“If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal – you have a wish.” – Steve Maraboli
“I want to get my second degree.” I’ve been telling myself that since I graduated from university. In my heart, I always knew I wanted to be a psychologist. In my mind, I kept finding excuses. “I have a job in education, I am a freelance writer at Essaysontime, I am attending a course on creative writing… when will I study? Oh… I just wouldn’t make it.”
One day, I took a piece of paper. I wrote what I wanted to do, why I wanted to do it, and how I was going to achieve that goal. Seeing the words on paper made me realize: I can. I will.
Writing Helps Us Target
Most people don’t bother writing down their own goals. I was one of them. Let me tell you how that felt: it was like drifting through life without a precise aim. I didn’t have the most important thing in life: the feeling of doing something significant. I didn’t achieve the goals as soon as I wrote them down. But, it was the beginning.
Here are a few of the benefits of this practice:
- When you write something down, the words stick in your subconscious. It’s like making a promise and visualizing the achievement of this goal; that’s a commitment you cannot erase. As the great Bulgakov once wrote, “manuscripts don’t burn.”
- Mental plans don’t work that well; they lack structure. When you structure an action plan on paper, you’ll feel the commitment. You’ll be able to break down the goals into steps and actions, and you’ll start achieving them step by step.
- As soon as I started writing down my plans, my mind stopped playing the trick of procrastination. “I have to clean the room; I can study tomorrow.” That thought seems silly, but the power of the urge for procrastination is greater than we assume. When you write: “I have to study now. I’ll clean the room tomorrow,” that beats the power of the thought. Through writing, you solve the problem of mental resistance and you focuson the priorities.
- When you have your goals in writing, you can analyze them. This year, write down your New Year’s resolution in the form of goals. Not abstract commitments you would like to make, but precise goals with an actual timeframe. Next year, you’ll review those goals and you’ll see what exactly you’ve achieved. You will witness your growth.
I suggest using the plain pen-and-paper method. Handwriting is slower than typing. It gives you time to focus and think about the words you’re putting on paper.
So get a new notebook for that. Write down measurable, precise goals.
Pick a priority among them. Break that goal down to actionable steps and don’t forget to plan the actions within a timeframe.
Then, you can transfer those actions in your Google Calendar just to remind you of your actions in a timely manner.
You’ll see you have a lot of time left in between the responsibilities. Use that time for achieving the next goal on your list of priorities.
Review that list from time to time. Give yourself credit for the achievements, but don’t blame yourself too much for the failures. What can you do about the goals you haven’t achieved? Plan better!
The best thing about writing is that it doesn’t take much time. It won’t take you more than 10 minutes to write down the most important goals. You deserve to give those 10 minutes to yourself.
Author’s Bio: Sophia Anderson is a language tutor, associate educator, and part-time writer from Australia. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Talk to her on Facebook or LinkedIn.