Goal-Setting: Should You Share Your Goals?

!!Dean Content Master File


“ Should I share my goals, or would it be better to keep them private? ”

Your goals—to share, or not to share?

Short answer: it depends on the goal.

Personally, I always used to share my goals with anyone who’d listen …

..But I quickly realized this wasn’t the smartest approach because of the sheer number of individuals that love drinking Haterade (otherwise known as: haters, dream killers, negative people, pessimists, etc.)

So, I ended up modifying my goal-sharing approach and splitting my goals up into two distinct categories:

1: Give-up goals —> share with everyone.

2: Go-up goals —> share very selectively.

“Give-up goals” vs “Go-up goals”

If it’s a Give-up goal you should share it with EVERYONE. Examples of give-up goals might be:

  • “I’m going to GIVE UP smoking.”
  • “I’m going to GIVE UP eating junk food.”
  • “I’m going to GIVE UP being late to events and meetings.”

Give-up goals are usually based around bad habits you want to drop. Sharing these with people is a good idea, because you’ll get encouragement as a result of sharing them.

BUT if your goals are more aspirational in nature, then they usually qualify as Go-up goals, in which case it’s usually a better idea NOT to share them with everyone.

If your goal is shared with someone that won’t support you (i.e. haters + dream killers) then you might end up in a scenario like this:

  • YOU: “I’m going to be valedictorian.”
  • HATER: “We’ll see about that…”


  • YOU: “I’m going to be the #1 salesperson in the company.”
  • HATER: “Screw him, I’m going to be the #1 salesperson.”


  • YOU: “I’m going to quit my job and pursue my dream of starting my own business + becoming my own boss.”
  • HATER: “You’re going give up this for that? Are you out of your mind? You’ll never make it. Don’t you know that X% of businesses fail in their first year? What if you fail? What if you can’t find a job that pays as well as this one if you decide to come back?” …and blah, blah, blah. Ad nauseum.

Goals that are more aspirational in nature—like “I’m going to leave my crappy job and pursue my dreams of becoming a famous chef like Emeril Lagasse (or whatever)”—are examples of Go-up goals… and should be shared more selectively—with people that actually want you to succeed just as much (or almost as much) as they want to see themselves succeed.

You should share Go-up goals with people like your spouse, boss, teachers or mentors. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. So you decide who you trust enough to share your go-up goals with.

  • Here’s a great way to determine whether someone’s supportive enough to share your goals with: take a moment to envision your ideal future. What’s your ultimate vision? What do you see yourself doing? And WHO do you see yourself enjoying this better future with?—Share your goals with them.[1]

In some cases, your boss (or spouse or anyone else) might not want you to do better than him/her… no problem, don’t let them in your inner circle, and don’t share your goals with them if you don’t have to… It’s your call. Always.

Bottom line?

  • Share your Give-up goals with EVERYONE.
  • Share your Go-up goals selectively.


  1. Again, as always, be cautious about who you trust and do not trust. Share your goals and vulnerabilities accordingly.  ↩

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