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Why Writing Down Your Goals is So Important

You might not realize how important it is to write down your goals. Every year most people make a whole list of resolutions and then do little or nothing to keep them. How many people do you know who wish they could lose 20 pounds, or get a promotion, go on a round-the-world trip, or change careers? How many people do you know who stay stuck in their comfortable rut because they don’t have a plan to get out?

Achieving your goals is not down to innate talent or luck or being a better person. It comes down to planning and hard work. And the key to success is writing it all down.

A ten-year Harvard study on goal-setting showed that writing down your goals is critical. The study asked students if they had set clear, written goals and specific plans for their futures.

  • 84% of those students had no goals at all
  • 13% had goals but hadn’t written them down
  • 3% of the student group had written goals.

The study interviewed the students again after ten years. The 13 percent of the class who had goals but hadn’t written them down earned twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all. Even more significantly the 3 percent of the student group who had written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent of the class.

Writing down your goals significantly increases the likelihood of success, but most people don’t do it.

And the best way to write down your goals is whatever works for you. There are smartphone apps to set your goals and mark progress. Maybe you like a tangible plan, whether it’s on paper, a diary, whiteboard or wall planner. Work out what suits you best and just get those goals down where you can see them!

Focused goals are more achievable than goals without focus. For each of your goals write down a specific three-step plan on how you will accomplish it. Three actions are easier to commit to and simpler to achieve. It also focuses your mind on the essential things you need to do to meet your goals. For instance, if by summer your goal was to lose 10 pounds, you could write:

  • I will walk for at least half an hour every day
  • I will cut sugar from my diet
  • I will replace fizzy soda drinks with water.

If you want to take that world trip, you could write:

  • I will save $x every month
  • I will book airplane tickets by x date
  • I will book accommodation by x date.

By writing down your goals and committing to specific actions you can turn your dreams into reality.

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