go public with a goal

By tom rath

To achieve a goal, share it with someone who cares. Over the last few years, I have watched several good friends use this strategy to their advantage. One friend emailed a group of her closest friends to tell them she was planning to run a half-marathon.

She announced it six months in advance, which helped her to stay on track with her training.

She knew that once she put it out there, she would follow through. It worked. Another friend posted his goal of completing a triathlon on Facebook. That worked as well. What’s more, both of them inspired others to join in their respective efforts.

A study published in the journal Obesity revealed just how contagious success is when trying to lose weight. The study found that people who were on teams with more social influence increased their odds of losing weight by 20 percent. These results show how helpful it can be to surround yourself with people who have similar health goals.

Using functional MRI scans, researchers also discovered that the brain places more value on winning when you’re in a social setting than it does when you are alone. If you have a specific goal, such as running a 5K race, share your goal with a close friend. Better yet, share your goal with an entire group of friends to up the ante.


1. Pick one food you eat even though you know you shouldn’t. Give it an entertaining nickname that will make you think twice about eating it.

2. Shop for foods based on whether they are good for you first. Then consider buying organic if you eat the skin.

3. Identify a specific goal for increasing your activity. Write it down, add a deadline, and share it with at least one person (ideally more) or post it online.

Categories: Wellness

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By tom rath

Tom Rath is an author and researcher who studies the role of human behavior in business, health, and well-being. He has written five New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers over the past decade including his most recent book, Eat Move Sleep: How Small Choices Shape Your Work and Well-being. Tom serves as a senior scientist for and advisor to Gallup, where he previously spent thirteen years leading the organization’s work on employee engagement, strengths, leadership, and well-being. He is also a scientific advisor to Welbe. Developed by O.C. Tanner, Welbe uses apps and wearable technology to improve health and well-being in the workplace.