Why You Won’t Find Me Talking About Goals.

The first week of January is always notoriously dreadful.

It’s miserably cold, everyone is on a diet, and the only thing to look forward to is clearing the credit card. This year has been no exception. I’ve had to de-ice my car everyday, I haven’t even looked at a biscuit, and the anxiety of checking my bank account gives me such intense palpitations I’m almost in need of a defibrillator anytime someone so much as mumbles the word ‘overdraft.’

But there has been two glorious rays of sunshine which have massively helped to alleviate my first-week-of-January Blues…

  1. Ed Sheeran’s new music. It’s amazing. Enough said.
  2. Reading everybody’s goals for 2017.

Now, in case you’ve had your head under a rock this week (or you’ve just been too excited about Ed’s tunes to even contemplate turning on the computer – understandable) people everywhere have been desperate to broadcast their goals for 2017. Which for me has been fantastic; I’ve honestly loved reading them, and I’ve seen some really, really good ones (Emma Jayne, I’m looking especially at you.)

But enjoying this passtime is making me a bit of a hypocrite. Because as much as I’ve loved reading about other people’s goals for the year ahead, I honestly don’t think I’d ever share mine. That’s partly because the idea of sharing causes me to have a minor nervous breakdown (I know, I know, that’s really rich coming from someone who keeps quite a personal blog) and partly because someone once told me there is a negative correlation between telling people about your goals, and actually achieving them. (Basically, the more people you tell that you’re going to do something, the less likely it is that you’ll actually do it.)

I know that sounds quite reversed – I was sceptical too – but I checked it out and it’s honestly a thing. (They’ve done studies on it and everything.) Let me explain, let me explain…

If you have a goal to, say, I don’t know – write a book – and you proceed to tell everyone, ‘hey, guess what? I’m going to write a book,’ they will (unless you keep some seriously self-obsessed company) naturally comment on it. They might ask you about your plans, your ideas, your motive…whatever. Either way, you’ll be having a conversation about it. From this conversation you will automatically – and quite subconsciously – get validation. Just by saying the words out loud. The more validation you get, (i.e. The more you talk about it) the more you brain will –again, quite subconsciouly – think it doesn’t need to actually do anything; not when it can get validation from simply talking about it.

Which is why I’ve always kept my mouth shut.

But I’m not saying that’s right, and that telling people about your goals is wrong. Clearly there are flaws to this way of thinking. I guess ultimately it’s just a mildly scientific theory that I’ve clung to because it goes hand in hand with my nature anyway. Maybe I’ve been wrong all this time. Maybe I haven’t. At this point, I’m not really worrying about it. If your goals are more talked about than David Beckham’s circa 2001, or if you’re more like me and prefer to keep you aspirations quiet, it honestly doesn’t matter. So long as you have them. ❤