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Should you talk about your big goals or keep them a secret? - Barking up the wrong tree

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Keep them secret. Talking about big goals rewards yourself ahead of time and makes you less likely to follow through.

Via Daniel Coyle's excellent book The Little Book of Talent: 52 Tips for Improving Your Skills:

While it’s natural and oh so tempting to want to announce big goals, it’s smarter to keep them to yourself. In a 2009 experiment at New York University, 163 subjects were given a difficult work project and forty-five minutes to spend on it. Half the subjects were told to announce their goals, while half were told to keep quiet. The subjects who announced their goals quit after only an average of thirty-three minutes, and reported feeling satisfied with their work. Those who kept their mouths shut, however, worked the entire forty-five minutes, and remained strongly motivated. (In fact, when the experiment ended, they wanted to keep working.) Telling others about your big goals makes them less likely to happen, because it creates an unconscious payoff— tricking our brains into thinking we’ve already accomplished the goal. Keeping our big goals to ourselves is one of the smartest goals we can set.

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