Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Goal setting with a friend: 3 Things / Week

There is a theory that if you want to achieve the goals that you set for yourself, you shouldn't tell others about what you want to do.

The psychology behind this is that once you tell a friend / colleague about what you're going to do, they'll congratulate you for setting such a good goal for yourself, and this will release enough feel-good chemicals in your body to make feel like you've come close enough to achieving it (thereby demotivating you), when actually you've done nothing at all.

I'm in two minds about this approach, because I also feel there can be a lot of merit in having a friend keep you accountable to a goal and checking in on its progress week on week, and vice versa.  Hence I tried an experiment recently with a friend where for 3 weeks we shared 3 goals that we wanted to achieve in that week, then gave an update week on week.

One of my three things was to go to a bar method class one week
These were a mix of both concrete and abstract goals e.g. one of my weekly goals was "Become more conscious of stopping myself when I compare my performance with other people's - inspired by this quote" and another one was just "Go for a 5k run without stopping".  At the end of the three weeks both she and I got there on some of our goals, and others we only went halfway with, but it was good thinking exercise nonetheless that I thoroughly recommend!

If anything I really enjoyed being able to bounce of my ideas and plans with a buddy and also get some insight into someone else's goals and how they go about achieving them.


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