When you tell someone your goal, you can experience what's called a "social reality." The mind is tricked into thinking that you've already accomplished the goal and therefore after you've felt the satisfaction from saying it aloud, you are less motivated to do the hard work to really reach the goal.
But wait? I thought you were supposed to tell your friends your goals? Sorry, stop doing it. Scientific study trumps conventional wisdom on this one. Look at this TED talk by Derek Sivers and learn more.
Resist the temptation to announce your goals. Delay the gratification. I know it feels good to say what you're going to do, but imagine how you'd feel if you waited until you'd actually reached it? Make no mistake, the mind can mistake talking for doing.
When I took my first stats class I absolutely hated it because nothing made sense. It was like learning a new language: confidence levels, mean, correlation, standard deviation, poison, probability, z-score, binomial distribution, regression etc.
While I was preparing to fail the class something literally clicked in my brain and I managed to pull off an A that semester.
But beyond digesting statistical methods and tools...I learned something far more important. It can be summed up in this quote:
Or just throw out some made up numbers:
I've realized that there are three types of lies:
I've also realized that sometimes people want you to lie to them, right?
My job is a tenure track position, so I have 5 years to prove I'm awesome before I can be promoted. This will be no problem because I am awesome...but I was recently told by a superior that I should include statistics in my promotion and tenure documentation and to "create charts and graphs that show the numbers going up." Well, if I'm going to be judged by the statistics I choose to provide then this is going to be fun!
My tenure committee may end up seeing a graph like this:
And maybe a few like this too: