6 Ways to Keep Your Goals to Yourself to Achieve Them

snow mountain climbing on a ridgeEver since I can remember, my mom has told me to ‘keep your goals and dreams to yourself’…and now, research is proving her right – again!

As creative thinkers and ambitious business people, we all have exciting goals and it is often our first instinct to tell somebody. But, research is proving that it is better to keep your goals to yourself in order to achieve them. In this fascinating video, Derek Sivers explains the research to back it up.

In the TED TV video below, I counted 6 Ways to Keep Your Goals to Yourself to Achieve Them:

  1. Write down the goal.
  2. Resist the temptation to announce your goal.
  3. Delay the gratification that the social acknowledgement brings.
  4. Understand that your mind mistakes, the talking for the doing.
  5. If you need to talk about it, do it in a way that gives you ‘no satisfaction’…for example: “I really want to run this marathon, and kick my a** if I don’t.”
  6. Next time you are tempted to tell someone your goal – zip it!

I think you will enjoy watching this 4 minute video as Derek quickly presents the research and explains why people who talk about their ambitions may be less likely to achieve them.


…and I want to share this favorite quote with you all:

“Dreams and goals are two different things. One is a thought the other an action.”

Thanks for stopping by, ~Lori 🙂

You might like to check out some other interesting articles:

How One Artist Created a Successful Art Campaign

10 Ways to Overcome Mental Blocks and Boost Creativity

How to Find Your Own Artistic Voice

2011-11-28T09:13:52+00:00October 25th, 2010|General, Misc. Articles|13 Comments


  1. Scott Bergman November 8, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Hi Lori, this is an interesting article and it was an interesting video, thank you for sharing. To me I suppose it makes sense that the people who keep the goal to themselves would get farther, I don’t know, maybe because of personal drive. I think another advantage of keeping your goal to yourself would be not having somebody to talk you out of it. Take care!

    • Lori McNee November 9, 2010 at 1:14 am

      I like your line of thinking, Scott. That has been my experience too.
      Thanks for the visit-

  2. Dee Lessard May 3, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Great article! I have experienced this firsthand! I will definitely keep my lips zipped! I am a goal setter and usually get there. Now I know part of the reason why I miss the mark!

    • Lori McNee May 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      Hello Dee-

      Yes, I have learned this lesson the hard way too! There are very few people with whom I can trust these days. Thanks for sharing a comment.


  3. Vidyalakshmi December 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

    Excellent post! Just a reminder. I used to follow this idea, previously.
    I guess insecurity and the craving for validation is what make people say their dreams out loud.

    • Lori McNee June 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

      That is a good point! Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  4. Marie Pinschmidt April 23, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Great advice. Into a closed mouth no flies can enter. We do our best work when outside influences are absent. The video makes great sense. Thanks.

  5. sonal June 22, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Thank you

Comments are closed.