Want to Achieve Your Goals? Write Them Down
In order to achieve the most out of life, goal-setting is imperative. Whether you’re striving towards personal or professional success, goal setting provides focus and direction. The best way to crystallize your goal(s) is to write them down on paper. It may sound trivial, but there is a lot of power in writing down your goals. The act of putting thoughts to pen and paper plays an important role in closing the gap between an idea and a plan.
Experts agree, those who write down their goals achieve more than those who do not. Research conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, a professor at Dominican University of California provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of writing down one’s goals. Out of a group of 267 participants, it was found that people with written goals were 42% more likely to achieve them. (1)
Still not convinced? Here are my top reasons why writing your goals can help to achieve them:
Writing Down Goals Helps Us Visualize the Big Picture
Visualization is an important component in goal-setting and achievement. When a goal is written out and put in plain sight every day, it becomes easier to visualize the ideas, steps and outcome.
Seeing the goal in plain sight signals a que in your mind to bring awareness back to the original idea. After all, seeing your goal written is literally seeing your goal. When you’re able to view your goal objectively, it’s easier to enhance, improve and optimize a strategy towards success.
Writing Down Goals Provides Focus
Getting your plans down on paper can help reduce procrastination. It is hard to be focused on something and work on it, when you can’t remember what the original idea was. When the mind becomes overwhelmed by too many problems, it enters a state of disarray. When your thoughts are all over the place, it’s difficult to think clearly and focus on the important goals you’ve implemented.
On the other hand, when you’re focused on something, it’s easier to direct your time and energy towards it. Using a pen and paper to notate ideas gives you a chance to slow down and really contemplate the words you’re recording.
Writing Down Goals Provides Clarity and Direction
The process of distilling a goal into something that can be written and understood brings a value in itself. Documenting your ideas allows you to process them in different ways and retain the information.
When your goals are written down, it makes it possible to go back and reflect on them. Reflection helps us to be more accurate with our choices. Physically writing down your goals makes them tangible and forces you into some degree of accountability.
What separates dreamers from doers?
Well, to put it simply, the ability to execute. This includes planning, motivation, follow-through and investing the time and effort into putting the wheels in motion. Dreams are really just figments of our imagination; it takes action for goals to materialize.
Writing down your goals provides an element of structure to your dreams and helps you to become more motivated, organized and proactive in achieving them.If you’re more of a dreamer, it might be time to acknowledge the boundless utility of writing down your goals. Dreams are left to chance, but goals have purpose.
Not only does jotting things out by hand improve memory, but it helps to see the bigger picture and plan accordingly. Once you’ve sat down and mapped out where you want to be, it’s easier to determine a clear path.
Goals Are Only Ideas Without Action
Having goals and acting on goals are two separate things. Writing down your plans provides an added impetus that can help you accomplish them. When writing them down, you should always include the steps to achieve them. Keeping your written goals in sight daily will strengthen their purpose and become more of a habitual thought. The more active you are in setting and keeping your goals, the higher your chances of success.
(1) Gail Matthews, Professor, Dominican University of California http://www.dominican.edu/academics/ahss/undergraduate- programs/psych/faculty/fulltime/gailmatthews/researchsummary2.pdf