Does Announcing a Resolution Help You Keep It?A recent post of mine, Beware of ‘decoy habits’, spurred a lot of conversation, and it’s clear to me that the subject is much more complex and interesting than I initially realized.

Readers made many thought-provoking comments. One reader pointed to research that suggests that talking about a goal can lead to the false feeling of already having achieved that goal. I’ve seen that research — and I’ve also seen research suggesting that talking about a goal can help you stick to that goal, by making you feel more committed, and also more accountable to the people you’ve told. So it seems to go both ways.

From my own experience — a statistically insignificant yet often helpful data point — this is a point on which people differ. Some do better if they don’t talk it up too much; some do better if they tell others what they want to do.

Exhibit A is my former roommate, who told people that she did yoga, and telling them seemed to convince her that she did, in fact, do yoga. Perhaps discussing it undermined her determination actually to do it.

Exhibit B is my friend who is trying to drink less, who says it’s very helpful to her to announce, “I’m cutting back on my drinking, so I’m only having one glass of wine tonight.” For her, telling people adds an important layer of external accountability.

?So I’m curious: in your personal experience: Does announcing a resolution make you more likely to keep it, or less likely — or neither?

I don’t think it matters much to me whether I announce it or not.1  How about you?

 

I had a great time doing this interview with Eric Barker, for his site Barking Up the Wrong Tree. We covered a lot of happiness territory.

Footnotes:

  1. I suspect that’s a result of my Upholder nature. []

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 2 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 May 2013
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Rubin, G. (2013). Does Announcing a Resolution Help You Keep It?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/05/05/does-announcing-a-resolution-help-you-keep-it/

 

Recent Comments
  • Seducelove: Women and men communicate in entirely different ways, especially these days that women have become more...
  • Mike: This was such a good read that I took time out to leave a comment (on an unknown website with an unknown...
  • Amanda: 2 days ago I started having flu like symptoms col hot headache nausea sore body extreme lack of energy the...
  • anonymous: Are you kidding me? A victim of this would actually choose this life? And that’s what I’m...
  • 707: So basically, if you can’t afford it, you’re screwed.
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 6931
Join Us Now!