To Declare or Not to Declare?

To Declare or Not to Declare?

The London Marathon was last week. Many runners were striving for PBs (personal best times), achieving the goal they set for themselves whether that was running time or fund-raising amount Many participants share their goal – a coach friend put her husband’s pursuit of a world-record breaking goal online to all her followers. 

Does publicly declaring a goal increase the likelihood of it happening?  Or does it decrease the likelihood? 

Last year I would have said the research suggests that sharing the goal would increase the chances of success.  Until another coach said research existed that says publicly declaring it decreases the odds of achieving it. The theory is that when you talk to others about your goal it makes you feel like you are doing something towards achieving the goal, when in fact you are just talking about it. Talking on its own is rarely progress towards a goal (unless your goal is to talk to people!). 

So, what do you do when you have conflicting advice or even research? 

Hmmmmwhatever helps YOU, given we are all individuals and are motivated by different things. If you are the type of person that needs accountability to others or feels shame if not doing what you said you’d do, then publicly declare your goals. If you find yourself talking about your goal more than taking tangible steps towards it, stop talking and start doing. Then the question of ‘publicly’ must be considered – being accountable to another individual might be enough. Alternatively, declaring it on social media might bring encouragement and support needed to progress. 

What goal would you declare? And which would you want to pursue stealthily?