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…
Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media Studios, a web design company in Chicago. You can tell Andy your goals on Google+ and on Twitter.
Harry @ GoalsOnTrack 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 http://GoalsOnTrack.com, 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.
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.
Erno Hannink 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.
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.
Hmm that research Erno might have mentioned could be Derek Sivers TED talk http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_goals_to_yourself.html
He does site some reliable research, but writing down goals, and sharing with accountability partners, is not the same as publicly announcing them, that might be the difference….what I took away here is I need more of an accountability group, not just a loose peer group.
t´s important to stop for a while and evaluate our goals. Are we really chasing them or are we lost?
No matter what the result is if u make this activity part of your life because u will be able to make the adequate changes to go back on you plan.
Sam Vandervalk says
This is a good article. I’ve seen some of my friends writing down their goals and sharing their progress with me whenever we meet, and it actually work. The part where it’s most effective is when you share it to a friend. I used to have a hard time reaching my goals. That was when I kept everything to myself. I don’t write my goals either. I just decide on a goal. Then one time my girl best friend came back to town and we had this reunion. Ever since then we see each other everyday. I started telling her about this goal I’ve been focusing on. She showed enthusiasm in my goal whenever I tell her about it. She was just so supportive. She’d ask me how I was doing. I didn’t want to disappoint that friend. So in the end I was able to accomplish something, which made both us really happy. Writing down a goal is good, but sharing it with a friend really increases the chances of it being successful.