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Does Vocalizing Goals Up Your Chances of Following Through?

There are few qualities that bother me more than people who are all talk. But according to a study from New York University (and reported in the September issue of Shape), it could be the talking that's preventing those people from accomplishing the goals they gab about. It says that people who talk about an ambition may be less likely to follow-through with it.

The finding surprised me, because personally, I'm just the opposite. Does vocalizing your goals improve your chances of accomplishing them?

Image Source: Getty
jelibeann jelibeann 8 years
for certain things, i do think it helps...for example, i started running again recently and basically told everyone i could, which motivated me to want to have an accomplished-sounding answer when they asked me in the future how it was going...same with husband and i finally set the goal to move by next summer and we've started telling everyone we know, so we can't back out!
Dhorwich Dhorwich 8 years
I think it helps to vocalize your plans to the right person. When I tell my DAD something I had better follow through and DO it, he'll hold me to my commitments I make to myself. He'd understand if I didn't reach a goal, but he'll also hold me to it more than anyone so when something is important I tell HIM I'm doing to do it - as well as other people.
luna08 luna08 8 years
Smacks, I agree. If I write it out I'm more likely to plan it out in detail and focus on it. If I verbalize it becomes a pride issue and puts bad pressure on me to finish, rather than being a personal, internal goal.
tiff58 tiff58 8 years
I'm the same way with being superstitious about telling my goals to others, Advah. I agree that writing and visualization is much more effective, generally, than talking about goals. I have even heard that doing a little "picture board" with your goals is very effective.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I always seem to fall through on my goals once I talk to people about them. It's better for me to just go ahead and do things, and talk about it after I've accomplished it.
Advah Advah 8 years
Tricky. I like to think that picturing yourself in a specific position helps you reaching it, but at the same time I'm superstitious about saying that sort of things out loud (which is very stressful). I do agree that writing your goals down in really helpful and surprisingly productive, though.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
I agree, smacks. I think writing something down is more useful.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I used to be like this "Oh, I'm going to do this that and the other..." and nothing ever happened. Lately what I've done is gotten myself a Moleskine note book in red and I write down my plans/goals/dreams/etc and for whatever reason they feel more concrete to me and I am actually really working hard towards getting to my goals (and actually talk about it very little now because I feel better planning it out and tweaking it in my notebook).
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
I answered no, I do not think that vocalizing completely ensures follow through. I have seen throughout my life people who talk about x,y,z and then you see them weeks, months, or even years later and they haven't moved any closer to their x,y,z goal.
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