Do you have goals written down or do you keep them in your head, hoping that you will remember them throughout the year? Have you ever thought about writing goals down to program you to achieve them?
Writing goals down has many benefits. First, written goals will be in your own handwriting. This means that you will automatically feel more responsible for them.
Second, when goals are written down, they will send a direct message to your brain to actually achieve them. Remember the time when you had to study for an exam, but used someone else’s notes? How well did you study and what were your results of the exams? You are much better off when you study or write goals down in your own handwriting.
Third, writing goals down will help you to remember them, I find that when I write goals down, I actually don’t need to look at them again, it is just as if the goals are burned into my memory. Therefore I suggest that you consider writing goals down in your own handwriting, rather than typing it or using someone else’s handwriting.
Now, how should you write your goals? Well, here are my guidelines:
1. They should always start with – I will/I promise to/I must – these messages will tell your brain that it is an absolute must for you to achieve these goals. Most people write it down like I should/I want to/I need to – however, these are negative and you will struggle to achieve those goals.
2. Always use the SMART Principle – goals should be specific measurable, achievable, relevant and time framed.
3. Make use of the Pareto principle – also known as the 20/80 principle says that you must focus on the 20% effort, resources or time that will give you 80% of the outcomes or results you desire. To apply this principle, think of 3 very easy and simple actions you can take every day that will help you achieve the goals.
Here is an example of an ineffective goal:
I need to lose weight.
There will be a very big chance that you will never achieve this goal.
Here is an example of goal setting using my guidelines:
I will/must/promise to lose 10 pounds by 10 December, by cutting my soft drink intake in half, going for a walk every second day and eating out only once a month.
As you can see from the above example, it is important that we send our brains a direct message that there is no option but to achieve the goals. It is also clear that writing goals down in this manner (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time framed) give is a perfect structure. It also shows that you can easily achieve the goal with the 20/80 principle.
Writing goals down can get you motivated, but how would it feel if they actually inspire you to take action and achieve them? Using these guidelines will definitely give you the edge in your life!
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