Sometime ago, I don’t recall when, I decided to no longer participate in making New Year’s resolutions. I used to make what many consider the standard New Year’s resolutions:
– Lose weight
– Learn a foreign language
Year after year, I’d declare my intent on keeping this never-changing list of resolution’s. At a certain point, I grew weary of making and never sticking to resolutions that required little or no introspection on my part. It isn’t that resolving to exercise and/or learn a new language is a problem, these are great goals. For me, it ultimately came down to the “why” behind making these resolutions.
When I took the time to analyze why I was making these resolutions, I discovered that it had more to do with what I thought I should aspire to, not what I truly wanted to achieve. For instance, my yearly resolution to exercise was my attempt to aspire to look like the models on the pages of the fitness magazines. Today, resolution-free, exercising has become a way for me to achieve strength, reduce stress, gain clarity, and push myself past certain physical boundaries. This shift from “aspire ” to “achieve” came wrapped along with the acknowledgement that my drive to make resolutions was second only to my desire to share these resolutions. Sharing resolutions/goals is the very thing Derek Sivers contends may make achieving these goals less likely.
In the Ted Talk, “Keeping Your Goals to Yourself,” Derek Sivers makes the case, propelled by some psychological research, that the good feeling that comes from sharing one’s goals with others is the very thing that will stifle some individuals from performing the necessary work to achieve their declared goal. In a nutshell, the act of sharing goals can trick one into feeling as if they have already attained their goal, making them less motivated to do the heavy-lifting required to achieve their goal. Could it be that our desire to share our goals with others is the very thing that is preventing us from achieving them? In a world where sharing is king, not sharing is radical.
I believe there have been times when sharing my goals with friends and loved ones has worked against me in the way Derek Sivers outlines in his talk, which is why I’m going to give keeping my goals to myself a whirl in 2013. Yes, that’s right, I’m keeping my goals to myself, zipping my lips, throwing it in the vault. I think that the act of keeping my goals to myself will be akin to my no longer making New Year’s resolutions, opening up the opportunity for me to be more dedicated and purposeful in my life planning.
What do you think of the idea of keeping goals to yourself? Is this something you think you’d be able and/or want to do?
Happy New Year!!!