Got a goal? Shut up about it.
I had a little trepidation announcing my new book project yesterday. With a public announcement comes public accountability (due to public expectation). Conventional thinking tells us that if a friend or stranger can hold us to a public goal, we'll be more likely to make it happen.
Maybe not. Check out this quick video of Derek Sivers telling you why you may want to keep your mouth shut when it comes to sharing some big goal (h/t to Kneale Mann):
We all have the Facebook friend who's running a marathon, on a diet, starting a business, traveling the world, writing a book, recording an album, looking for a soulmate, building a house, going back to school - the list is nearly endless. Our timelines and Twitter feeds are full of well-intentioned individuals out to change their lives and even the world.
But, many fall flat. I've seen company ideas never make it out of the bar they were dreamed up in, fitness plans collapse on the first day of rising early, books end before words are even put on a page, job searches stall before a single resume is sent out, and grad school dreams die before writing a personal essay.
And so with some trepidation, I still decided to share my book plans, mainly because I didn't wait to begin the work until after a public announcement. My Evernote is chock full of snippets, outlines, cover ideas, promotional plans, and chapter samples. In other words, I've been hard at work - the announcement was merely a strategic part of this work process.
Do you have a big goal? Then get to work and save the announcement. Do this for the reasons Sivers shares in the video, but also do it because we don't want our social networks (digital and tangible) littered with the remnants of best laid plans.
We'd much rather have our lives full of completed projects that matter.
Now shut up and get back to work.