What do you want to achieve in the next few years? What do you want your future life to look like?
Write down your personal and career goals and read them weekly– it will help you get where you want to be.
Do you doubt that goal writing really works? Let us dispel your doubts.
Here are six neuroscience-backed reasons that will motivate you to take your notebook and create your life goals list.
1. Create a “visual clue”
The results of the scientific study show that people who write down their goals are 1.2-1.4 times more likely to hit their goals.
Here is how it works. By writing down your goals on a piece of paper – you create a “visual clue” that works as a reminder about the thing you want to achieve. If you place this piece of paper on your work desk or stick it to your fridge, it will remind you about your goals multiple times a day.
This simple neuroscience trick will help you focus on your goals and boost your dedication.
2. Articulate your ideas more clearly
Vague goals do not count as actual goals. If you want to achieve something big in your life, you should set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, rational, time-bound) goals.
In other words, if your goal sounds like this, “I want to be rich,” you will never get what you want. You should try to articulate your ideas as clearly as possible and write them down. For instance, if you aim at growing your small business, you can put your goal this way, “I want to earn my first $200,000 from selling my X product by the end of October 2021”.
You need to write down your SMART goals – you can’t just keep them in your mind because they are too complex to remember. You have more than one goal, haven’t you? If you do not put them on paper, then chances are you will forget them before being able to achieve them.
3. Stay accountable to your goals
Why most people never achieve success in life? Pretty often, it happens because they do not stay accountable to their goals.
If you want to thrive in life and business, you should understand that it’s not enough to set a goal. It’s important to stay accountable and committed to it. You should remember what you want to achieve and make little steps toward your big dream every day.
Goal writing is one of the easiest yet the most effective ways to stay accountable. Once you set SMART goals, you can also define the milestone you need to accomplish. For instance, if you want to earn $200,000 by the end of October, you can set two milestones “earn $50,000 before the end of May” and “earn $100,000 by the end of August”.
Read your goals and review the milestones set on a regular basis. It will help you to block distractions and focus on the tasks that you need to work on.
Are you not sure whether you have written your goals correctly? Check websites like GetGoodGrade to find experts who can edit and improve your goals.
4. Define your priorities
A happy and fulfilled life is all about setting priorities and making the right choices. If you do not write down your goals, you will not be able to manage your priorities wisely. Once you face the necessity to make a critical decision, you will likely get confused and be unable to come up with an optimal solution.
When you put your goals on paper, you define your priorities. It gets easier for you to understand what things/tasks are important in the first place, so you make critical decisions without hesitations.
Let’s say you’ve defined that your highest priority is your family and your second-tier priority is higher education. How will you spend the upcoming weekend: throw a party for your parents’ 40’s anniversary or stay at home to work on your essay? Naturally, you will choose the first option. And how will you manage to complete your school assignment? You will find a website specialized in academic writing for college and grad students and get some professional help.
5. Tap into “generation effect” twice
Neuroscience specialists discovered the “generation effect.” This effect demonstrates that we tend to remember the materials we have generated ourselves better than the materials we merely read from external sources. And this effect is applicable to goal writing.
When you put your ideas on paper, you tap into the generation effect twice. You generate your goal in mind first and then reprocess it by writing it down.
Let’s consider an example to understand the impact of the “generation effect.”
Imagine the first situation. You’ve been scrolling through Instagram and come across a friend’s post that says: “I’ve set a goal to lose 10 pounds in two months.” Since this goal resonates with you, you decide to label it as your own – it means you generate this goal once.
Now imagine the second situation. You’ve just tried to put your old jeans on and discovered that they don’t fit you. You’ve realized the necessity to lose extra weight. You’ve taken a piece of paper and write down a goal: “I want to lose 10 pounds in two months to fit my old jeans.” In such a way, you’ve generated your goal twice.
Basically, both situations are associated with the same goal. But we can expect that the goal will be more likely to be hit in the second situation because of the generation effect.
6. Know your “final destination”
Living without having a goal is like sailing without using a compass and map – you will never know whether you have reached your destination.
Your written goals are like the pins on the map of your “big dream.” You can use them to understand where your “final destination” is and choose the right direction and the right route to reach it.
Write down your goals today – and you will change your life for the better. You will hit all your small goals and eventually achieve your big dream.
Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.