their thoughts. You already think like them, and of course, then that idea will not seem great to you, because now you are not looking at it with your (creator's) eyes, but with their eyes. A dream is more subjective than you think. You can't look at a dream objectively, in one person's eyes, creating an electric light bulb was complete nonsense, in another, it was a revolutionary discovery. If you want to receive intercession and help, share your dreams with competent people (activists, creative optimists, not with mediocrity who go to that huge box (office) every day and do what they are told, who do not see any opportunities around them, think that millionaires geniuses or thieves, and spend their evenings watching TV shows. Those who say finish your education or else you will perish. Only a degree will guarantee you a good job. Those who never had the determination and courage to pursue their true dream, or those who gave up halfway through. These are mediocrity, 99% society's infusion. Don't share your ideas and dreams with them, they will infect your mind with their mediocrity and stoop to their level. You will start looking at your dreams through their narrow prism and there is a good chance that you will never be able to return to your world view. It doesn't matter who they are. people, as sad as it is, even if those people are your parents and friends, don't let their thoughts cloud your potential 🙂

  • I found
    I see that you gave Daniel some advice, which is good (and Debesyla is cool with it), but I get the impression that you didn't dig deep enough into the essence of the text yourself. And you give examples, so if you set a goal to go to the world football championship, you thought about the possible means of achieving it, didn't you? 🙂 Have you just thought that you want to go there, but you go and ask everyone what you should do to get there? 🙂 As I understand, you are looking for ideas on how to implement, rather than certain, clearly defined help from other people. And among them there will be those who will say that it is not worth going there at all, it is not safe, etc.. what then? 😉
    Regarding the second example with the event: did you set a goal to make the outdoor event as popular as possible? 🙂 What is the essence, meaning, benefit of the event, or is it only important to be massive so that anyone can come? If you don't know that, it's nothing... You've been telling everyone about it for two weeks, you'll miss a lot of things in that way, please participate.. (well, at least you don't beg..?:) and pass it on to the relevant people.., what the hell should I pass on the info? 🙂
    So: "when simulating the situation, describe it more precisely".
    And for me, such a thing is more acceptable, when I have set myself a goal, foreseen the means and then I try to purposefully choose people with whom I could consult on certain implementation issues, in other words, I share with those who are also interested in this, are interested in contributing, or I clearly know what kind of help I need.

  • Dear Daniel, I am glad to have found this page. I found interesting thoughts in this article, but I'm still in favor of saying my thoughts, dreams, goals 🙂 Yes, I agree with your arguments that it can create an image that you are doing something, others can question and criticize, in popular words envy, copy and so on . I will be a romantic idealist, but how else will the law of attraction work? In order for it to work, you just need to live with your goal, get into it. And telling the story, as Andrius says, to suitable and reliable people, I would tend to say to friends, helps to get into it...

  • I often don't want to talk about my goals. Personally, because I'm not very consistent, interests change and I may no longer want to pursue the thing, or it just won't work, and when others are told, I'll feel uncomfortable, like I'm committing and lying. Maybe it's more fun just to do something good, and others will wonder - how did you do it, why didn't you say anything. The result will be evaluated, not the speech. There is another not very rational reason, that I am afraid that they may wish me ill, and then I will not be successful...

  • Hi Daniel 🙂

    The style is good, easy to read and follow the main idea. Everything is taught clearly and smoothly. It can be seen that you have invested time and effort, and not just let it be.

    However, there is a "but". The headline itself is not correct - it reminds me of delfi.lt's headlines. Also, as someone pointed out, the fact that the sources are listed somehow doesn't help at all to convince you that this is already true.

    Techie, when reading on a windows phone and closing the "You might also like" popup, that purple/blue arrow keeps dragging through the article.

    Good luck!

    • Thanks for the observations, Povilas. It's strange that the title reminded me of Delphi, I guess I was trying to avoid all kinds of shocking facts and unexpected discoveries. 😀

      And the index will soon be removed for mobile phones. Will not interfere in the future. 🙂

  • For a long time I wanted to find something similar that would hook me, it's probably in my vibrations, because I've already achieved a lot of goals, but the door is still open. It's true that you shouldn't start telling me what you're going to do, because the lawn will take away your words and you don't want that anymore .

  • I liked the article. And I said that it suits me very well, because I have already noticed not 1 and not 10 times that with each time I tell others about my new goal, the motivation to achieve that goal decreases. Things". I also liked the links, a person shares his knowledge, it's good! Not many can! Thanks for the great article 🙂

    • It's great that you liked and helped the article, Indre! I hope you will use his advice in the future! 😉

  • You MUST tell your mentor exactly, or in other words, someone who is able to stand up for you and if you need to advise you or correct your actions.
    Works fabulously well!!!
    I had 3 mentors in my life, and I shared my goals with them (otherwise they were my mentors) and I walked the path several times faster than they walked.
    This means learning from the mistakes of others.

    And to tell anyone who happens to, of course, is just a waste of energy.

  • Everything would be right if you weren't the only one... If no one had such a goal until then, if you are a pioneer... Then even the Boss stands behind you and you practically only need to fly, as for example the last one, which is still being carried out to control super systems.. Good luck in the jamming 😉
    Well, such as the Brazilian championships are his, they are only for those who love you, who wish you well, but it is better that even you do not lose the desire to approach you, especially strangers 😉

  • I recently created my own blog, my 'bucket list', I sent it to my friends, just like the opposite of what you wrote 🙂 but these are things that I really know that I will do now because it's in a whirlwind. by rule 🙂

  • I read the article and I have the impression that they are writing about me in some places. You need to know who to tell your goal to, and this, in my opinion, should be a well-tested person or max two, but no more. And if there is a possibility, it is better not to tell anyone at all. When I didn't say it - it worked, when I said it - I regretted it.

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