Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ted Talk Tuesday: Share Your Goals - Or Not.

I wanted to fill this blog each day with progress reports on my quilt projects and show pictures of my work, hoping to inspire other quilt makers as I have been inspired when I browse through their blogs. But I don’t always have that kind of time during the week. This past weekend was spent working on the final performances of The Wizard of Oz and beginning the spring house cleaning. No quilting was done at all. 

Since I would rather not spend my time writing about washing windows and scrubbing baseboards, I’m going to ask you a question. 

First, a preface: A week or so ago, my 13 year old daughter, an aspiring writer, made a rare emergence from within her room to announce her new book idea. 
     “I have a new plot for my next novel,” she said, her teeth gleaming with happiness. “But the only way I’ll figure out the ending before I give up on the idea is if I don’t tell you what it is about.” Then she withdrew her head back inside her door and shut it. 

So, here’s a question for the audience. 

Do you share your goals, or do you keep them to yourself? Does your decision depend on the goal you have set? Leave a comment and tell me what you think! 

The “Keep ‘Em to Yerself” People 

Share Your Goals? Think Again.

The “Tell the Whole World” Folks 


  1. Hi Ann,
    I tend to share my goals simply because I tend to be very open about what I'm doing. I watched the video "Don't tell" and read the blog "Do tell," and I think it works both ways. Sharing my goal to complete my unfinished projects this year and blogging about it has been a success. The blog helps me feel that accountability, and I get affirmation from friends. There have been times in the past when I have shared goals and failed miserably. So...I think I believe that the root of all this is that if you really want to do something, you're going to do it! Maybe those times when we've shared and failed...maybe we were really just asking for help.

  2. Of course, it will be my first commenter to immediately get to the root of the issue. Thanks for your very insightful reasoning!

  3. Interesting that you should open this entry on sharing goals by stating one of your as-yet-unachieved goals. Perhaps you took your key from the Ted Talk and told us, but in a roundabout way?

    I do believe that it is important to set goals, and to pin them down in some way, usually by writing them out. "He who aims at nothing generally hits it." But sharing them with someone else? As you suggested, it depends, on several things.

    First, it may depend on what type of person you are. If you're naturally disciplined, and find it relatively easy to tackle new things, then sharing your goals may just add that bit of accountability that keeps you going. However, if the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, sharing goals may just get you pegged as a bag of hot air, which would end up more discouraging to you.

    Your attitude may also determine if sharing is caring. If you see goals as set-in-stone standards that you *must* attain, then the more "accountability partners" you have, the more unhealthy pressure you put yourself under. If, on the other hand, you see your goals as flexible suggestions to help you organise your actions, then sharing could help give you the feedback that will show where you might need to straighten your path to that goal.

    Finally, is your goal clear cut, or still a work under construction (like Alicia's new novel)? Sometimes, sharing a goal too early can dissipate your energy, much like what the gentleman in the Ted talk explained. It may be enough just to say that you have a new project in mind, but keep the details to yourself until later.

    The wisest course seems to be to evaluate each goal, and if you feel you must share, limit that to a few very trusted people who can watch and encourage you along the way. Then try other ways to help yourself achieve those goals--write out a game plan, noting what can help and what can knock you down. Schedule when you'd like to achieve each step. Be reasonable and flexible. As you already noted above, Ann, life happens.