The secret to accomplishing what matters most to you is committing your goals to writing. This is important for at least five reasons.
- Because it will force you to clarify what you want.Imagine setting out on a trip with no particular destination in mind. How do you pack? What roads do you take? How do you know when you have arrived? Instead, you start by pickinga destination. The same is true with the milestones in your life. Writing down your goals forces you to select something specific and decide what you want.
- Because it will motivate you to take action.Writing your goals down is only the beginning. Articulating your intention is important, but it is not enough. (This is where I disagree with Rhonda Byrne, author ofThe Secret). You must execute on your goals. You have to take action. I have found that writing down my goals and reviewing them regularly provokes me to take the next most important action.
- Because it will provide a filter for other opportunities.The more successful you become, the more you will be deluged with opportunities. In fact, these new opportunities can quickly become distractions that pull you off course. The only antidote I know of is to maintain a list of written goals by which to evaluate these new opportunities.
- Because it will help you overcome resistance.Every meaningful intention, dream, or goal encounters resistance. From the moment you set a goal, you will begin to feel it. But if you focus on the resistance, it will only get stronger. The way to overcome it is to focus on the goal—the thing I want. Steven Pressfield’s book,Do the Work, is must-reading on this topic.
- Because it will enable you to see—and celebrate—your progress.Life is hard. It is particularly difficult when you aren’t seeing progress. You feel like you are working yourself to death, going nowhere. But written goals are like mile-markers on a highway. They enable you to see how far you have come and how far you need to go. They also provide an opportunity for celebration when you attain them.
If you’ve been unable to stick to the goals you set just 30 days ago (like me), you get a second chance today because it’s Chinese new year! Set those new year’s resolutions again but this time, write them down. I, for one, will be whipping out my journal and putting it to good use. It would be a shame if I designed the whole thing but didn’t get to use it!
Kung Hei Fat Choi and happy goal-writing! :D