This constant reminder is what you need to kick (and keep) yourself in high gear.
“Your dreams are only your dreams until you write them. Then they are goals.” — Anonymous
One of my passions in life is helping people realize that they can achieve any goal they desire in life if they are willing to put in the work (I would probably consider this my “tag” line, as you can see my about me page ).
Many people have discussed the concept of goal setting, and there are a number of different philosophies on this.
My wife and I are currently moving into a new home, and I was going through the usual ritual of packing everything up when I came across an old notebook with a bunch of my goals in it from December 2011- roughly 10 years ago.
I looked at the 10 goals that I wrote down and had a mixed feeling of pride and intrigue as I read through them all.
I hadn’t put a time frame on when I would achieve them, but out of the 10, I had achieved 8, with the two remaining ones a bit perplexing because I had completely forgotten that I made those two goals.
One was to help my sister buy a home and the other was to open up a bar and grille. Two goals that were not impossible but two that would’ve required much more work than I had put in the past two years.
As I sat and flipped through the rest of the book, I saw that I had written down the goals daily for about a three-week period, but I had not been very consistent (missed a number of days) and eventually stopped altogether for some reason.
I read through the remainder of the goals and then had an epiphany.
My realization was the reason I hadn’t achieved the two more lofty goals was in fact because I had stopped writing them down daily. I had made the commitment about three months ago to write my goals down daily again and realized that this was having a tremendous impact on my ability to achieve them and prevent this from happening in the future.
As I considered why this was the case, I believe there are three distinct reasons.
They will keep you focused on the sacrifices you need to make
It has already been scientifically proven that those who write down their goals are up to 33% more likely to achieve them than those who don’t write them down at all. How much more could this help if we decide to write our goals down each day?
Life is busy, and so many things can happen daily that get us off track with the commitments that we make to ourselves that we can completely forget about them.
When this happens, we can begin to forget the daily sacrifices that we need to make to ensure that we reach these goals. By writing them down daily, we are constantly reminded of what we said we were going to do and have to ask ourselves are we doing the things needed to get us there.
Often, we can have so much going on that we get lost in the midst of what is right in front of us, as opposed to focusing on what our long-term goals are. When you write these down daily, you have no choice but to ask yourself do your daily actions match the goals you write down each day.
If the answer is no, then you have to figure out what is keeping you from working toward these goals and then decide what you are going to do about it.
They will help you make decisions to keep you on track in life
Sometimes, we are faced with so many different choices in life that we are not sure which way to go.
There is no handbook for life, and for that reason, there are so many different directions you can take. Often, when this happens, it can be challenging to understand what decision we should make.
Should we stay at our current company and see if we get that next promotion or take the Director role at a smaller company because it’s being offered right now?
Do we trade in our older car and buy that car we’ve been wanting or do we wait because we can use that money to invest in our side business instead?
Sometimes, these decisions can seem rather challenging, as it is difficult to know what is the best long-term decision for you. When I get to a place like this, I often turn to my long-term daily written goals and ask what decision will get me closer to these goals versus which one could possibly hurt them.
While I will admit, this doesn’t always mean that the answer will be easy based on using this method, it does often provide a bit of clarity for how I should be thinking about the decision.
Goals are more long-term thinking, and when I find a decision may go against the methodology in which I typically think about my goals, it generally means I am thinking more here and now versus what is good for me down the road.
This typically helps with my decision and keeps me on track for thinking more about what I need versus what I want.
They will be a constant reminder of what are you doing TODAY to make it so
As I just finished writing my goals for this morning, this is the one that often kicks me into gear each day.
As I write out my goals for the next three years and think about what that will mean for my life, I instantly think through what are the specific actions I’m putting into place TODAY to create that future. This is often a jolt to my mind of what is actually important and how I need to refocus on what I am doing to reach those goals.
Many times, as I write down these goals each day, it reminds me of a step that I need to take to get closer to that goal, and I instantly put it down as a reminder on my to-do list.
As shared above, when we have so many things pulling us in different directions, it can be easy to forget the tactical x’s and o’s that are needed to move the rock forward for various goals in our lives.
However, as we write down our goals each day, this should help us assess what have we done to get closer to reaching those goals and then ask us what are we going to do to ensure we are moving forward to realizing them.
The last part is that this requires a continual self-assessment each day of whether these goals are still relevant to us and what we desire for our future. If they are not, then it may be time for a complete re-assessment of our future to rewrite those goals.
This daily tip should help keep us on track with making sure that we are in tune with where we are in our lives to ensure we are moving in the right direction to ensure our ultimate happiness and success.