Talk About Your Goals: Goal Setting Success

Andy Crestodina


Talk About Your Goals

Research shows that writing down a goal increases the chance of achieving that goal. The same research shows that talking about your goals makes success even more likely.

When Dr. Gail Matthews conducted a study of 149 participants, she found that committing to your goals in writing has a positive impact on your chance of success.

Here’s how the study worked

149 subjects were divided into several groups and each subject was asked to select a goal. Some were asked to simply think about their goal. Other groups were asked to write their goal. A final group committed to their goals in writing and shared that commitment and progress reports with a supportive friend. At the end of four weeks, each subject reported the extent of their goal setting success. (see the research summary here)

Sharing with friends makes goal setting successful

When goals are written and the commitment and progress updates are shared with a supportive friend, the likelihood of achieving the goal was the highest. Why? It may be fear of disappointing them. It may be a fear of embarrassment. Or it might be that encouraging boost of confidence that only a friend can give.

“There was support for the role of public commitment: those who sent their commitments
to a friend accomplished significantly more than those who wrote action commitments
or did not write their goals.”
– Dr. Gail Matthews

Find an Accountabili-Buddy

Find someone supportive whom you respect. Someone you don’t want to disappoint. Schedule a regular time to meet or talk on the phone. Tell them your goals and ask them to hold you accountable. Or make it mutual and work on goal setting and success together.

Personally, I hope to one day be an author, so I found a friend who has published books. I meet him twice a month at 8am. We drink coffee and share progress. He holds me accountable and I hate to disappoint him!

What are your goals?

You are moments away from leveraging this simple but powerful principle. Right now, you can state your goals to the world. Just tell us your goals with a comment below. But be careful! We may hold you to it…

Author’s Bio:
Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media Studios, a web design company in Chicago. You can tell Andy your goals on and on Twitter.



  1. says

    Great advice. I believe that either writing it down or talking about it, constantly having your goal in your mind (even without knowing how you can reach it) will inevitably increase the chance your achieving it.

    If you are interested in goal setting, you may want to check out a goal setting app called, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate.

  2. says

    Hi Andy, when i read this post i remembering simpleology, i like your post. My goals is married this year with my fiancee. Wish me luck. Thanks. Regards.

  3. says

    Funny I read another research, can’t find it now, that said the opposite.
    The conclusion of the researcher here was that when you share your goals with people your brain feels that you have already completed a part of your goal. This would result in a good feeling and therefor less energy to invest in the completion of the goal.

    So you should write down your goals, it will structure the thinking process, but don’t share it with other people.

    • says

      Hi Erno,
      My experience is that, when I frame my goals inside “here’s what I’m working on” and share that, the folks who listen step in to offer help in ways I might never have accessible or simply never have seen.

      I think we have to choose which works for us and follow it.

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