We all want to achieve something in our finite lives. May it be all the riches, the fame, or just a significant impact towards a certain cause. We want to live a fulfilled life by taking advantage of our utmost potential. And as much as possible, without regrets. But this is not a reality for most people. I'm not saying you wouldn't reach your dreams. What I can say is, I know one simple thing that can at least increase its chances. It's by writing your goals on paper!
Research on a Harvard Graduate Class Why should you, you may ask? We all know what we want in our heads. Why bother wasting our time doing menial and borderline corny tasks. The answer? Track record. You may have heard of this famous study. A research was subjected to a Harvard graduate class about goal-setting. And if you know Harvard, these people are arguably the best in their fields. The researchers asked if they have clear written goals and specific actionable steps to reach that dream status or objective. Of the crowd, only 3% had clear and specific goals, 13% had goals but did not write them, and the remaining 84% don't have anything in mind. After a 10-year period, they tracked these individuals. The 13% who had goals earned twice as much as the 84% without them. And the shocking thing is that the 3% who had clear goals had 10 times the income of the 97% combined. And it all started with writing your goals!
Science Validates It! You may think that it's all some magical mumbo-jumbo. But research shows otherwise. According to a study, people who have a very vivid description of their goals have 1.2 to 1.4 times of actually getting them. And the process involves two levels: external storage and encoding. External storage is just a place where you store the information. In this case, the paper you write it on. You will get more recall just be seeing it in your fridge or office. The astonishing level is the encoding part. This is the biological process where our brain analyzes data separating what gets stored or not in the long-term. With writing, the brain encodes the written information more compared to not jotting it down. With it, you get more recall in the long-term. Shooting the chances to get it up. With that, let's start with what the effects of writing your goals down can do for you.
Clarity and Clear Benchmarks The first thing you will get after writing is the clarity. Everything seems so clear after you pinpointed what you want. In the process, you are even subconsciously constructing ways to do it. You are now aware of certain opportunities that may contribute to your end goal. You even have target benchmarks now. What's left is the exact mechanism to get it.
Better Mechanism and Focus It is not enough to just be clear with your goal and parameters. You must know also the mechanism on how to achieve it. Is it even achievable in the timeline you plotted? Do you think it's attainable? Remember, there are no unrealistic goals just unrealistic timelines. By writing it down as specifically as possible, you can brainstorm the proper actions to take in this certain time period. And in its execution, you will be focused and in the flow state. You will get things done.
Increased Motivation And after remembering your goals during a hard day (or just a normal day for that matter), the act increases motivation overall. Sometimes, we need a push to get things going. And seeing the clear future ahead paves the way to a seamless energy boost. So what are you waiting! Write down what you want to happen in the future. It may pan out in the timeline you listed. But for sure, writing them will put everything in place when the right opportunity presents itself to you. Good luck!