We’ve heard that one of the best ways to make something happen is accountability.
If we’re accountable for something, then we’re more likely to take action, so the theory goes.
That’s how you have a lot of people say that when you have a goal, you should “announce it aloud” and find a “buddy” who can keep you accountable.
It turns out that it’s the exact opposite of what you should do.
New studies have shown that when people announce their goals, they are less likely to complete them!
And it’s probably because of a few psychological reasons:
1) By declaring a goal, your brain partly thinks it is already accomplished. So it doesn’t feel compelled to take action.
2) We may unconsciously be afraid of failing, or not doing it well, so not taking action is one thing we do to save face.
3) Their buddies are not really holding them accountable for achieving the goal. The goal is not specific enough and the consequences of “failing” not clear.
Some people go as far as putting some hard cash on the line. Like giving a brown envelope to their “accountability buddy” and asking them only to give it back if they accomplish the goal.
I’m not sure if that even works.
Besides the mere fact that announcing your goal makes you less likely to accomplish it, there’s also another reason why you should keep your goals secret.
Most people will be negative when you tell them about your dreams.
I recently told someone that I wanted to start spending the entire winter “snowbirding, ” and their response was mostly negative.
– Are you sure you can afford it?
– You have to be careful when you travel abroad. It can be dangerous!
– Have you considered going to another country instead?
Whatever the dream is, you’ll encounter resistance around you when you talk about it.
This will create doubt, but also make you less likely to accomplish it because of the psychological reasons I listed.
So only share your goals and dreams with people who can truly support you.
The act of writing down your goals is very powerful and works! But this is something you do for yourself. You work out your plan to accomplish your dream, but no one needs to know about it except your significant other.
What do you think?