“I’m going to start learning how to animate and it’ll be the best thing ever!”
This is what I would tell people when I was asked what I’m gonna do with my free time. I felt the need to share everything I’m planning on doing so I can avoid judgment and give people the ease to know that I’m not wasting my time. Well fast forward a couple months and I barely got started on said animation and all I can ask myself is where did it go wrong?
In a time like this with social media, we feel the need to share EVERYTHING about us. From our opinions to our goals, to anything that comes up in our minds. I think we need to start learning how to limit what we share with the world because it can impact us psychologically.
What do I mean by that?
A lot of research out there shows that sharing with others your goals before you even begin them is why most of us never achieve that goal. Now I know we want to share these goals and hear those praises like “good for you” and “we’re really proud of you” but that is exactly why I say DON’T.
And this is backed by science so you know it’s right.
Basically, every time you tell someone your goal, your brain prematurely gets a reward. It gets a surge of dopamine and it honestly feels like you’ve already done the goal because you got all this validation. This dopamine tricks with your brain
Because this is the real talk. A lot of our goals can all lead back wanting validation from other people and not truly from inside our soul. So when we get this validation before we even start, our brain is like “haha we don’t even need to do it anymore” and from there you can get lack of motivation and so on.
So the more positive feedback you get before you start that goal, the less likely you are to follow through.
There was an experiment that looked into this.
So there were 2 groups of students. 1 group was told to tell people their intentions of how many times a week they would study while the other group didn’t tell anyone their studying goals. The group that didn’t tell anyone studied 2.7 times a week while the group that told everyone only studied 1.9 times a week.
I suggest all you students keep that in mind the next time you begin studying for an exam.
Now it might be difficult for some of you guys to not tell anyone your goals because I know for sure that’ll be a challenge to me. There are still things to keep in mind even if you really need to tell someone.
Let me start off by saying there are 2 types of praises
Person praise- praising the individual This would be like “Wow you have a natural talent at this
Process praise- praising the method the individual is taking This would be like “Wow the strategies you’re using are really great
If you know someone will give you a “person praise” it’s best not to tell them because it can lead you to not achieving your goal.
Lastly, we need to talk about accountability.
Don’t try to share your goals and excuse it as “accountability”. Accountability does work, but you really have to choose only 1 person who you know will really hold you accountable if you don’t follow through. The more people you tell, the less likely you’ll make it. And honestly wouldn’t it feel so depressing having 10 people holding you accountable, because every time you talk to all these people your goals will come up in conversation and if you aren’t meeting them, that can set you back further.
In addition, accountability will make self-improvement feel like something you’re forced to do rather than something you want to do. The solution is to have a reward or punishment connected to it which will stabilize that internal motivation.
For example, if you want to give up TV and read more. You can agree to give your friend your favourite book if you don’t stick to your intention. You don’t want to give your TV to your friend because that can reinforce your love for TV. By giving up your favourite book you’re giving up something that you love and is tied to your goal.
These are all the tips I can give in hopes that you guys will achieve those New Years resolutions and any other goals you come up with throughout the year.
After doing this research, I can now see why I wasn’t as motivated to complete my animation even though it is something I really want to do. What I have going on now is an accountability system that I hope will change this goal from an unfinished one to a completed one.