[By: Martin Grunburg]
Disclaimer: Adult language ( I think this is my first post with “adult” language, and frankly, the subject matter mandates it. ; )
Here we go: Please, please, for YOUR sake, and the sake of your goals, just SHUT YOUR PIE-HOLE!
That’s right…find a way to keep your trap shut! Shut your mouth. Zip it!
I speak from great experience on this one, so just trust me (more on that later).
I know, I know, being silent is so difficult these days in our social media-intoxicated world.
Ten minutes on Facebook and I’ve already read seven different people’s goals — and two more about intentions for the month. Yep, there’s another three telling me their goal for the day!
So, when I reflect upon this one — really think it over — it just may be one of the best lessons I’ve ever learned when it comes to goal achievement: JUST SHUT UP!
And this comes from a guy who, growing up, was tagged with the moniker “Motor Mouth Martin”!
Now, making this advice even more confusing (beyond the social media frenzy) is the fact that there may be no less than 1,000 blog posts (and a dozen-plus apps) encouraging you to share your New Year’s resolutions with the “world” to hold you accountable.
Some simple math for you:
cP + bA = rcƒP
Confused People (searching for answers) + Bad Advice = Really Confused AND Frustrated people.
I was one of them, and that was well before the social media proliferation.
Let me help clarify this for you (again, from personal experience and helping others). Sharing your goals with everyone and the “world” is less than useless; it can actually be harmful to your success. (More on that later with some links to the “science.”)
Given the NEW YEAR and so many people’s noble attempts to set and achieve their goals, the time is right to reiterate this lesson.
So, IF YOU continue to struggle with goal achievement, consider this — better yet, PLEASE TEST IT for yourself:
SHUT YOUR TRAP!
To help you understand why flapping your gums is so damaging, I’m going to provide you with seven reasons why talking about your goal (to anyone other than one or two, or maybe three, very close people, such as a spouse) is a solid waste of time and energy — and actually proves detrimental.
#1) It dissipates energy:
You’ve heard me say this a thousand times: If everything is energy, and it is, what do you think happens when you flap your gums?
#2) Focus is lost:
With a reduction in energy comes a reduction in our capacity to concentrate, and thus focus is diminished. (See last week’s blog.) As stated above, focus and consistent energy are required to develop habits and achieve goals.
#3) Provides a false sense of completion of goals:
Surprisingly, it turns out, talking about your goal (according to several psychology experiments) provides us with a sense of completion and self-satisfaction —without actually doing anything! By talking about your goal, you being to feel closer to achieving it, as if you had taken some action. This then supplants any real action, and thus, incredibly, you end up demonstrating less effort.
#4) This one might hurt. Pardon my French, but very few people give a Sh*t about your goals!
In the world of real accountability, “everyone” truly equates to no one.
If the point of sharing your goals with the world is so that “they” can hold you accountable, chances are good you’re on crack. You’re just not thinking too clearly. Do you really think Jim on Facebook is going to circle back four months later to ask you how your book is going? Or Sarah is going to ask how your weight-loss goal is going? Look (if it makes you feel any better), it’s not that they don’t like you, it’s just that they don’t care! And (worth noting) they’re just too busy trying to get their own sh*t together and achieve their own goals!
#5) The people you think WILL help you, tend to “protect” you:
Goal achievement is about going out on a limb — taking a huge risk, getting uncomfortable with a fairly good chance of failure. Your loved ones KNOW this. So, there’s a good chance that when you tell them you are going to paddle from Catalina Island to Manhattan Beach (32 miles), and you’ve never paddled in any event before (not 1 mile, not 10 miles), and you don’t even own a paddleboard, AND the event is in just 6 months, how do you think they are going to respond? What do you think they are going to say to you? That’s nice, Martin, I’m sure you could do it too — but you don’t have anything to prove.
By “protecting” you from massive failure, they just talked you out of an exciting, terrifying goal. And, strangely enough, you feel better because they just told you they believe in you.
That’s right: You didn’t do anything, just voiced a goal, and you feel better about yourself — but you never actually did anything and everything stays the same.
#6) Talking degrades your ownership/responsibility:
Goal achievement is not only scary and difficult, it requires 110% (to be clichéd) ownership!
The crazy thing is, by pronouncing your goal there is a sort of unexpected backwash of accountability. That’s right, by flapping your gums you’re silently assigning ownership to dozens or hundreds of invisible people who will NOT hold you accountable. PLUS, now when you fail there is an unconscious sharing of the failure; you don’t feel as bad because, well, WE failed.
#7) You lose momentum:
Goal achievement is very difficult and inevitably involves a series of UPS and DOWNS. There is a special dichotomy to goal achievement that simultaneously encourages and discourages you. YOU get stronger, HabitStrength kicks in, your discipline grows, and yet, at the same time, the closer you get to your goal’s achievement the more unexpected hurdles are thrown your way.
Now as those challenges arise, AND because you flapped your gums, what do you do? Are you going to stop and tweet about that new hurdle? Are you going to update “the world” the next time you hit a major setback?
By intentionally keeping your trap shut from the onset, you are able to concentrate on overcoming each challenge as it arises and not be distracted by the optics. Uh no…major setback on the book deal, I better update “everyone.”
So, if the answer is to keep your yapper clammed up, you may be asking, what should I do instead?
Do this instead:
1) Get clear: Write down your goal and keep it QUIET!
2) Share only if you must: Share with only those few people who are in your life daily and will actually notice anyway and/or (of course) if you’re in a mastermind.
3) Channel your concentration and energy every day toward the development and alignment of core habits that will move you closer to your goal’s achievement.
4) TRACK using the free tracking sheet. If you’re not tracking, you’re not serious. Period. The way to achieve your goal is to align your habits and track them! (See this post on PARR.)
5) Reassess: An important part of PARR is reassessment. Adjust your habits, set new minimum success criteria, and get after it!
6) BEcome GRITTY: You will need the GRIT Habit (see this post).
There is true power in the celebration of goal achievement!
The idea is to bask in the excitement of sharing your achievement AFTER it has taken place! Don’t be tempted or fooled into the excitement of talking and bragging about it before you’ve done little if anything.
Again, all this stems directly from personal experience, and I only realized significant goal breakthroughs when I learned to shut my trap! (If you’re curious what those are, you can go here or here.)
Finally, here’s an example: A good friend actually became a bit upset with me upon the release of The Pressure Paradox,™ saying, “Why didn’t you tell me about this? I had no idea you were writing another book!” All I could do was assure him that I didn’t really tell anyone other than my wife and about two other people, and I certainly didn’t single him out and go through the challenge of writing the book just to keep him in the dark.
Silence, when it comes to goal achievement, truly is golden.
But don’t just take my word for it; apparently there is some “science” that backs this all up!
Have at it, and while you’re at it, ZIP IT!
Watch this TED Talk: Derek Sivers, Keep Your Goals to Yourself
Read this: “If You Want To Succeed, Don’t Tell Anyone.” (Psychology Today)