So, even though I'd like to jump in with both feet, when it comes to the web I need some serious floaties. Research I can do with books, but with a computer I'm limited to web searchs. Still, it was a place to start.
Some random, rambling searching of "goal setting" wasted a lot of time but eventually I started a list of the resources I did know about how to use. Almost immediately I remembered watching tons of Ted Talks online, and some have been on goal setting. I didn't just go to their website, instead I searched for other resources that would contain "goal setting" and "Ted Talks". On the first page of returned results I had the option of sites that offered 7, 5, or 4 "top" videos on goal setting.
So then I settled in and started taking some notes.
I'm not sure if the author of
7 TED Talks about Goals for your New Year’s Resolutions realizes this but two of the videos they share actually say opposite things about goal setting but I'll talk more about that in a moment. Why Getting Serious About Goals is the Key to Achieving Your Dreams also had some good videos. I've already shared one video on a different blog because I knew I liked it but it wouldn't really flow for this conversation I wanted to have today.
Today. I want to talk about something that blew me away when I heard it.
To start off, the title of the talk says it all. "Keep Your Goals to Yourself"
Wait, doesn't that sound wrong? As a matter of fact isn't one of the "secrets" to weight loss having a supportive network of friends and family who help you achieve your goal. I zipped over to the American Psychological Association's website and did in fact find, "It’s easier to stick with a weight loss plan when you have support, can share tips on diet and exercise and have an exercise buddy, say researchers."
But then I also saw "Psychological research has found that a group approach helps, at least in the short-term."
Emphasis on the short-term.
Okay so what blew me away with Derek was:
"Our Brains Mistake the Talking for the Doing."
This reminded me of how my dad once told me (when I was telling him about a story I was thinking about writing) "don't talk away your ideas." In both cases, the person talking feels like they are doing something, attaining their goal or telling their story, but there's no actual action behind it. Another thing that Derek said that is sticking with me about our goals is that, "ideally you would not be satisfied until you had actually done the work."
There are so many things I want to do, my friends have expressed interest in, that my students want to do someday. We have the intrinstic desire already within us to work on these goals but we almost set ourselves up not to accomplish them in the very way we talk about them. Just sharing our plans or ideas trick the brain into thinking we've done some of the work (but we never actually finish the job so we are always left with a bit of dissatisfation in ourselves no matter what).
*Now for the record, on the same blog I found Derek's talk I also found William Barr, who basically says the opposite - visualize your goals to make them happen, etc, - which I have found personally really helpful in the last 8 years of my life but I'm interested in trying some more tight-lipped Derek approach now too.*
But my learning is never really done and since I found the first website to not really work for me I went to a second website and found Reggie Rivers!!!
Yes, the same Denver Bronco Reggie Rivers, but apparently he also has some insights to offer when it comes to not focusing on your goals. Because here was the second person I found talking about changing the very ideas we've been told about when it comes to being successful.
Reggie says we shouldn't focus on our goals at all, but our behaviors. Again, I've been reading and researching and setting goals for the past 8 years and this was the first time I heard this idea so simply put. Yes, our behavior is a huge part of whether we are successful or not, you can't lose weight if everytime to work out you binge eat, etc. But again this message of not talking away our ideas, of not thinking of our goals and the end-all-be-all, we want something we need to act like it. Action. Not words. That's the lesson I'm learning this week.