We all know that there are goal-setting tricks that we can use to help us stay on track and reach our goals. Here are a few that I use most often:
Make SMART Goals; that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Break larger goals into smaller, more easily achievable goals. This gives you landmarks and helps you to feel successful on the way to a larger vision.
Write goals in a place that they are visible and seen often. For me, this is a white board that is attached to the end of my wardrobe. I see it anytime I sit on my floor, which is usually at least a couple of times a day.
While I use these methods diligently, I have lately been thinking that there is one more crucial component that is often left out. All of these tools do us little to no good if we don’t commit 100% to our goals and tell people what we are doing. I don’t mean to vomit our dreams and issues all over social media and talk only about ourselves to everyone we encounter. I mean to tell your close friends, your colleagues, your mentors, or whomever you deem important in your life, as it comes up.
Telling people is important for two reasons:
1. You never know whom someone else knows. Telling your next-door neighbor could lead to the perfect connection to get your dream up and running.
2. Saying your goals out loud solidifies them and makes them real. Once they are both written down and voiced, they are the real deal, baby!
Personally, the biggest reason that I have not shared goals before is because I don’t want people to know if they don’t work out. That’s why I call it the temptation. It’s the temptation of guarding yourself and your dreams and shielding yourself from the embarrassment of failure. The thing is, the support that can be gained is so much greater than the potential embarrassment of failure. And don’t even get me started on failure; it is absolutely necessary for success, so why do we get so embarrassed?
I wrote this bit last week:
“An example… I am trying out for a competitive women’s soccer team today. At first, I didn’t want to tell anyone because I didn’t want to also have to admit that I didn’t make it, if I don’t make it. A younger version of the same Jessie would have kept it a secret. This Jessie has been trying something different – telling people as needed and as it comes up. It is not a secret.
That being said, I will make this team.”
That last bit is not as arrogant as it sounds. At this point, there was no room for doubt and being mildly superstitious; I didn’t want to jinx myself right before I left to go play.
Once I started telling people, I dug my heels in and kept sharing. Again, I didn’t blab it all over the place, but I never kept it a secret. And I never let myself explore the possibility of not succeeding. I kept thinking, “I’ve gone and told everyone I’m doing this, so I better get it done.” It has served both as motivation and accountability.
My scientific brain says that I need more trials to announce that this method works, but the first run was successful. I made the team!
Time to try it yourself: tell at least one person something that you are working towards. It feels good, I promise!