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announcing your plans makes you less motivated to accomplish them  RSS feed

 
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It seems that talking about what we're going to do has the same effect on the brain as if we've already done it, so then we're less motivated to really do it.

See the article from Derek Sivers here.


Lots of folks here on the forums "talk" (write) about what they want to do, so I thought it might be a great nuance to point out.

Here's his ending recommendation:

If you do tell a friend, make sure not to say it as a satisfaction (“I've joined a gym and bought running shoes. I'm going to do it!”), but as dissatisfaction (“I want to lose 20 pounds, so kick my ass if I don't, OK?”)


 
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Hmmmm....,  So this afternoon I am going to lay on the couch and drink a 6er of beer.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Oh, I can think of quite a few people where I wish they'd think about certain things like that and NOT do them! 
 
gary gregory
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It worked!   I labored in the garden all afternoon.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Good for you! 

But seriously, I think it's an important subtlety that's rather fascinating. I was telling someone else about this and I guess there's a current book debunking myths about positive thinking.
 
gary gregory
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And I agree, I think I have some of that affliction myself.  I can sometimes imagine a finished project so clearly that I lose interest in it.    Not productive.
 
gary gregory
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Couldn't find the book, just this blog:
http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/09-04-15/
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Thanks for sharing that, Gary. I appreciated the 'expect failure, but keep trying' part.
 
                              
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do or do not, there is no try--YODA 

the second version of the statement--kick my butt--brings in a realistic measureable goal and also accountability
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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wyldthang, Yoda is spot-on.

Here's one other piece to add to this, the author of a book called "Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America."

I've had her book "Nickel and Dimed" on my list to read. Kinda related to wyldthang's thread on deliberate poverty.
 
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It all depends on your upbringing i had relentlessly critical mother and a father who showers snide remarks on us with gently smiling jaws, It seemed natural to me but since I have known people who where spoilt and my upbringing seems pretty tremendous now . he result was a person with very patchy abilities with not enough calm to study. In a way i am glad because it gave me time to read but it made me look silly. I went on to my husband’s family with less open criticism and more doing you down behind your back that kicks your confidence in ways that are more subtle. The result was that for me positive thinking was marvelous i was used to criticism, i suppose positive thinking can be fun positive or boring positive to mention other differences. It was fun positive thinking and then came the anti positive thinking people and it has taken me fifteen years to recover from them, they just continued what i had lived all my life up till the positive thinking bit with but  stepped up a bit. Stepped up a lot hell.  Maybe people who don’t like positive thinking are those who were spoilt as all hell as kids though that gets complicated to, people get spoilt in some ways and badly treated in other very full of themselves people, lets sasy.
      If you recover from sharks they say look it was good for you recovered. Yes go on being nasty to someone for long enough and maybe they learn how to overbcome the problems, no thanks to the bullies though and yes but i would get you lot shut up if i could, i have not got my children reading a lot and other things i would have liked to have done.  I am more cultured than them and i am not the sort of selfish brat who wants to know more than my children.
      Bullies don't like positive thinking they like kicking people in the teeth which they call bucking people up. People who aren't bullies might get persuaded positive thinking was bad so not everyone who does not like positive thinking is a bully.  I have got pretty tough now so you won’t believe i was once not a bully at all unless keeping younger brothers and sisters in order when i was left in charge as a teenager counts as being a bully. 
  We did not get an economic collapse because of positive thinking we got it because these have been years of "toughness is good for you, the jungle makes people evolve." Hippyness ended thirty years ago though many don't seem to have noticed that. For the past thirty years we have lived the growth of, “tough is good,” We have lived the tough is good and the tough have been so tough they have taken us over the edge, they played the market for all they and we had got, because of the idea that, thinking of others is soft and counterproductive has taken the place of the idea that thinking of others is responsible.
      The idea that being nice stops people from advancing,  that competition is what gets people on, so do your damndest is predominant now.  House sales persons and bankers and members o f the stock market have broken us. Make love not war was better than hand it to them, competition makes people learn and if they can't handle it, well, they deserve to sink , now the most dishonest get ahead not the best men .
These new ideas come from Darwinism though Darwin himself approved of social responsibility and they from psychiatry. Psychiatrists try to make people take responsibility for their life instead of being weak. Get strong instead of complaining type idea.  It is good to make people fight instead of being duped but if it becomes, you must not lay a hand on the duper he is part of the jungle and it does if you complain about wolves they say all creatures are usfull none are bad so you find the strong get people correcting you but no one will correct the strong.  Well, in the jungle there are often counter weights to the most sharks, so let’s shake cheats down. 
      It is silly we have taken things so far we have got to protecting sharks and flinging the weak to the lions. I am learning to fling the strong to the lions.
      They opened up the market to groups who had no experience of house buying, with no grandparents or neighbors with an experience that allowed them to say be careful. They convinced people with no experience in house buying that they could buy what they could not. If you have no experience you say, "i don't know how it is done but I have seen others do it, so I suppose it will work". Yeah but that was before when they did not let them buy such big houses and they were cautious people. We stopped protecting the weak or keeping a weary eye on the shark like and gave a free rein to the tough and they have bolted and taken us with them
        The tough would convince the worthy that the crisis was the  fault of the worthy or relatively worthy,  they are ever good at making others take the blame. They need lynching no literally, socially perhaps .
        The idea that freedom for sharks is good has grown so strong that the people who have been hurt are defending the right of the privileged and wolf like, to do their damndest. Where are the hippy times?
        My teachers where the ones who taught the positive thinking well not too much of that but the liberalness and a great concern for the weak  that lead to the hippies, though they did not look anything like hippies themselves. (The hippies themselves have lead to sharks). Since then and with no one paying attention to the ideas that where coming to the surface, ideas have got tough.
      Now it is, “toughen the softies up”. Now if bullies smash you it is your fault for letting them get tough. These ideas came from psychiatry and have their beneficial side but ideas get out of hand take off on direction you did not expect them to go in and they have become an excuse for cheating and being mean to others, as these behaviors are now said to be good for others because they get them on the move, exercise them. If they smash you take responsibility for your misery instead of accusing them and learn to smash them back.
    This our time has not been an epoch of protecting the week it has been an  epoch that lead to wolfishness maybe some pockets of pinkness got left for cancer patients but otherwise it has been a bad time. This woman who does not like pinkness is living in the seventies, she does not realize things have got tough. We have trouble with the sharks not the hippies. Maybe she has a stupid and boring positive thinker who bored her. She is not with it, it is toughness that has broken us. 
      I  am sick of people who point out to minor selfishness as human failings, for me human failings are reall pretty total  destructiveness and to go on earning money in the ways the people in wall street and in other stock markets around the world were earning it that and not a bit of money but much more than they needed takes real destructive power not  a bit of selfishness and you hear of over the top badness all over the place and yet get people make a fuss about stupid little things they don’t want to look at the bigger ones, they distract attention from the powerful who do real harm with little stories of smallish egoisms. Agri rose macaskie.
 
gary gregory
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bump
 
                                              
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  interesting thread. It works the opposite for me though in my experience. Like i then have to live up to what i know is possible not just because i know it, but i told others i did as well. which is rather strange because in general i couldnt care to the slightest degree what folks think of me.
 
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SILVERSEEDS wrote:
  interesting thread. It works the opposite for me though in my experience. Like i then have to live up to what i know is possible not just because i know it, but i told others i did as well. which is rather strange because in general i couldnt care to the slightest degree what folks think of me.



I wish I had that.  My inner voice is always saying  "Isn't it time to take a break?"
 
                                              
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always have to make time for breaks... 
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Here's the video of Sivers' talk on this:


 
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Oh this makes so much sense to me.

I live in a neighborhood right now that everyone keeps talking about what they`re going to do and it goes on and on and on. There's been nothing BUT talking happening around. And here at home, we don't tell anyone what we're doing, or what we want to do and SO MUCH has been done in contrast. I could never figure out why this was happening. We had the same amount of hours in a day, and it seemed like they were always stuck in their routine, without moving forward.

I quit smoking successfully when no one knew I had quit. Same with my partner.

For the last while, I've been dividing people into categories (I know, it's horrible saying it that way); talkers and doers. Talkers don't do and doers don't talk. I`m glad there's actual research behind thi
 
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Last month my chiropractor asked me if I had made any New Years resolutions. I told him that I had but chose not to disclose them. He said that sounded like a lack of accountability. Guess he has a point. After you say it, what if you fail?
 
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I have lots of plans, which I often announce, and fail at many of them, which I also announce! Failing might mean one has taken on too much to actually be able to accomplish it; in future, make more modest plans, and achieve some of them.

 
Karen Donnachaidh
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"T'is better to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all." Who said that? Someone way smarter than me.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Karen Layne wrote:Last month my chiropractor asked me if I had made any New Years resolutions. I told him that I had but chose not to disclose them. He said that sounded like a lack of accountability. Guess he has a point. After you say it, what if you fail?



Going beyond the point Sivers was trying to make (that announcing plans makes one feel like they have already accomplished something), and spinning the perspective to accountability is interesting. I suppose there are some people who are wired more interpersonal, while others are wired more intrapersonal, so that might make a difference in being accountable to whom.

For example, I've always been my worst critic, so while criticism can still sting, it's usually not nearly as harsh as what I dole out on myself. I'm very, very intrapersonal, driven by accountability to myself, really. Maybe announcing plans to a good friend who might call you out on your crap efforts could be a decent accountability method...maybe.

And yes, trying enough new things to have failures, even announcing failures, or at the very least learning from failures, I agree is very wise.
 
Karen Donnachaidh
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Keeping it real.... I love it! Let's assess those resolutions: 1.) Started 3 new exercise programs. Down to 1 now since doctor prescribed new meds. My favorite program sidelined for now. I was doing great too. 2.) Change gardening method. Still doing research on the subject. Cannot afford to not do my homework. 3.) Freely give complements to strangers. (If you think it, say it.) Doing well there, even got a sister on board. There I've said it, put it all out there. We'll see how it goes.
 
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I agree with the main point here that stating goals gives a false almost subconscious sense of accomplishment,

What I find that works far better is keeping the goals private, and focus on habits that support the goal, which you can publicly announce if you want to.

So I wouldn't announce "I will write a book this year and become a published author"

but I might let people know "I'm installing a habit where I write for 1 hour in the morning as part of my daily morning routine."

 
Tyler Ludens
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Chris Badgett wrote:

but I might let people know "I'm installing a habit where I write for 1 hour in the morning as part of my daily morning routine."



That would indicate to me that you're actually a writer. Writers write, they don't plan to write some day. Artists make art, gardeners garden, etc.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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I ran across another version of this today:

Why You Shouldn't Share Your Goals According to Science



While the title uses "shouldn't" and "science;" don't let that put you off. I think the author does a rather balanced and helpful job of explaining the potential drawbacks of sharing your goals with the world.

(By the way, this article came from someone writing for Trello, which is a rather elegant project management app and they often have great business/productivity articles. If you decide to sign up for Trello and use this link, https://trello.com/jocecampbell/recommend, I get free power-ups! I currently use the free version of Trello and the "power-ups" are kind of fun, but not necessary for what I do.)

 
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I find myself given to this downfall as well, unfortunately.

I have multiple lists of plans for the future in a variety of areas, and instead of working towards them, I stare at my lists, dreaming, optimizing, editing, rather than getting them done.

I tell myself that I'm just waiting until the economics are better, or for this or that situation to occur first, but I "feel good" after I look at my lists.  It's pathetic and lazy and I hate it!!


Fortunately, I'm going to do something about it today I'm going to...oops, almost did it again; AAAHHH!! >:[
 
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This is definitely a lesson I need to learn as well.  It's funny, because I had a sneaking suspicion that this was the case, but it's good to see confirmation about it. Wow.  This thread has been bouncing around for 8 years and I didn't see it until now.  There are so many gems on this site, just waiting to be discovered!  Telling people about my plans, as mentioned in the attached article in the opening post is a form of satisfaction, and because of that it aids in my procrastination.  But there is also guilt attached to not getting things done that I say that I'm going to do; as if I am not a man of my word... and that sucks.  I don't like to feel that way at all, and it is very self defeating in the end.  I don't have lists though, as Dustin mentions he does, I keep most of the crap in my head unless someone asks me about it, or I decide to divulge info on-line, like here at Permies.    
 
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Well, I must be the exemption.
I discuss my plans, I keep loose notes, I do loose plans and schedules.
The schedules may change it day.
Somebody said recently, ' you have too many open jobs", IE Is anything finished?

I do have incomplete jobs, but they may be completed to a practical point, and need some materials I am looking for, or an idea to move ahead,
Others have said, how do you get so many things done?
Its because I just quietly, think, plan and collect ideas and materials to keep fiddling.

Working is not work to me, because I enjoy doing what I am. I make time to read, cook, do nothing, and talk with people, so I am not nuts!

Is a task completed when its functional, or when its fully painted and made to look pretty?
 
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I find that having goals is not, in itself, something that gets me very far, whether I announce them or not.  What I really need is to set out a series of manageable, individual steps or actions to take...especially small, recurring actions.

For instance, if I want to have a food forest, the individual steps might be to spend an hour every week researching food-producing trees that grow in my zone, and an additional hour a week researching guild companions for those trees.  Then I need to spend an hour a week researching where to get those trees and plants.  Perhaps I need to spend one day a week preparing my site.  I also need to put away some money every paycheck in order to purchase the needed supplies. 

If I do all of these things as part of my weekly routine, then I will eventually have a food forest, whether I announce the goal or not.

I have a ton of goals, some of which are publicly known, and some of which are not.  Whether or not I've announced something doesn't seem to have a huge impact on my success rate.  However, whether or not I have incorporated steps towards the goals in my daily/weekly/monthly routines is a strong predictor of success, for me.
 
He loves you so much! And I'm baking the cake! I'm going to put this tiny ad in the cake:
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