Updated: Jan 25, 2020
Get your pen and paper out
Goal setting has numerous benefits. Clearer focus, greater clarity in decision-making, more effective use of time, increased motivation and peace of mind to name a few. Even Steve Jobs was a famous goal-setter and would set short-term and long-term goals.
While people generally understand the benefits of goal setting, there is less of a grasp on the importance of writing them down, especially outside of the business community. Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews, at the Dominican University in California, led a study on goal-setting with nearly 270 participants. The results were clear. People were 42 percent more likely to achieve their goals if they wrote them down.
There are scientific reasons for this. Put simply, dreaming and goal setting taps into the imaginative hemisphere of the brain, the right side. When you write down your goals, you tap into the logical left hand side of the brain and it signals to your whole body that you want to achieve your goal. The act of writing down your dreams and goals will bring forth a new level of awareness, which will lead to more creative ideas and increased productivity to your subconscious mind.
The act of writing down will also open your subconscious mind to “seeing” opportunities that couldn’t be observed from merely thinking about your goals. Writing down your goals will also help you to get clear on exactly what you want to achieve and help motivate you to complete the tasks necessary for your success. In addition, it will force you to strategise, to ask questions about your current progress, and to brainstorm a plan for success. The likelihood that you’ll transform your desires into reality goes up even further if you share your written goals with a friend or coach who believes in your ability to succeed.
It is no surprise that the business community has caught on to this helpful approach. Some entrepreneurial successes swear by writing their goals down daily. Grant Cardone, best-selling author of The 10X Rule and self-made millionaire writes his goals down once in the morning, and once again at night. He explains, "I want to wake up to it. I want to go to sleep to it and I want to dream with it...I want to write my goals down before I go to sleep at night because they are important to me, they are valuable to me and I get to wake up to them again tomorrow."