I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for self-improvement. Every New Year more and more friends shun the practice of making resolutions but I loyally pull out a clean sheet of paper and write out my goals for the year. As someone who perpetually craves a fresh start (I’ll stop eating sugar…on Monday) a brand new year is the ultimate clean slate.
So I make my list and I share it with friends and family, giddy at the prospect of what an amazing person I’m going to be in the coming year (2014). But wait! According to Derek Sivers in his Ted Talk “Keep Your Goals To Yourself” I need to settle down and keep my mouth shut until I’ve actually accomplished what I set out to do. Because as it turns out, the act of telling people about our goals gives us a false feeling of accomplishment, even though we haven’t done anything yet.
In fact, in thinking back upon the many goals I’ve made in my life I see clear evidence to support the notion that they should be kept quiet until they’re reached. I don’t operate well under pressure, which is exactly what expectations are. So when I’ve told everyone and their mother that I’m going to do something, everyone and their mother want to know how it’s going. How close am I to reaching my goal? How far have I gotten? Have I quit yet? And when I do abandon a goal, that too is public knowledge. So now everyone knows how much I suck and I’m back in my 2013 stretchy pants fishing Christmas candy out of the trashcan and watching smutty reality TV.
So maybe this year I’ll keep the resolutions but not the shouting them from the rooftops.
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