An idea is just that. An idea. Until you take action. There is where goals play an important role.
Creating a plan for your idea, a written one, with a set of goals and visualising having achieved them will make you much more likely to succeed.
Let me explain.
I tell my clients, “Create the link to what you think and then put it in ink”. yeah I know it sounds cheesy but by golly it works.
Here’s the proof:
In 1953 a group of graduates from Yale University were asked one questions: ‘which of you has written specific goals?”
Just three percent of the students answered affirmative. The three per cent had clear, written goals. Fast forward soem 20 years to 1973. The same group of graduates were surveyed once more. That three per cent who had written clear goals has accumulated more wealth between them than the remaining 97 per cent combined!
I have done this for years. I have written my goals on spreadsheets, journals and even goal-setting software alongside my Life Plan, Mission Statement & Vision Board.
Here are just a few goals I have written down over the last two decades:
- Marry a strong, successful, ambitious, tall man who is passionate about health, personal development and superheroes on a beach
- Make £100,000 a year doing what I love
- Have a sixpack and get in the best shape of my life
- Complete a marathon
- Write a Amazon bestselling book
- Have my own talk radio show
- Visit Peru and trek Manchu Pichu
Of course, most people don’t bother to write down their goals. Instead, they drift through life aimlessly, wondering why their life lacks purpose and significance. I am not saying that committing your goals to writing is the end-game. It’s not. But it is the beginning.
Here are five reasons you should commit your goals to writing:
- Because it will force you to clarify what you want. Imagine setting out on a trip with no particular destination in mind. How do you pack? What roads do you take? How do you know when you have arrived? Instead, you start by picking a destination. The same is true with the milestones in your life. Writing down your goals forces you to select something specific and decide what you want.
- Because it will motivate you to take action. Writing your goals down is only the beginning. Articulating your intention is important, but it is not enough. (This is where I disagree with Rhonda Byrne, author of The Secret). You must execute on your goals. You have to take action. I have found that writing down my goals and reviewing them regularly provokes me to take the next most important action.
- Because it will provide a filter for other opportunities. The more successful you become, the more you will be deluged with opportunities. In fact, these new opportunities can quickly become distractions that pull you off course. The only antidote I know of is to maintain a list of written goals by which to evaluate these new opportunities.
- Because it will help you overcome resistance. Every meaningful intention, dream, or goal encounters resistance. From the moment you set a goal, you will begin to feel it. But if you focus on the resistance, it will only get stronger. The only way I have found for overcoming it, is to focus on the goal—the thing I want.
- Because it will enable you to see—and celebrate—your progress. Life is hard. It is particularly difficult when you aren’t seeing progress. You feel like you are working yourself to death, going nowhere. But written goals are like mile-markers on a highway. They enable you to see how far you have come and how far you need to go. They also provide an opportunity for celebration when you attain them.
Writing your goals down doesn’t take that long. Don’t over-think the process. Just get something on paper and refine it as you go. I think you will find that the benefits are well-worth the effort..