[LPT] When you have a goal, don't tell people about it.

[LPT] When you have a goal, don't tell people about it.

EDIT2: Shout out to all the smokers out there trying to quit, the overwhelming consensus seems to be that this is the most effective strategy when you're trying to ditch the habit.

Edit 3: For everyone who thought this said "If you have a goaT", http://matadornetwork.com/life/32-photos-that-prove-goats-are-the-worlds-best-climbers/ Enjoy!

When you tell people about it, especially in detail, you get a sense of accomplishment that should only be yours when you've completed the task.

So keep it under wraps and tell people when it's done so you can enjoy actually having achieved something and not just the sense of being so noble/motivated for having goals.

Edit: For people saying the opposite works for them, great! I'm glad to see you've found something that works for you. However, since this works for me, I'm going to assume it does for Some other people as well. Thanks for the comments though!

I agree with what you said, but do sometimes telling people make you feel more of an determination method to accomplish a task?

You're probably right. You could look at it like "I've already told people; now if I don't do it, I'm a jackass".

Don't tell people what you are going to do, tell them what you did.

It's way more impressive.

That's why I actually started doing the opposite of this LPT. Improved my motivation so far.

It does not work for me. When I tell people I am going to do something, I feel much less compelled to do it.

I do the opposite of this, and feel the pressure to live up to people's expectations - and so work harder.

I showered twice this week. That's a 200% improvement over last week. Well on my way to success.


I never claimed to be successful at math.

Same here. I thought telling people would make me more likely to follow through, but it never did and I ended up avoiding my goal because they saw me fail.

I would amend this tip to say: tell only people who are supportive or who can contribute to accomplishing it.

To the detractors, there are many studies that support this tip. Very often, the praise you get for telling others about your goal feeds your brain much in the same way that actually accomplishing that goal, making you less likely to work hard to achieve your goal since you've already received your reward.

Here is a TED talk that explains it better than I have.

Edit: Was called out a couple times for referencing a TED talk, which is a valid complaint. Here's an actual study.

So you took 2/3 of a shower last week?

yes people's reward center is triggered just by telling people about their goals, therefore there's no need (in their mind) to actually do the damn thing

I think both sides are acceptable here - telling or not telling. Both of them are motivating in their own ways and this is the casus knaxus. If you really want to do it and show yourself that you care, you will probably succeed.

Different things work for different people.

Best advice my father gave me

To the detractors, there are many studies that support this tip.

This is far from a settled area of psychology. There are studies supporting both extremes (private vs. public goals). From this, it is reasonable to infer that the effects are nuanced and entwined with other factors.

There was a TED talk on this recently. Something about Goal reward theory. If you tell others of what you plan to achieve you are subtly rewarding yourself and you will be less likely to accomplish said task.

I think competitive people can do this, but I cannot.

I think you'd still get the sense of achievement though. Like if I told my mom and she said, "That's great! Keep it up!", I'd feel good about myself without ever having done anything.

I lost 80 or so lbs last year and this was my number one rule. Diet and exercise varied some but I never talked about how much I was planning to lose or how quickly I planned to lose it. I had a friend lose 30 (started at 300), all the while talking about how much he had lost and how he was going to look like an underwear model. He got a lot of very supportive feedback and attention then gained it all back.

This is a really great LPT and worth a try for anyone trying to accomplish a long term goal. Let the results speak for themselves.

LPT: if what you're doing isn't working, try something else.

yep, keep it to yourself, and most importantly be doing the thing for yourself not to go around and impress ppl

This conversation always turns all-or-nothing as if the only way to live your life is: "I don't care about what anybody thinks of me." vs. "I constantly worry about what other people think about me."

In actuality, most people live in a healthy space in between these two modes. You do things for yourself, but you recognize that impressing others (in a non-superficial way) is useful for achieving your own goals. Often your own goals are intermixed with what you think would impress others. It's a cycle.

A healthy degree of competitiveness and self-awareness makes for success in most areas of life.

Don't tell people about what you did, let them find out about it.

Way more impressive.