Did you know that when you announce your intentions, your brain actually receives the same pleasure as it receives when you achieve the goal you announced?
It’s true. Think about it. The last time you announced any goal, what happened? People likely congratulated you, or offered some sort of encouragement, right?
“I’m going to start a new business”, you say to a friend. The friend responds “wow, that’s great I know you’ll be really successful!” Feels good doesn’t it?
That feel-good reward was handed to you on a silver platter without even taking the first step towards starting that business.
Another conversation might go something like this: “I’m going to stick to my new year’s resolution and lose some weight”. “That’s great! You’ll look and feel better once you do”.
Pshh. Some friend. They didn’t realize it at the time, but they just sabotaged your “summer bod” plans.
Now, the title of this post is a little misleading. I don’t mean to say that you should never tell anyone what your plans are. You’ll never be able to be held accountable for those goals you’re striving towards if you don’t.
What I’m suggesting is that you announce your intentions in a manner that others will hold you accountable.
So instead of saying “I’m going to start a business”, try saying “I have this idea kicking around in my head for a business. I want to get it started in six months, can you hold me accountable to that?” This puts a little bit of social pressure on yourself. If you don’t hit your goal, it isn’t the end of the world, but your friend/colleague/family member/whatever will give you that disappointed look. You know the one.
Maybe you don’t care about that sort of disappointed look. To hold yourself really accountable, write a $100 check to a political party, or a non-profit whose mission goes against everything you stand for. Put it in an envelope, address it, and put a stamp on it. Then, hand that envelope to the person who is holding you accountable and tell them to put it in the mail on a certain date if your goal isn’t met.
If that doesn’t motivate you to reach your goal, I don’t know what will.