To Hoot or Not to Hoot | The Public Announcement Conundrum (Part 2)

(This is the second installment of a 2-part post.  To read the first instalment – click here.)

In Part 1, I asserted that we should refrain from announcing your goals and visions to other people as it curtails our motivation to actually go out and achieve them.  I received some fascinating feedback from people, and as a result I want to look at the other side of the coin by offering an alternate view.

How much more effort do you put into a task when you know your name is going to be inextricably linked with the outcome or the result?

When you feel accountable for something, it drives you to exceed all expectations – because after all, we simply want the approval of others.  (even though it shouldn’t be this way)

For the majority of people, having an authoritative figure or a peer to keep you on track is often the most powerful method in motivating yourself.  It’s what schools rely on teach children self-discipline and a variety of other life skills.  By making yourself accountable to someone – you set expectations on yourself that act as a catalyst.  Naturally, we don’t want to disappoint and so structured accountability is a great tool for using your psychological dispositions for your own benefit.

Following from this, we don’t only have to have one single authoritative figure to apply these expectations.  Often this is simply not practical, or not considered.  Many people use the power of social media to perform this role.

By announcing their goals to the public at large they create public expectation.  In turn, this can motivate us to put in all of the effort required to achieve the goal because anything less directly impacts public perception.

The fact that these networks tend to include the people that we care most about - our friends, family, colleagues and the like - accentuates the desire to exceed expectations.

So in this case, we should HOOT beforehand.

By hooting, we put our foot down, draw our line in the sand.

We are now accountable for that goal because we publicly announced our intention.


Both lines of thought, in part 1 and 2, obviously contradict each other – and I don’t think there is a right answer.

But I know that for each individual, there will be one that works best.  One that you can relate to.

So the real challenge is testing both of them out and seeing which one keeps you motivated and inspired to accomplish whatever it is you want.  Once you can clearly identify which method works for you, it will allow you to optimise your strategy for achieving your goals in the future.

I would love to hear your experiences when trying out these techniques, so feel free to drop me an email or post it in the comment section below.  Hopefully we can all learn from each other!  I'll send out an email with some of the interesting responses to those on my email list.