The Written Word

A Harvard University study reportedly showed that writing down your goals makes you much more likely to accomplish said goals. The study concluded that of Harvard MBA graduates, 3% who wrote down their goals earned 10 times as much as the other 97% combined. And although this study has been discredited as an urban legend, there is evidence out there to support the idea that writing down your goals makes you much more likely to achieve them.

A study done at Dominican University showed that survey participants who wrote their goals down were around 33% more likely to achieve their goals than participants who didn’t write their goals down. Especially successful were those surveyed who wrote their goals down, shared those goals with a friend, and reported to that friend on a weekly basis.

It’s clear that writing down your goals can make you more likely to succeed in making them a reality, but why? Here are five ideas about why that may be:

  1. Writing down your goals helps you focus on what you really want. It makes you cut through the hazy, nebulous things you might like to do and get to the meat of your deepest desires.
  2. Writing down your goals moves you to action. Seeing your goal there, in black and white, helps solidify the idea in your mind. It helps you to plot actions to take that will help you achieve your goals.
  3. Writing down your goals will help you stay on target. As you become more and more successful, you will be presented with more and more opportunities. Some of these opportunities may take you off the track to achieving your goal. If you write your goal down, you know what it is you want, and that makes it easier for you stay on task.
  4. Writing down your goal will help you leap over obstacles. Some people may think you can’t do it. They may think you’d be better suited doing something else. Having a written goal gives you something to cling to when the waters of doubt rise.
  5. Writing down your goals will help your track your progress. Sometimes, when you’re in the middle of something, you’re not always aware of your progress. For instance, you may not notice you’ve lost weight because you have to see yourself everyday. If you write down your goals, that sets the bedrock of where you started and allows you to look back and see truly how far you’ve come.