Should You Share Your Goals With Others?

In today’s episode of the Inspiration2grow podcast we are looking at both sides of the argument whether it is a good idea to share your goals with others or keep them to yourself. I will present points for both sides, however, you’ll soon find out which side I favour.

Since this is the time of the year when most people look forward to a fresh start into the new year, a clean slate to fill with all the goals and things they would like to achieve, I thought it would be helpful to discuss the pros and cons of this hot topic.

I just want to say that the case for one side of the argument is far stronger, in my opinion, than in support of the other and you’re about to hear why.

So, there are two very distinct sides of this argument:  Should you openly share your goals with others?

On the one hand, you have the group that says, “Yes, of course share your goals.”  And, they are of the opinion that by sharing your goals, you hold yourself accountable.

But, on the other hand, you have the opposing group that says, “No, just don’t share them.” They are the ones who prefer to work in silence and let their success make all the noise.

For me, there is only ONE advantage to sharing your goals with anyone, and that is to have accountability.  Some people feel that by sharing your goals, whether big or small ones, your overall involvement in the goal becomes higher and with that, the likelihood of success increases.

Those who argue this accountability point think that friends or family who know about your goals will help to keep you on track by eventually ‘calling you out’ on things if you should get off track. 

But here’s what I struggle with – nobody likes to be publicly shamed for having a donut or a muffin at a family get-together if your goal is to lose weight, for example.  It’s embarrassing to say the least.

Therefore, if you do choose to share your weight lose goal or ANY goal for that matter with someone, make sure it’s the right person.  I would be open with them about how they should hold you to your word.  This person should also be someone you hold in high regard or look up to.  Maybe this person has even gone through what you are trying to achieve, so they could take on a mentoring role for you.

I will give you an example that recently happened to me. 

My husband and I met with another couple who we knew from our local gym.  We were laughing and talking about our efforts to keep fit and I mentioned that I would be doing a triathlon next summer.  I declared it as a goal which I had set for myself.  Normally, I only discuss my wild and crazy goals with my husband, so this kind of surprised me once I had said it.

Instantly, my new friend, Victoria, said she wanted to get involved and do it with me.  But, she said that swimming just wasn’t her thing.  I was excited that she had shown so much enthusiasm and I thought it would be so much fun to do it together with a like-minded person.  We decided to make it a water, road, trail triathlon meaning the first stretch would be done in a kayak, then we would bike a certain distance and the last leg would be on a hiking path.

At the gym the other week, Victoria mentioned that she had been thinking about our plan and she wanted to know when we would start training for it.  I was delighted to think she was as keen on completing this as I was.  So, this goes to show that by sharing your goals with the right people, you will gain the proper support and accountability.

For many of us, a spouse or significant other are the most obvious choices.  But that’s not to say that other people can’t work well as accountability partners too.
Find the right person.  Set up parameters around how they can/should help to keep you on track. And, go after that goal.

But, here’s the flip side of the questions, “Should we share our goals with others?” and the arguments against doing this.

First of all, people can be very judgemental when it comes to your goals. They may not react the way you expect them to and your self-esteem may take a hit.
In the past, I’ve even had people try to talk me out of going after what I wanted to achieve.  That’s probably the point at which I stopped sharing my goals.

And, I have to make it clear that when people judge you, it has more to do with how they feel about themselves than how they feel about you.
When people judge others, they are defining themselves; they are not defining you.

Goal setting is best done in solitude, at least at the beginning.  Actualizing your goal and the things you want to achieve will be easier if you go it alone but after you gain some momentum and confidence in what you are going after, then it is ‘safer’ to talk about your goals with others.  There is less likelihood of you getting off track or throwing in the towel.

And, there’s another really compelling reason NOT to tell others what you want to achieve…

By communicating your goal to others, this tricks your brain into thinking you’ve already achieved it.  You are less likely then to put in the necessary work.  By telling others, it creates a premature sense of completion because you experience a sense of pride in sharing, however that pride will not motivate you at all or create any sort of forward momentum.

Instead, my tip would be to strive to impress YOURSELF first and your results will improve by leaps and bounds.  It’s not important what other people think of you, but it is very important what you think about yourself and how you are showing up for yourself.

Try to impress yourself first and foremost to gain confidence and momentum in moving forward toward your goals.

The other thing that can happen when we openly declare our goals to others is that the admiration we get from them gives us a dopamine rush.  Quite often, you get congratulated on your goals without having achieved them yet. This might feel great at the time but the less likely we will be in executing on the necessary actions to reach our future goals. 

Instead, my tip would be to share only the small wins along your path rather than the big picture.  Allow friends and family to celebrate your small successes and who knows, you might find just the right supporter or accountability partner to reach the final destination with.

A further argument for not divulging your goals to others is that situations may change.  Your plans may change.  Resources may change.  So many things could happen.  If you have a big goal ahead of you, you really need to be flexible. By keeping it to yourself, you allow for more flexibility, and you can stay nimble riding the punches along the way.  Big, complex goals are best kept a secret.

Personally, I only tell my husband about my goals.  Depending on the scope of your goals, sometimes it is necessary to.

As always with things of this nature, there’s a caveat.  We are all individuals; we are all different in so many ways.  If you already have a good system in place that is working for you, great, stick with it.  But, otherwise, I hope some of the points and tips presented today were helpful.

One thing is perfectly clear, and we can definitely agree on this 100% – goals are achieved by sticking to a process consistently.  The biggest and juiciest tip would be to work out your process first, then tell your friends about it.  That will set you up for the most success and best chances of reaching your desired outcome or goal.

A few closing thoughts on goals…

You know, setting goals allows you to paint a vision of what you want your future to be.  And, here’s a different way to look at goals – consider your goals to be visions and dreams with work clothes on (quote by Dave Ramsey).  It makes so much sense because you will have to put in the work to achieve your goals which stem from the dreams you have for your life and the vision you have created (yesterday’s episode on Creating Your Life Vision Episode 39).

And, do you remember the Episode 34 featured Robin Arzon – she said her goals and dreams for her life are so exciting and invigorating that they help her to hit the ground running early each morning providing her with energy, enthusiasm and purpose for the day ahead. 

I want that for you too!

“If you don’t get chills when you set your goals, you’re not setting big enough goals.” ~Bob Proctor

Set goals that are exciting and send chills up and down your spine, ones that energize you and fill you with anticipation as well as purpose each and every day.

My only hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

That’s my message for today, friends.

I would like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that and I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.

Til next time,

Lisa  xoxo

P.S.  If you are interested in hearing more about going after your goals, becoming more consistent and confident in your efforts, here are 3 past episodes you might like to read here on the blog:

Episode #4 – “10 Ways to Stay Committed and Consistent”
Episode #9 – The Domino Effect
Episode #22 – 1% Improvement Mindset



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