Last year I wrote a book on goal setting. I am now in the process of editing that book. As I edit, I will post excerpts here on my blog. This is from chapter three:
The power of writing down your goals
Why does this work? Why is writing your goals down so powerful?
Honestly, I do not know for sure, but I have a few theories.
First, writing turns your goals into solid things.
When your goals are floating around in your head, they are nebulous. No one can see them. Your goals are thoughts.
When you write your goals down on paper, you are collecting your thoughts and quite literally solidifying them.
You are transferring your goals from a nebulous form to a solid form.
Everyone thinks. We think all day long. We spend all of our lives thinking. When we die, we take our thoughts with us.
The Romans used to say, “Verba volant et scripta manent.” “Spoken words fly away. Written words remain.”
If we write our thoughts down, our thoughts remain.
The libraries of the world are filled with the thoughts of those who have gone before us.
Authors turned their thoughts into solid things. They turned their thoughts into journals, diaries, and books. Today, we can read their thoughts.
Second, when you write your goals down, you are less likely to forget them.
Have you ever heard a friend talking about a movie and thought to yourself, I want to watch that movie, only later to find yourself wondering… what was the name of that movie?
The same happens with goals.
You may have a goal pop into your head only to find later you cannot remember the goal. Had you taken time to write the goal down, you would still have it.
Third, writing the goal down gives you a physical reminder of the goal. You can post the goal in a prominent place.
Imagine you have an important goal you are trying to hit. If you have taken the time to write the goal down, you can post the goal in a place where you will see it daily.
Tape the goal to your desk, or your bathroom mirror. Tape it to the dashboard of your car.
Post the goal some place you see it every day. Seeing this physical reminder will keep you on track.
Do this and you are not going to forget the goal.
In the morning, when you wake up, you will know exactly what you are going to do. You will not waste time wondering. You will seize the day. You will carpe the diem.
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