Why I’m Not Posting New Year’s Goals

Years Ago TodayHattie’s Diaries: 90, 80, 70, and 60 years ago today

Before I get to the topic of goals and whether to share them publicly, I am excited to announce a new focus for the Aunt Hattie’s Diary project. For a while now I’ve contemplated how best to give some structure to the often overwhelming prospect of sorting through over 37 years of Hattie’s diary entries to choose what to share on her blog. For 2013, I’ll be sharing Hattie’s diaries from 1923, 1933, 1943, and 1953: entries that are 90, 80, 70, and 60 “years ago today.”

This decision not only gives me some needed parameters, but it also provides readers with four very interesting and important years in Hattie’s life. In 1923, she lost her beloved Papa, and an outbreak of hog cholera led to her and Will’s move from Boyd County, Nebraska, to Todd County, South Dakota, where they would spend the rest of their married life. Ten years later, in 1933, Hattie recorded her experiences of the Depression and the Dust Bowl, as well as a fall into a half-dug toilet hole on the eve of Memorial Day that would result in a severely fractured leg. World War II was on everyone’s mind in 1943, and in 1953 Hattie, then age 71, wrote of the experience of growing old in a world that seemed to be moving faster by the day.

If you are interested in genealogy, history, or diaries, you can read Hattie’s blog and get updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Goals and Resolutions: To tell or not to tell?

Now to the topic of the day: goals and resolution. Why might some of us want to think twice before sharing goals or resolutions publicly?

Derek Sivers, entrepreneur and self-proclaimed learning addict, explains in the following mini TED Talk how “when you tell someone your goal and they acknowledge it, psychologists have found that it’s called a ‘social reality.’ The mind is kind of tricked into feeling that it’s already done. And then, because you felt that satisfaction, you’re less motivated to do the actual hard work necessary.”

Of course, everyone is different, and I’m sure that having public accountability–whether one friend or a host of blog readers–works very well for some people, but I’ve learned over the past couple of years that it doesn’t work well for me. The goals I accomplish are more often than not the ones that I haven’t “proclaimed,” and those that I talk or write about, especially in the beginning, before I’ve actually done anything about them, well, let’s just say that’s about as far as they get.

How about you? Does sharing your goals help or hurt your chances of accomplishing them?

1 thought on “Why I’m Not Posting New Year’s Goals

  1. Huh, I’ve never really focused on the idea that sharing my goals with other people might actually determine their success or failure. There is a good point for sure, especially the concept of ‘social reality.’ I think I definitely experience that with spoken goals, like telling a friend over a cup of coffee I plan to exercise more. Once I’ve said it, the goal just kind of fades from my mind over time.
    But when I started my ‘Ketch’s Wish List’ in the side bar of my blog last year, I think I actually found myself more motivated. It was kind of a constant reminder and something that allowed me to keep track throughout the year. I guess we’ll find out if it continues to work for 2013 as well. 🙂
    Happy New Year, Lisa!

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