Assuming you have a list of personal goals written down somewhere (if you haven’t then read this article from Mindtools), much of your energy and focus will be on achieving these goals. One of the most powerful ways I have come across to achieve personal goals is the practice of sharing them with other people you trust.
The reason sharing goals with others is so effective is because when you share your goals 2 things happen:
1. You Become Accountable
If you choose to share your goals with someone you trust, such as a close friend or family member, then this person can help you by regularly checking up on your progress. In effect, you become accountable to this person. This may be some kind of formal arrangement, where you specifically ask another person to check your progress (eg you may want them to ask you how much you weigh on a certain date). It can also be informal, in the sense that if you share certain goals (eg to spend more time with the kids or to start learning a language) these will naturally come up later in conversation.
Even more powerful, though, is the way in which sharing your goals with another person makes you truly accountable to yourself. I have found that although writing down my goals is effective, it does not necessarily make me truly commit to them. When I share a goal with someone else, though, I feel I am making a promise to myself that I will take action and make it happen.
2. You May Receive Help
I have often found that when I have shared a goal with someone else, they have found a way to help me. In particular, my family and friends love to give me books on subjects or hobbies I express an interest in. Or, they introduce me to a contact of theirs who may be able to assist (this has been happening a lot lately with career advice). I should note here that I never directly ask for such help. I think it is just that most people love to help other people. It makes us feel good about ourselves.
When writing such an article, it only makes sense that I share some of my goals. Anyone familiar with goal setting will recognize the importance of them being time-bound. I plan, therefore, to achieve the below goals by 30 September 2007. The first 3 goals are ones that I have wanted to achieve for sometime (I hope sharing them like this gives me the final push to take action):
- Volunteer my time for a good cause on a regular basis.
- Start golf lessons and learn to play to a reasonable level.
- Take action toward becoming a good public speaker (eg Toastmasters).
I also have 3 goals relating to this blog, which are:
- To write at least 3 original articles per week.
- For each article to generate discussion in the comments (approximately comments from 10 different people for each article).
- To increase RSS Subscribers to 300.
In regards to the above 3 goals, I am a big believer in the idea of receiving what you give out. So apart from obviously spending time writing my own articles each week, I plan to subscribe to more feeds and leave more comments on other blogs I enjoy.
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5 thoughts on “The Power of Sharing Your Goals”
Do you have any plans yet on how you’re going to expand your subscriptions? I’m curious because I don’t seem to get any subscribers on my blog, though I have the links showing quite prominently.
With regards to your second and third go related to your blog, just my thoughts. I think a goal should be something within your control? Like the above commenter mentioned, do you have a plan on how to increase subscription? If so, I would love to know it. If not, it might not really be a good goal to have, because it can be discouraging and all. As for the second one, yes, you probably can write posts which encourage more discussion, but it’s hard to really guarantee more comments. Maybe it’d be better to have more concrete goals that are within your control?
Not trying to knock you or anything. I think it’s a good post about why you should share your goals. And I really like your blog. Just wanted to share my thoughts.
Thanks for the comments guys.
Re RSS: well really for the first 2 months of this blog I feel I was writing for an audience of 1 person. The last 2 months things have started to take off… I think my writing has improved significantly and services such as Stumbleupon have brought decent amounts of traffic to this site.
I see RSS subscribers as a good area to target as these are people who have obviously enjoyed my writing enough to subscribe. Now, I must admit I find them quite fickle and my numbers do tend to jump around a lot, but over the medium term I am confident I can increase them. I hope to do this by continuing to write interesting articles and generating good amounts of traffic.
I have also within the last week made the Feedburner chicklet more prominent and added a line after each article encouraging people to subscribe. I have seen how RSS numbers have increased by literally thousands within the space of a few weeks on sites such as PicktheBrain and ZenHabits so I see no reason why my numbers can’t increase by a couple of hundred within the space of 6 weeks.
This is really the first time I have targeted RSS subscribers so I guess it will be a case of seeing what happens! I think you will find though Jason your subscribers will have increased by at least 1 yesterday and Derrick I have subscribed to your blog today :) .
Re comments: within just the past few weeks I have found more and more people have been leaving comments. To be honest, I think the best tip is to take the time to visit other peoples’ sites and leave a thoughtful comment.
I am of course also using the Top Commentators and Recent Comments plugins that can encourage comments by giving a link back to the commentator’s site.
I guess my point is that whilst I can’t guarantee success in these 2 areas (RSS & Comments) there are many actions I can take to help them eventuate. Is it even worth then picking a number (eg 300 subscribers)? Well I have always liked the quote:
Nice reply, and good thoughts.
I guess personally I just could never figure out any concrete ways of improving subscriptions and all. So it’s been hard for me to use that as a goal. But good points, and I’ll try to apply your thoughts to my blog as well. =).
Thanks Derrick. I guess there are no real secrets to my strategy for increasing subscriptions – it really just comes down to continuing to write what are hopefully interesting articles and making it easy for people to subscribe.