Last week, I wrote a post entitled, Why I’m Not Sharing My 2016 Goals This Year. In it, I explained that research shows that we shouldn’t share our goals publicly. But who should we be sharing them with?

Who should you share your goals with?


To best answer that question, I’ll share what has and what hasn’t worked for me.

Who NOT to Share Your Goals With

1. Anyone and everyone

I covered this last week, but it bears repeating. Don’t share your goals with anyone who will listen. The act of doing so feels too much like an accomplishment.

Don’t post them on social media or write about them on your blog. Unless you have a very compelling reason to do so.

Almost every time I have done this, I have failed to reach my goal.

2. People outside of your inner circle

As a rule of thumb, if you don’t talk to someone more than 30 hours a year, it’s a safe bet you shouldn’t be sharing your goals with them.

One exception to this rule might be a mentor or someone you only meet with monthly but have a longstanding relationship with.

Every time I have shared my goals with someone outside of my inner circle, it has backfired on me. I enjoyed the act of sharing them so much, I forgot to put in the actual work required to achieve them. Or I got so much varying advice, I forgot to actually take action. Paralysis by analysis.

3. Negative people

You know who these people are. They are the people you should avoid at all costs.

They might be your parents, siblings, co-workers, you name it. They are the people who always respond to ambition with a list of 712 reasons you can’t achieve your goals.

It’s best that they don’t know what you are striving for or else they will try to hold you back.

4. “Yes” men

The other group of people you definitely don’t want to share your goals with is “yes” men (or women).

These are the people in your life who never disagree with you or challenge you to think differently. They will never ask why you have a certain goal or if you thought through the obstacles.

Who You DO Want to Share Your Goals With

You only want to share your goals with those people you spend the most time with, know you best, and who have your best interests at heart.

They are neither negative nor afraid to question you when it’s appropriate. These people, usually limited in number, are critical not only to you achieving your goals, but to you setting the right goals in the first place.

Last year, when my wife and I completed Michael Hyatt’s Five Days to Your Best Year Ever goal-setting course, I had a great list of goals (I thought). Actually, the list quite surprised me. The things I thought were important actually weren’t and most of my goals were more personal and other-focused in nature. That is one of the great things about the course. It gives you clarity on what is important in your life (hint: it’s probably not career advancement, money, or more “stuff”).

After I finished my goals, I shared two of them with my mastermind group. One of the members, Scott Barlow, asked a very probing and difficult question, though.

He asked me which of two goals was the most important to me. These two goals were likely going to conflict with each other. I really wanted to achieve both, but was that practical?

I said I wanted to do both, but he wouldn’t let up on me. He continued to ask me the same question in different ways. “If you could only do one of them,” he asked, “which would it be?”

Once I gave my answer, he pointed out that the pursuit of that goal would render the other obsolete. It would be nearly impossible to achieve both and in combination with my other goals, would be a fruitless attempt. My divided objectives would likely result in hitting neither goal.

Sharing my goals with my mastermind group fit the criteria I shared above:

  • It was made up of people who knew me well (only one of the members had spent less than 20 hours with me).
  • They had my best interests at heart.
  • They were positive and rooting me on, but not afraid to challenge me when appropriate.

If you can find a few people like that to share your goals with, consider yourself blessed. Those types of people are few and far between.

But when you do, share your goals with them and you’be amazed at how much they can help.

If you are looking for a PROVEN goal-setting formula, make sure to check out Michael Hyatt’s Five Days to Your Best Year Ever. It’s the system I’ve used for the past two years and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Who is someone in your life who fits these criteria? Are you willing to share your goals with them?

3 thoughts on “Who Should You Share Your Goals With?

  1. Scott Barlow says:

    Hey thanks for the mention! Glad to see that you doubled down on the goal that mattered most!!! (clearly it’s paid off for you!) I’m proud of you, you’ve had an amazing 2015!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Yes it has Scott. Thanks so much for the clarity!

  2. Jon Stolpe says:

    My wife fits the criteria.

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