Should You Share Your Goals With Others: The Pros and Cons

There are both pros and cons to sharing your goals with others. It’s important to consider them, as choosing wrongly can sabotage your success.

One pro is that you’ll be held accountable. If you know that people will be asking about your progress, you’ll want to be able to tell them you are succeeding instead of failing in what you’ve set out to do. Another pro is having the chance to obtain helpful advice from others about how to accomplish your goals. For example, someone you know might have succeeded at the same goal or might have education or training in that area and can increase your chances of succeeding. Knowledge is power. Yet another pro is that telling others your goals will help you maintain excitement and motivation about meeting them. A fourth pro is that you will inspire others who want the same thing for themselves and might join you in striving to achieve the same results. It can be fun to make a friendly competition out of it. For example, the first person to lose 20 pounds is bought a new outfit.

One con relating to sharing your goals is that doing so makes it feel like you’ve already accomplished them. Research has shown that simply talking about meeting them gives a serotonin boost similar to that felt when you’ve already accomplished something. Another con is that people might dissuade you. For example, you might be told you don’t need to lose any weight, even though you know you’d be fitter and healthier if you lost 15 pounds and toned up. Yet another con is that it creates external motivation sources instead of internal. Outside praise and kudos shouldn’t be the driving force behind meeting your goals. It’s important even if you tell others your goals that you still focus on the more important, lasting, and deeper reasons for keeping your commitment — creating a better, happier, healthier you.

Do you have any experience with this? Do you find it easier or harder to achieve your goals after telling others about them?