Keep Your Goals To Yourself!

Shhhhh… Did you know you should Keep Your Goals to Yourself?  Up until now, I would have to say I totally disagree with this statement.  We have always been told to tell someone our goals to keep ourselves accountable. I also have been told if you say it, write it, or proclaim it, then it will become “real” in your mind and the minds of others and will more likely come true.  Sort of like positive self talk or the laws of attraction, if you will.

However, I recently watched this short video of a TED Talk (love those) by Derek Sivers.


He talks about research that found if you state your goals, you will be more confident about them.  However, this confidence may give you the feeling you have accomplished something toward them, when in fact you haven’t.  Basically the people who didn’t share their goals worked harder at their goals.


I’ve always had sucess with shouting my goals to the rooftops…. But maybe I should rethink this one.

What do you think? Should you spill your goals or zip it?


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Hmmmmm… Siver’s statements confirm something I have long thought. I always seem to work a little harder when the drive to complete something is completely internal. Makes me wonder about all of that time we spend at the beginning of each school year making goals in meetings.

  • Hmmm I never think people would care to hear my goals so I don’t really tell them. I don’t even think I’ve told my husband. . .maybe I should do that. I think most people really are interested in what you can do for them not what you want to do for yourself (it’s human nature.)

    There are 2 reasons I see to share goals
    1. When a goal involves a group effort, such as our goal to get a green house at our school. . . it’s important to shout it from the roof tops so everyone knows what you are working towards and can help.

    2. To network. Sometimes revealing goals to specific people is really helpful. Once I revealed a goal that I wanted to see if I would like to be a video editor to this parent who was a screen writer. He hooked me up with a film company in NY. I worked on it for a while and decided it wasn’t me. So sometimes revealing your goals is necessary to network.

  • Totally agree!