Want to Achieve Your Goals? Keep Them to Yourself

Conventional wisdom says that we are pushed to achieve our goals by announcing them to the world.

Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby, disagrees. In the video above, he points out research that shows that telling someone our goals actually can work against our ever achieving them.

How is this so?

Once we tell our goal and it’s acknowledged by others, the mind is tricked into feeling that the goal is already done. This increases the likelihood that we won’t do the work necessary to reach the goal.

I agree with Derek to some extent. It has to do with who you tell. When we share our goals with someone who will hold us accountable, telling our goals is critical. Let’s say, in the case of hiring a coach.

A good coach is your partner in reaching your goal, and in fact, holds you accountable, may structure steps for you to take, and will kick your butt as necessary to ensure that you make regular progress toward it.

Telling your overweight girlfriend about your weight loss plans, on the other hand, may not work as well. Unless she joins you in going after the same goal for herself, she may consciously or unwittingly sabotage your efforts and support you in falling back on excuses. After all, when it’s not a goal she values there’s the danger that deep down she can’t support you either.

After watching Derek’s video, share what you think on this. What has been your experience in sharing your goal v.s. keeping it to yourself until it was completed? Leave your comments.

Give Me Some Seamless Days


My friend, Linda, says that I invented the term, “seamless days.” I’m not sure about that but I do know that somewhere along the way I discovered that I needed them in order to get big projects done.

A lot of people praise multitasking, while some time management practitioners say it’s not humanly possible to do more than one thing at a time. Regardless of who is right, I seem to get major projects done best when I can work continuously without outside interruptions and the tyranny of the clock. I call these my seamless days, and they are the times when I believe I can accomplish my best writing, thinking, and planning.

Seamless days are a series of two to three days when I don’t have appointments and can stay home working on important projects. I don’t work nonstop, of course. My seamless days are punctuated with snack breaks, sometimes even a short walk out of doors. What is most distinctive about them, however, is that I don’t have outside appointments, guests or disruptive thoughts. I screen my phone calls and don’t turn on the TV. Without the distraction of the media, telephone and other time thieves, I can get absorbed so deeply in a project that hours literally go by before I realize. The result is that I get big chunks of work done.

Occasionally during a break from work during my seamless days I’ll daydream. I’ll just lean back in my easy chair and begin to think about whatever. Scenes from my childhood or episodes of raising my children flash by. Sometimes I recall how a specific moment felt, like waking up to the sunrise over Puget Sound in Bainbridge Island where the large bedroom windows gave me a full view.

Other times I imagine what it’ll be like to hold my next grandchild, whenever one of my children decides to take this step. Once in a while I’ll get spot a bird perched on a tree branch outside my window or a lizard doing pushups on my patio.

When I was still teaching full time, running a side business and managing my family I would long for seamless days. When the need became urgent, I would pull out my month at a glance calendar, check for three consecutive days without appointments and make a plan to stay put for that time frame. Sometimes I would have to reschedule an appointment to make this happen, so I would.

I urge you to occasionally make space in your life for some seamless days. You can use them for major projects or to get away from your normal activities.

You’ll return to your routine rejuvenated, able to stave off stress and more likely to keep a positive mood.

Open your calendar now and schedule your seamless days. You’ll be glad you did.