I’ve always heard that one of the best ways to meet your goals is to tell somebody about them. The reasoning behind this thinking is that is creates accountability (you may be asked about the steps you’re taking to accomplish your goals the next time you see that person), motivation (you don’t want to fail publicly in your efforts to achieve your goals), and clarity (you’re spelling out clearly defined goals, and others’ input may help modify and refine the steps to get there).

However, what if telling somebody else your goals is the single most detrimental action you could take when trying to achieve them?

Entrepreneur Derek Sivers, in his TED talk, discusses studies about goal-setting where the outcomes suggest that divulging our goals make them less likely to come to fruition. We receive positive acknowledgement about our plans, and therefore, trick our brains into thinking we’ve already accomplished it. He calls this “social reality.”

Check out his 3-minute talk below:

In my personal experiences, I’ve found it beneficial to both keep my goals secret as well as to tell others. I think it depends on the situation, the goal, and who you decide to tell or not tell. Think about your own experiences? Are there particular situations in which you’d need the accountability or motivation? Do you want to share your goals for 2016 below?