Why We Should Write Our Goals
“We cannot trust our memories with our goals” ~Devrhoid Davis
In a world of so much noise, tweets, facebook statuses, instagram posts, rss news feeds, automated emails and YouTube subscriptions alerts, staying focused is a true obstacle. It is difficult enough for us to keep pace with the various requests and notifications that arise. How much more difficult is it then for us to remember our day to day or monthly goals? For me, it has been extremely difficult and painstakingly disappointing.
I do not hesitate to admit that I have tried numerous times to go through my day with a mental list of goals I would like to achieve and fail. I would jump out of bed, think about how I will achieve this, that and the other thing, get to the office, open the first email and immediately forget all the ambitious goals I had set a few minutes earlier. This changed when I discovered Brian Tracy’s Goal Setting Formula which he explains in great detail in his book Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want. I highly encourage reading this book. Brian also has a lot of great videos on goal setting on his YouTube Channel and his website https://www.briantracy.com/.
The first step in Brian’s formula is to decide on a goal to pursue. The next step is to write down the goal in the positive, present and personal tense. I used to skip this step when I first started employing the formula but after some time I realised my mistake. I recognised why it was so important to write the goals down. In this article, I will share three reasons I wish I had written down my goals from day one.
1. What We Write Sticks
Remember those days in school? Many of us had two books for each course, one was a text book and the other an note book. We had to write. For me, I can say with absolute certainty that why I wrote stuck with me longer than what I read. I found this to be an effective way to keep my goals for the week (or the day) in my field of vision. My accountability partner prefers to type his goals, I think there is a similar effect, however my recommendation is to have handwritten goals and to use technology to reinforce them.
2. Review, Revisit, Rearrange
I believe that writing one’s goals enables him/her to achieve more of them. Certainly, this has been my experience. Here’s how it works in my case. It is very easy for my mental goals to get lost in the sea of thought because my mind is always going. This probably happens to you as well. The benefit of us writing down our goals becomes evident. When we write our small intermediate goals, we grant ourselves the ability to review them. Additionally, we can revisit all our goals, asses where we may have fallen off and rearrange them if necessary.
3. The Joy of Ticking Them Off
JOY, that is precisely what I feel every time I tick off a goal I had written down. It is slightly addictive. This is probably why I continue to write down my goals, I want the joy of ticking them off. A related benefit of writing down one’s goals is that it provides a historical record. I recently came across my lost of goals for the 2016 calendar year. I realised that there were goals written on the list that I am still working on and that I had missed all the deadlines I had set. However, and this is the most important part, I was able to tick off five (5) out of fifteen (15) goals I had written on that list. That was the most accomplished I felt to that point. There was an overwhelming sense of accomplishment…a joy that I could not explain. It is my sincere wish that we could all feel this at some point.
Success Mentor and BestYouPRO Influencer, Master Jim Rohn said “Don’t use your head as a filing cabinet” I think this is exceptional advice, especially as it relates to short and medium term goals. Writing my goals has served me very well. I attribute much of my success to this action. It is my hope that the three reasons expounded on in this article will serve as supporting evidence as to why we should write down our goals.
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