Through the years, The Green Sheet has published numerous articles on goal setting, and we continue to revisit this topic periodically because it is vital to success in any arena, including payments. A recent search for the word "goals" on Amazon produced a list of 23,374 books; a comparable Google search led to a list of 628 million links. Indeed, authors, bloggers, journalists and consultants aplenty continue to weigh in on goals.
In Good Selling!: The Basics, Paul H. Green titled one section, "Have you written down your goals?" The title emphasizes that writing goals down leads to better results than just keeping a mental list or saying them aloud. Green also provided the following advice, adapted from the book:
Advice varies from article to article, but most experts agree on the main points – except for the eighth one mentioned above. Studies have found that people who share their goals can be less likely to reach them than those who keep goals to themselves.
Entrepreneur Derek Sivers, who cited psychological research on this in a TED talk (www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_goals_to_yoursel), wrote, "Shouldn't you announce your goals, so friends can support you? Isn't it good networking to tell people about your upcoming projects? Doesn't the 'law of attraction' mean you should state your intention, and visualize the goal as already yours?
"Nope. Tests done since 1933 show that people who talk about their intentions are less likely to make them happen. Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you're less motivated to do the hard work needed."
Not to worry. You can share goals without losing your sense of urgency. The solution is to share them in a way that doesn't provide a sense of completion. For example, state in full the long, hard steps you'll have to take toward that big goal, and instead of being satisfied, you're likely to take a deep breath and then get moving.
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