Why write goals down? Continue to discover the benefits of writing goals down and how they can change your life.
Our goals act as guides and boundaries separating us from failure, leading to success when we learn from them. However, very few people can achieve the objectives they set for themselves. New Year’s resolutions are typical examples of unfinished goals.
In the US, 40% of Americans promise to make changes or reach targets for the coming year, but only 8% can work on their goals for 365 days.
- Top 10 Impacts of Writing Goals Down
- 1. It Helps You Clarify What You Want
- 2. It Narrows Your Focus
- 3. It Improves Your Planning Skills
- 4. It Boosts Your Memory
- 5. It Enhances Your Body’s Encoding
- 6. It Aids in Self-Assessment
- 7. It Measures Your Progress
- 8. It Motivates You
- 9. It Helps You Fight Procrastination
- 10. It Pushes You to Achieve More
Top 10 Impacts of Writing Goals Down
1. It Helps You Clarify What You Want
Everything we do has a purpose, but not everyone knows how to express what they truly want. When you write your goals down, you define them in your words. For a common example, you want to buy a home for your family. When you write this goal, use descriptive words to create a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Do you want a single-family house, apartment, or condo unit?
Making a list of your goals is an excellent practice if you’re the type of person who isn’t good at articulating your thoughts or plans. On top of materializing your objectives on paper for your understanding, you can show them to people who are important to you. With it, they may also better understand your mindset and intentions, whether long or short-term. For more inspiration, see these articles about achievements.
2. It Narrows Your Focus
In life, there are various ways of achieving a goal. For example, you can become rich by aiming for a high position, winning the lotto, or receiving a large financial inheritance. Depending on your ambition, you can do everything possible to reach it. While grabbing every opportunity is a good choice, it’s much wiser to put your effort and time into one thing at a time to ensure you’re giving it your best.
Writing down your goals will help you determine where you need to place your focus. The details you discover while penning your thoughts can show the path with the best chances of success and where it’s better to invest your concentration.
3. It Improves Your Planning Skills
Writing goals down is necessary to define your intentions better and collect ideas on how to reach them. Mentally, you know what you want to achieve but may not have a clear picture of how to realize it. Therefore, when you list your goals, you also look for ways to bring them to completion.
Let’s say you write your goal of losing 50 lbs. within a year. Instead of placing only your target weight and completion on paper, consider including a detailed plan discussing how you’ll do it. It may include gradually controlling the calories you eat, visiting the gym several times a week, and taking progress pictures to keep you motivated.
4. It Boosts Your Memory
Have you made promises to others or yourself that you often forget about when you get home or go out? Consider writing for better recall instead of realizing that you’re missing something when an opportunity to work towards a goal comes. Writing something on paper makes you more likely to remember it, whatever it is.
This action works best for goals that don’t have that much importance to you. With this trick, you’ll have an easier time advancing on these less important objectives without losing focus on your priorities.
5. It Enhances Your Body’s Encoding
Writing things down also encodes certain information into your body. This information can be a wish, a promise, or an objective. It uses the “generation effect,” which states that you’re better at remembering items you generate than items you’ve read. Writing a thorough list of your short-term or long-term goals is one way to apply the generation effect in your life.
For example, you want to make your handwriting look better but don’t have the time to practice. Write down that you should write with more clarity every time you need to use the pen and paper. The simple act of penning this goal and doing it with mindfulness can trigger your memory the next time you hold a pen, marker, or pencil.
6. It Aids in Self-Assessment
The first time you set and write goals, you may overestimate or underestimate your abilities to realize them. So make it a habit to track your progress. Through this, you’ll see how quickly or well you accomplish each goal. Then, you’ll start to understand yourself more.
It’s also a great assessment tool for trying new things. For instance, you want to learn a new language or instrument. Write it down with the specifics on how you’ll do it, whether through lessons or immersion. You may go over or under your expectations, and that’s fine. But you’ll know how you can change your approach to this goal after seeing how well you do after a month or a year.
7. It Measures Your Progress
This next point ties in with the previous one about setting expectations for yourself. After all, you won’t know how far you’ve come if you don’t know where you’re going. So you need a destination or a point where you can say you have achieved something, which is the goal you’ll write down.
Even if you don’t make it to your destination, you’ll at least know that you’ve gotten further along the right path. You’ll sometimes feel discouraged when you’re not getting closer to reaching your goals. Having them written down on paper can help you reflect on your true advancement, not your perceived progress.
8. It Motivates You
Sometimes, goals can feel like deadlines. Like deadlines, they can motivate you and push you past your limits. Even if the deadline is a year or more from today, you can look at the list of goals you wrote down to act as your guide to triumph.
There is something about following a list of steps that makes it easier for people to attain their objectives. It often works for to-do lists because they create order, but the same idea applies to goal setting.
For long-term goals, it’s always wise to create short-term development points. For example, if you want to become a CEO of a laundry company within five years, you need monthly and yearly goals to assist you in getting that position. After all, you can’t finish a marathon without taking the first step.
9. It Helps You Fight Procrastination
Writing about your goals will help you whenever you don’t feel like working on them or come up blank. It’s conducive when you set a timeline for what you should do. Doing it goes beyond motivating you to move towards the goal before the deadline. It will also provide an idea of what you’re risking if you fail to achieve it.
For example, you want to have a leaner body by summer. However, during the winter, you may feel unenthusiastic about leaving your warm house to visit the gym. Whenever you think about putting off the day’s gym training, you only need to remember that skipping a day means not achieving your ideal body image on time.
10. It Pushes You to Achieve More
When you set and reach your goals, you’ll enjoy the feeling of success. It’ll increase your subconscious and psychological need to do it again to feel that rush of happiness. Depending on your circumstances and goals, you may find it extra easy to repeat this victory and soon lose the satisfaction of completing the goal.
The best solution here is to challenge yourself whenever you write new goals. Set the bar higher so you can improve your skills.
Looking for more inspiration? Check out our essays about career goals!