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Study: Achieve your goals by sharing them with people you admire

Study: Achieve your goals by sharing them with people you admire

Anne Dorall

A lot of us may have made bold claims to achieve a goal but always fall short of it.

How many times have you heard a friend claim a strict diet to lose weight just to find them eating a full tub of ice-cream the next day?

The problem, it seems, is that they are not telling the right people their goals.

According to a study conducted by Professor Howard Klein from Ohio State University, people were more motivated towards their goal when they shared it with other people of higher status than them.

Think about someone you look up to: it could be your parents, or a teacher, or even your boss.

Now imagine telling them your goal is to go to the gym daily. Suddenly you’d be a lot more motivated to actually go everyday, wouldn’t you?

The reason for this additional motivation is because you don’t want the people you admire to think less of you because you didn’t achieve your goal.

The study also found that sharing goals with people with similar or lower “status” did not have the same motivating effect.

According to Klein, “If you don’t care about the opinion of whom you tell, it doesn’t affect your desire to persist — which is really what goal commitment is all about,”.

However, Klein also cautions taking this goal-motivation too far.

“It is possible that you may create so much anxiety in trying to impress someone that it could interfere with your performance,” he states.

(Your asian parents are not impressed.)

Like most things, it’s a delicate balance of setting reasonably challenging goals and telling the right person to keep you on track.


So who are you going to tell? Tag them on TRP’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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