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Goal Setting 101 The Importance of Writing Down Your Goals

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Many people go through life dreaming of things they want to achieve in their future. It might be that they want to greatly improve their health by losing weight, stop smoking or move more. Or they keep dreaming of setting up their own business, finally say good bye to their nagging and harsh boss an not having to waste hours a day commuting. Whatever goal they have, most of them just stay dreams because there is a lack of focus and drive to make them reality.

Or sometimes it is just the unability to see which steps to take in order to turn their dreams into reality.

Goals that you don´t write down will, like lighters and pens almost always get lost!

Written down goals however, will set off a chain of reaction and events, that allows you to face up and evaluate your specific goals which will in turn make it possible to break them up in smaller steps. These smaller steps you can then turn into a plan of action and seeing these steps written down on paper will make it less overwhelming to go and achieve them.

Goals that only exist in your mind will keep wandering in your mind, as like daydreaming. They will only remain part of your imagination and might even seem to big to achieve, which thus will put you off taking the right steps.

Out of Sight … Out of the Heart and Mind


I am going to give you a little example that I am sure you will recognize so that you see the importance of writing down your goals. Let´s take your weekly trip to the supermarket. There are a whole lot of items that you need to get and if you write them all down, chances are you will get each and every item on your list, plus as an added bonus, sticking to your list will have you focus on just those things that you need making it easier to not just grab whatever you see and come home with a huge shopping cart of things you actually didn´t need.

Or take that quick trip to the shops, only needing a few things you thought you would remember and then coming home and finding that you forgot the one thing that was most important.

A simple written down shoplist would have been the answer to focus on what you need without wasting time, money and energy on the things you don´t need!

Same goes for goal setting. Writing down your goals is your first step to creating change in your life. It is the first step to achieving your goals. It is the one thing that many people tend not to do and thus end up not reaching their goals!

You can have the biggest dreams of all, whether that be losing 40 pounds, getting into shape through exercise, becoming financially independent or buying the house you always dreamed of. These big dreams when you look at time might seem daunting to you and as a result you will put them off without taking action. They will stay dreams and intentions, because you don´t write them down and see which smaller steps you can take to get there.


However, when you look at your goals written down on paper, it will be so much easier to break them down into smaller bits, so that your goal can progress from your mind onto paper, from paper into action and finally from those actions into real life time achievements.

Most people just go through life, responding to things that "happen" to them. They might stay in a job they hate in order to pay the bills and they keep struggling on even though they hate that job in the first place. They respond to the situation of having to pay the bills and feel more secure in that low paying job that sucks the life out of them, than trying to change things around and find something better. So they spiral down especially in this time of worl economical crisis and many people losing their job.

I am not saying here that you should just quit your job or jump up in joy because you just got unemployed, but … you should make up a plan for yourself by writing down your goals in order to turn around your current situation into a better one.

The more specific you are in setting out your goal plan, the smaller the steps you can create in order to achieve the end goal, the higher your chances are of actually getting there. You don´t start writing a book by writing a 1000 pages in one day, but you will be able to write the story of your life by following your plan and writing a new page each and every day.

There is no magic pill for success, but one thing is sure, if you fail to plan by not writing down your goals, you are planning to fail. And even though our mind is a powerful tool blessed with endless memory, it is blessed with only a short recall. You can come up with the best ideas to change your life around just before you fall asleep and think, I´ll still remember it tomorrow. But chances are you will wake up knowing you had this great idea the other night, but just can´t remember exactly what it was.

So write it down! Grab a piece of paper, no matter what, a cocktail napkin, a piece of toiletpaper or anything you have in sight whenever you come up with these great ideas.

And then free up time to sit down and put it all together in a plan. Have your goals in sight, focus on them and take the action required to turn them into reality.

Stop making excuses, every body can free up a few hours when it is your life we are talking about. And if you feel you are not able to set up a personal strategic plan by writing down your goals, get help! There is an excellent personal strategic plan tool that will almost take you by the hand and guide you through all the necessary steps to write down your goals, break them up in little steps you will be able to take and thus fully focus on getting what you want!


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Comments

Dec 20, 2011 3:45am
abishekz
thanks for sharing your ideas on writing down your goals. i do this regularly and it keeps me focus when i write. when you write, it's more clear of what you you really want. ;-)
Dec 20, 2011 6:37pm
BobD
Nice article. I like how you compared writing down goals to a shopping list.
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