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This might surprise you but you’re doing yourself a disservice if you announce your goals out loud rather than keeping them under wraps. If you thought that by telling people your goals you’d feel more pressure to achieve them – research proves you wrong.
Research into such topics – yes, scientists do study this kind of thing – reveals some interesting behaviours surrounding identity related behavioural intentions.
In their study titled When Intentions Go Public Does Social Reality Widen the Intention-Behavior Gap? Gollwitzer and his associates noted that the plan to follow through with an intention was compromised when it was shared with others.
“Other people’s taking notice of one’s identity-relevant intentions apparently engenders a premature sense of completeness regarding the identity goal.”
Simply sharing your intentions publicly could “…undermine the realization of those intentions.”
In layman’s terms, by telling your friends or family what you hope to do (write a novel, climb Everest, invest in property) you receive enough recognition from their approval of your goal you don’t actually feel the need to follow through.
How to avoid it
When determining how individuals can avoid this productivity-killer – termed by some the “self-completion theory” – researchers suggest the following factors might help:
- By telling our heroes, mentors or idols, we’ll feel more pressure to actually follow through to continue to impress. The study revealed that those we hold in high esteem give us a stronger feeling of accountability then if we tell our peers or subordinates. The more importance we attach to an individual’s opinion of the completion of our intentions, the more likely we are to complete our goals.
- Specifically spell out your intentions (e.g. S.M.A.R.T. goals) to help with accountability.
- Link a behavioural intention to your goal. For example, state that if X happens then I will do Y. The external cue from “X” should lead to you completing “Y”, whether or not you told anyone about your intentions.
- How you word your intentions could have an impact on completing them. For example, if you state your goal in terms of commitment to it, rather than progress towards completing the goal, you’re more likely to achieve success.
Consider the example used in the research paper:
“‘I want to write a paper to become a great scientist’’ should be less negatively affected by social reality than a behavioral intention that implies progress toward the identity goal (e.g., ‘‘I intend to write a paper, as is done by great scientists’’).”
Have you discovered this tendency in your life? You tell someone that you’re going to invest in real estate, yet when it comes time to actually do it, something always seems to interfere with your goals?
At Positive Real Estate, we’ve helped thousands of individuals reach their goals by using a mentor to hold investors accountable, guiding them when they hit a roadblock, so they can push through the most harrowing circumstance.
With accountability, access to tools, materials and knowledge, our clients have fulfilled their goals, reaching financial independence and enjoying the lifestyle they set out to achieve.
You’ve been intending to learn more about using property to create wealth, so what’s stopping you? Come along to our next FREE Property Investor Night to discover how you can turn your intentions into reality.