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7 Reasons You Should Always Write Down Your Goals

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Start Writing Down Your Goals

Dreams; we all have them, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they show up as small pulls and tugs, and at other times as an all-consuming desire.

Despite what “they” say, size doesn’t matter…when it comes to dreams.   What does matter, however; is reaching the dream, be it big or small.  What matters is the achievement of the goal.

Unfortunately, most people confuse wishing, wanting, and dreaming with pursuing.  Which is why most people find it difficult to achieve their dreams and reach their goals.

But, there is hope.  Your wildest dreams and your most audacious goals have a good shot of being attained, so long as you always do this….

Write Down Your Goals.

I know what you’re thinking… “Come on, my dreams and goals are too big to suddenly appear just because I put them down on paper.”

And you know what, if you’re thinking this you’re right, at least partially.  You’re partially right because goals and dreams don’t suddenly appear just because they’ve been written down.  I am sure many people wished things worked this way, but they don’t.

However, writing down goals should never been underestimated.  Truly, there is power behind the deed.

Goals and dreams, regardless of their size, do eventually appear and will appear for those who put them down on paper, but the keyword is eventually.  No, it doesn’t happen suddenly, but it happens, gradually, subtly, and assuredly.

There’s no doubt about it – when you write down your goals, you create the conditions that allow for progress to be made.

But don’t just take my word for it, here are a handful of other solid reasons why you should start writing down your goals, asap:

7 Reasons You Should Always Write Down Your Goals

Write Down Your Goals

1. Increases Your Motivation

When you write down your goals and dreams your motivation to achieve them increases.  One of the primary reasons you’ll experience increased levels of motivation is related to self-accountability.  And self-accountability happens the moment you commit on paper your intent to reach an objective.  When you put pen to paper, it’s as if you’re subconsciously giving yourself a command.  And anytime you aren’t doing things your subconscious mind knows it should be doing, you’ll start to feel the pressure of what your mind is subtly suggesting you do.

By writing down your goals, you effectually create your own internal drill sergeant.  And that internal drill-sergeant acts as a driving force that pushes, pesters, and nudges you to act on those dreams until they are achieved.

Interestingly, much of why you get this motivational benefit, also has a lot to do with this next benefit.

2. Improves Your Recall

When you start writing down your goals, you embed them deeply into your mind.  This is important, because when your goals get strongly embedded into your mind, they become easier to recall.  Scientists actually have a name for this, it’s called the “generation effect”.  It’s basically a fancy name for the fact that…If you generate something out of your own mind (like a goal), vs. remembering some vague interest or desire, you’ll be quicker to remember your goal over that vague desire that was induced by something you read, watched, or learned about from someplace else.

And this is a benefit to you, because goals better remembered are goals better achieved.  Which leads me to the next benefit.

3. Writing Down Goals Concentrates Your Efforts

Think of a magnifying glass.  If you just hold it up and let light pass through, without intention, without trying to do anything with it, nothing happens.  The light passes through and scatters everywhere.  However, when you angle the magnifying glass to concentrate the light passing through it onto something, you’ll start burning whatever that concentrated light is touching.

Similar to the magnifying glass, an unwritten goal will just get jumbled in your mind with all your other wants, wishes, and dreams. When it’s unwritten it becomes scattered, along with every other thing that runs through you mind on the daily. However, when you write your goal down, your intention to achieve that goal gets focused.  And the more laser-focused your intention to achieve a goal is, the more concentrated your efforts to achieve it will be.

Why is more concentrated effort a good thing?

Because an increase in concentrated effort, means an increase in your chances of hitting your goal.

4. Makes Your Dreams Concrete

The moment your dream or goal is placed on a piece of paper, is the moment it becomes real.  It becomes something to be interacted with, it becomes tangible.  Before a goal is on paper, it’s nothing more than a thought, a longing, a mental state.  It’s a passive yearning.

But, when your goal finds its way onto a journal, a word document, or a piece of paper, it becomes concrete.  When you write your goal down, you give it name, a deadline, a description.  In short, you give it parameters that can you can measure against and act upon.   It becomes much like a way-point on a map, giving you a sense of where you are, and how much further you have to go.

5. Writing Down Goals Helps You Tap the Full Potential of Your Brain

When you dream, desire, and long for something you are pretty much only using the imaginative right-side of your brain.  But, when you actively jot your dreams and goals down, when you start clarifying what they are, and begin defining and giving life to them, you begin to use the left-side of your brain.

And when you have both sides of your brain, focused on and working towards something, well, that’s when the miracle of achievement starts to happen.

So, if you want to enlist the full potential of your whole brain to get what you want, start writing down your goals.

6. Makes You 42% More Likely to Achieve Your Goal

When you write down your goals, you increase the odds of reaching that goal. That’s the whole premise of this article.  But you may be one of those people who have been asking themselves up until this point, “Well, what are the chances, statically speaking of me reaching my goals if I write it down? Is it even worth the effort?”  Well, if that’s you, here’s your answer.

You actually have a 42% higher chance of reaching your goal when you start writing them down.  So yes, it’s worth the effort.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

So yeah, start writing down your goals yo…because science say so!

7. Success Leaves Clues

Look, not everyone wants to be a billionaire, a CEO, or some uber-successful person, I get that.  But, we can learn a lot from people who seem skilled at high achievement and accomplishing things.  How do I know?  Because, I’ve been studying high achievers for a long time, and success leaves clues.

And one clue I’ve observed that most highly successful people have in common (not all), is they set goals for themselves.  They decide what they want to achieve, when they want to achieve it by, and then commit to achieving that goal by writing it down.

So, if achieving a smidgen of what some of the most the highly successful  people in the world have achieved is of interest to you, writing down your goals must become a priority.

BONUS REASON:  Writing Down Your Goals Facilitates Happiness

Most people don’t know this, but having a goal can actually help make you happier.   Seriously, it can.  You see, when people write down their goals, and commit to going after something bigger and better than what they have at the moment, they create hope for themselves.  Hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better future, a hope that the happiness they seek may actually be achieved.  And hope my friends, is a species of happiness.

Without a doubt, there is power in writing down goals.  The power to help create the happiness we all seek in our lives.

So even if the first seven reasons to start writing down your goals are not good enough for you, hopefully this last one is…..because who doesn’t want to be happy?  Truly, the simple act of jotting down a goal can actually help facilitate your happiness.  I know, it sounds crazy…but its true!

Recap…

Alright, you’ve made to the end, great job!  Now, here’s a quick recap to help solidify in your mind why you should always write down your goals.

  • Reason #1:  It Increases Your Motivation
  • Reason #2:  It Improves Your Recall
  • Reason #3:  It Helps You Concentrate Your Efforts
  • Reason #4:  It Makes Your Dreams More Concrete
  • Reason #5:  It Helps You Tap the Full Potential of Your Brain
  • Reason #6:  It Increases The Odds of Reaching Your Goal by 42%
  • Reason #7:  It Is What Many High Achievers Do
  • Reason #8:  It Can Actually Facilitate More Happiness in Your Life

Conclusion

Big dreams, small dreams, lofty goals and little goals, all of them…can be achieved.

Not magically, not suddenly, but eventually if you begin to place your trust in goal setting.  Because when you write down your goals, you place your trust in action.  And action (not passive longing) always shortens the distance between you and your dream.

Unquestionably, action wins the day.

So, don’t let your dreams just be dreams my friend.  Move on your dreams, stop wishing, stop waiting, stop wasting time.  Start taking action, write down your goals, and the dream will be yours.

Till next time,

STRIVE


Jumpstart your dreams and bridge the gap between your goals and accomplishment with The Strive Journal. Why? Because achievement doesn’t just happen.

Achievement takes a plan (a.k.a. writing down your goals) and encouragement. This 365 day guide is full of wisdom, encouragement, accountability, and success principles that will help you push through your obstacles and achieve your dream.

High effort, self-discipline, and fearless action are “my things”.  If you could use a bit more of these life-enhancing attributes, or if you want to be nudged from time to time to start taking action on your goals and dreams, follow me on Twitter.

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