“You should write down your goals”, that’s one of the most common pieces of advice given by almost every personal development guru. But, have you ever asked yourself why you want to write down your goals?

There was a study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews from the Dominican University of California. And one of the elements of her study was to discover the effectiveness of writing down one’s goals.

Dr. Gail’s study found that when people write down their goals, they have a higher chance of reaching the goals by at least 60%. You can check out the study here.

But why? Why is writing down your goals helps you achieve them better? Why is writing down what you want increases your chances of success?

Well, here are the reasons, and that’s why you want to write down your goals…

1. It keeps your direction crystal clear

writing down your goals keeps your direction crystal clear

When you write down your goals, it keeps your direction crystal clear.

You see, most people are living in mediocrity because they lack a crystal-clear goal. They have no idea what they want out of life. And that’s why they are living a life which they don’t like.

Seth Godin has a great saying:

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.”

And to do that, you need to start with a clear goal. Your goal will guide you and tell you what you need to do and where you need to go.

Without a goal, you will never know which direction to follow or which decisions to make. Here’s my favorite story from Tony Robbins to explain why you need to have a crystal-clear goal in life…

Too many of us don’t make the majority of our decisions consciously… in so doing, we pay a major price. In fact, most people live what I call ‘The Niagara Syndrome’. I believe that life is like a river, and that most people jump on the river of life without ever really deciding where they want to end up. So, in a short period of time, they get caught up in the current: current events, current fears, current challenges.

When they come to forks in the river, they don’t consciously decide where they want to go, or which is the right direction for them. They merely ‘go with the flow’. They become a part of the mass of people who are directed by the environment instead of by their own values. As a result, they feel out of control.

They remain in this unconscious state until one day the sound of the raging water awakens them, and they discover that they’re five feet from Niagara Falls in a boat with no oars. At this point, they say, ‘Oh shoot!’. But by then it’s too late. They’re going to take a fall.

Sometimes it’s an emotional fall.
Sometimes it’s a physical fall.
Sometimes it’s a financial fall.

It’s likely that whatever challenges you have in your life currently could have been avoided by making some better decisions upstream.

An excerpt from Tony Robbins’ best-selling classic, Awaken The Giant Within

Do you now know why it is important to have goals?

Read: Ultimate Goal Setting Guide: How to Set Goals and Achieve Them

2. It gives you a sense of commitment

writing down your goals gives you a sense of commitment

The second reason you want to write down your goals is that doing so gives you a sense of commitment.

Think about it, people who are committed to their goals will do whatever it takes to achieve their goals – including writing them down.

On the other hand, people who are not committed will NEVER bother about writing down their goals.

They simply don’t care because their goals are not important to them. And that is why they don’t want to write down their goals in the first place, isn’t it?

The act of writing your goals shows how committed you are to your goals.

And whenever you write down your goals, it boosts your level of commitment to what you want to achieve.

It will train your mind to focus on what you truly want in your life. Besides, the more you write down your goals, the better you will condition your mind, telling yourself “This is something important to me and I want to achieve it”.

Do you now know why people who write down their goals tend to have a higher chance of accomplishing them? It makes them more committed.

Read: The Importance of Daily Goal Setting and How to Do It Right

3. It inspires and motivates you

writing down your goals inspires and motivates you

That’s right, writing down what you want to achieve will inspire and motivate you.

You see, when you spend time imagining yourself living the perfect life, seeing yourself driving the car you desire, living in the house of your dream, and are traveling first-class, don’t you think that will motivate you?

And that is what writing down your goals will do for your mind. When you write down what you want to achieve, you are painting a picture in your head of what you want and who you want to be in the future.

Besides, doing so will also help you see what is possible in your life. You are giving yourself hope and a dream to pursue.

This is why how you see yourself is important for your success in life. People who see themselves as someone successful tend to have better confidence and are more willing to work hard than most people who don’t see themselves as successful.

And the act of writing down your goals is the first step that sparks your creativity for creating the future you want.

Writing down your goals helps you manifest your goals in 2 ways:

  1. First, you are writing it on paper,
  2. And second, you are creating the pictures in your head.

That’s one of the best benefits of writing down your goals.

If you want to learn how to condition your mind to manifest your dreams and goals, watch this video here.

4. It increases your productivity and helps you plan better

writing down your goals increases your productivity and helps you plan better

Here’s another reason you should write down your goals – it makes you more productive and helps you plan better.

Imagine going through a weekend with no plan. Guess how your weekend will turn out?

You probably wake up late. And since you have no plan, there’s a high chance you’ll waste your weekend on social media, scrolling and checking updates, and perhaps, you will waste many hours on Netflix or binge-watching YouTube videos, right?

Now, imagine you have a plan to read a book you just bought over the weekend. How do you think your weekend will turn out?

You probably set an alarm to wake up early because you have a goal of reading the book which you’re looking forward to doing. You may then bring the book to a local café, order your favorite drink, and read the book the entire morning there.

Can you see the difference between the 2 scenarios?

When you have a goal, it allows you to better plan your day, which makes you more productive.

On the contrary, when you don’t have a goal, you will never have a plan. And as a result, you will become reactive and you react to everything in life, which destroys your productivity.

Here’s a great quote from Larry Winget you should keep in your mind all the time:

“No one ever wrote down a plan to be fat, broke, stupid, lazy, unhappy, and mediocre. Those are the things that happen to you when you don’t have a plan.”

Read: How to Turn Your Goals into Actionable Plans

5. It tells you your progress

writing down your goals tells you your progress

Another advantage of writing down your goals is that it shows you your progress. You will become more conscious of where you are in your life right now, and how far away you are from your goals.

This is important because it gives you feedback on what is working and what is not working in your life.

If you are found that you are not making progress toward living your dream life, you can then make changes and adjust your strategy to reach your goals.

But if you don’t track your progress and you don’t measure your results, you will never know your performance.

It doesn’t matter how much effort you put in or how hardworking you are. If you are not progressing in the right direction, every step you take is a detour.

Your direction is more important than your speed. You don’t want to be running to the West to catch the sunrise. If you want to see the sunrise, you should head East, not West. Do you get that?

“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

Stephen Covey

Read: How to Measure Your Progress to Effectively Achieve Your Goals

6. It helps program what you want into your subconscious mind

writing down your goals helps program what you want into your subconscious mind

And finally, writing down your goals helps program what you want into your subconscious mind.

I believe you know the importance of putting your subconscious mind to work for you. According to this article from Huffington Post, your subconscious mind is responsible for 80 to 90% of your decision-making. And that means almost everything you do in your daily life is determined subconsciously.

Therefore, if you’re not aware, your subconscious mind will want to pull you back toward your comfort zone every time when you try to do something new.

This is why it is so difficult to break a habit or to do something that you feel uncomfortable about.

And this is also the reason why most people are stuck in their life, not making any progress, and fail to achieve their goals. All because they are directed by their subconscious mind.

The good news is that you can reprogram your subconscious mind by writing down your goals.

In fact, goal setting is a skill. And like all other skills, the more you practice and use it, the better you will be at it.

That means the more you write down your goals, the better you are with goal setting. And the better you can make plans, take action, and condition your mind for what you want to achieve in your life.

This is why you want to write down your goals.

If you want to learn how to condition your mind for greater success, go here and watch this video now.

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I'm a blogger, writer, and also an internet entrepreneur. If you want to learn more about me, kindly go to the About page. By the way, have you downloaded your FREE copy of Reach Your Goals? Don't forget to do so. Cheers. :)

4 Comments

  1. “No one ever wrote down on a plan to be fat, broke,….” (In this life, Consequences are results of actions not only intentions)
    Thanks Shawn!!

    • Shawn Lim Reply

      You’re right, consequences are the results of actions, not intentions. But without intentions, there will be no actions. Intention has to come first, and only then you can put in the action and make things work. 🙂

  2. Pingback: 10 Steps How to Get What You Want in Life

  3. Pingback: 10 Memorization Techniques to Boost Your Memory and Mental Power

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