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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:

– Exercise 
– 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 resolutionsI 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!!!


About musingsnyc

I'm a self-professed iOS app addict who loves reading, writing, surfing the Internet and my hometown, New York City. In 2000, I graduated from the City University of New York, Hunter College, with a degree in English (writing concentration) and Political Science. In August 2009, I received an online MBA degree with a specialization in Public Administration from the University of Phoenix. For the past 8 years, I've worked as a Paralegal in the Immigration Law Unit of one of the largest not for profit law firms in New York City. Prior to my work as a Paralegal, I worked as a Traffic Coordinator and Assistant Account Executive in a New York City based Hispanic advertising agency. Throughout all of my different work and school experiences the one constant has been my love of writing. As long as I can remember, I have been jotting words down in notebooks, pieces of scrap paper, and just about any surface where ink would not dissolve. I have always been eager to share my thoughts and opinions about what is going on in the world and my personal life via writing. It would be a dream come true if I could channel my love and passion for writing into a full-time or freelance opportunity. My goal is to share my thoughts, opinions, life experiences in a thought- provoking and entertaining way with all that drop by. I love interacting with people and thus would love and greatly appreciate all feedback via the comments section of this blog.

3 responses »

  1. I think keeping my goals to myself is an excellent idea. In fact, I plan on doing just that! Maybe I’m mainly doing it for self-preservation (i.e, the “friendly” reminders from family members, “I thought you were going to eat less sugar.”), or maybe I’m doing it because I have ADD and my goals change from one week to the next (or, let’s be honest, daily), but for whatever reason, I think keeping my New Year’s goals mum is the best solution for my personality type I’ve ever seen.

    Happy New Year!

    • Although well- meaning, the “friendly” reminders can get to be a bit much at certain points. I think there is something freeing about not feeling “pressured” by outside expectations to perform on a level you may not be at, or even want to be at. Of course, keeping mum may lead one to fall quietly off the wagon, but that is another story, 🙂

      Happy New Year to you too!

  2. I certainly keep a good amount of my goals to myself, but the ones I share I tend to share because they help keep me accountable. Saying certain goals out loud makes me want to achieve them even more. I am motivated by that pressure. Of course, I think it’s important that those goals are attainable and not just aspirations, as you noted.

    Happy New Year, Sylvia!


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