Do you tell people about your goals or do you keep them to yourself? Read my post Should You Keep Your Goals to Yourself for the pros and cons on sharing your goals.

Recently I watched this TED talk by Derek Sivers who suggests that we should be keeping our goals to ourselves.

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Have a look at the video for yourself. It’s a short video at 3.15 minutes.


I recently saw an interview with a well-known Hollywood actress who was asked about her goals. She told the interviewer that she definitely had goals but didn’t discuss them.

Was she unwilling to share or simply being smart?

With this in mind, I thought I would do up a pros and cons list.

Pros for sharing

  • For some people sharing their goals can be a way of making themselves accountable. It’s a way of ensuring that someone will check on their progress and pull them up if they are getting behind.  Sharing goals can be viewed as a way of keeping people on track.
  • A reason to discuss your goals with those close to you is so they can offer support and encouragement as you work through your action plan.
  • In certain situations sharing your goal is a prerequisite.  Working with a coach or mentor is all about sharing your goals (and working together to achieve them).
  • Sharing goals is a requirement if you are working on a collaboration or team project. In this case, the goal is more likely to be a shared one by the whole team.

Cons for sharing

  • As Derek mentioned in the video, there is the possibility that if you share your goals you will get a feeling of premature accomplishment and then not bother to do the actual work. Often it is the hard work that puts people off moving forward. As we know only too well, talking about something is one thing, doing the task and seeing it through to completion is quite another.
  • If people don’t agree with your goals, particularly if they feel it affects them negatively in some way, they may not offer the support you were hoping for.  In fact, without realizing it, they may be quite negative or even try to sabotage you from reaching your goal.
  • There is the risk that you share your goals with everyone and then fail to follow through. What happens if you do this more than once?  If sharing your goals and then not achieving them is something you do regularly, you could be at risk of losing your credibility.  In other words, people might not take you seriously the next time you tell them about your big project.  They will simply assume you won’t follow through.

It goes without saying that writing down your goals is important.

You need to have a clear plan of action based on the SMART system.  In case you don’t know already SMART stands for – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you believe you should keep your goals to yourself?

Do you find it motivating to tell people about your goals?

Does telling people help you achieve your goals or should you be keeping them to yourself for a better chance of success?

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Interested in other TED Talks? Read –