There’s an old saying that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them than those who don’t write them. If you study successful people, you’ll find that most of them have this habit. Everybody knows that success leaves clues.
Dominican University did a study to validate this saying, where 149 students were split into 5 groups. One group was told to simply think about things they wanted to accomplish over the next 4 weeks. Groups 2-5 were told to write their own goals down, with 3, 4, and 5 each having extra assignments. As a result, Groups 2-5 all accomplished more than Group 1. 76% of Group 5 either accomplished their goals or were at least half way there.
In his book, Goals! How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible, Brian Tracy said that by writing goals on paper, you activate 3 senses at once: visual through reading, auditory through repeating mentally or aloud, and kinesthetic through writing. This will cause your subconscious to really take in what you’re doing and work harder to bring your goals to pass.
Interestingly, about 95% of adults never write their goals. Just by doing the following exercise, you will put yourself in the top 5% of adults in the world!
Begin with the end in mind. End each goal with a specific date. Choose a deadline that is realistic to you, yet soon enough to where you know you’ll have to start working on it now.
Be specific about your goals. Picture yourself looking, living, and doing the things you set as a goal. If your goal is to lose weight, how much do you want to weigh? If you want to travel more often, where do you want to go? What is the model, color, and year of your dream car?
Avoid negatives when you’re writing your goals. Focus only on what you want. For instance, don’t say “I overcame my anger issues.” Say “I found inner peace.” Don’t say “I stopped drinking.” Say “I became a non-drinker.”
On a sheet of paper, write down your goals as if they have already happened. For instance, if you want to be promoted at work, write something like “I became (name of position) by December 24, 2016.”
From mid-2011 to early 2012, I had a habit of listing my goals every single day as one of the first things in the morning. In doing so, I managed to ingrain the idea that I’ll achieve them all. I actually did achieve some before the deadline. It also caused me to think about my goals quite often, to where any time I think about my future, it’s always in the sense of my goals having been achieved.
Rewriting my goals every day also helped me to improve some goals. One goal was to decorate a Christmas tree and have my house covered in Christmas lights. I don’t celebrate Christmas; it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. Then I figured it wouldn’t be as much fun alone and added a wife, kids, and the stereotypical small family Christmas to the equation.
You don’t have to write your goals every day; I’m just giving you some food for thought.
If you’re like most people reading this, you’ve also read my article about the outcome of my goal to be the host at my team’s business opportunity presentations. I wrote that goal using this method, and it turned out much better than I had planned. That just shows that even if you don’t get exactly what you want, you can still get something better.
Make a nice day!