Don’t Talk About Your Goals
Tl;dr: Don’t talk about your goals. In fact don’t talk about anything you plan on doing in the future.
Why You Shouldn’t Talk About Your Goals
When you verbalize the intention to do/get something, you give your mind the impression you already did it.
It feels good. And the motivation or need instantly decreases. Verbalizing your goals gives your brain the impression of achievement even though in reality…you’re no closer to achieving them than you were 30 seconds earlier.
This effect was uncovered in 1933 by Kurt Lewin and subsequently proven multiple times.
Whatever you state out loud, your mind will believe, and that is the case as well for your goals.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become your character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. What we think, we become.”
Nice quote by Margaret Thatcher.
Implications of Talking of Your Goals
The implications of this discovery (I believe many people had noticed that about themselves before being told it was a scientific fact) are interesting.
It means that to some extent, we exercise voluntarily or not, an influence on our reality.
That’s good news! If you can control something, you can control it to your advantage.
This is a topic that will be for another article, but should you have told me 2 years ago that I’d stop drinking, go to the gym, eat carnivore and resist a no-fap routine, I’d have told you that it’d be impossible because of the mental effort it’d take.
Needless to say, I failed many times. But when I seriously decided to do it, I did. I don’t think I could have done it without failing. It forges your character somehow.
The Bottom Line
Don’t talk about the future. Whatever you want to do, it will decrease your likelihood of doing it.
If you do talk about it, do so in a manner that makes you feel far away from your goals.
For example, body-shaming yourself is a good way to kick your ass into the gym.
To conclude, another good quote to ponder, that more or less follow this philosophy.
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak” – Epictetus.
Here’s the TED talk this article inspires itself from.