Everyone wants to “be great” and achieve their goals, but not everyone is willing to commit to the grueling process that it will require. Many people give up and settle for being mediocre instead of opening up their mind to the possibilities of their potential.
One of the ways I achieve my goals is by writing them down. This is a powerful way to focus your attention, keep track of life, and create a permanent record for the future. But there’s much more to it then that. According to Keith Ellis’s book The Magic Lamp, Yale University surveyed one of its graduating classes and discovered that only 3 percent had a written goal. Twenty years later, Yale surveyed the class again: the 3 percent who had written down their goals had amassed a net worth greater than the other 97% combined. Writing things down is positively correlated with goal achievement. Why is that? We’ll talk about a few aspects here.
Have you ever noticed that when you create a shopping list or a “to do” list, you can remember almost all the items on it without even glancing at it? The very act of writing things down helps to get the idea lodged into your long-term memory. So basically, by writing things down, you are making the idea “stick”.
Writing things down, Putting it on paper alerts the part of your brain known as the reticular activating system to join you in the play. The reticular activating system (RAS)awakens the brain to consciousness and keeps it alert. It is also home of your monitoring mechanism. It acts as a filter, drowning out noise and focusing on a certain thing that is relevant and useful. An example of this is when you buy a new car. So say you just purchased a brand new black 2017 Range Rover Evoque. As soon as you purchase it, all of a sudden, it’s like you’re seeing them all over the place! Why? Because it is relevant. Writing things down triggers the RAS, which in turn sends a signal to the cerebral cortex: “Pay attention! Don’t miss this !” Then your brain will be working overtime to see you get it, and will alert you to the signs and signals that, like the black Evoque, were there all along.
Visit your local Marshall’s or Ross. I love to purchase journals and stationary at these stores. There are many to choose from and they are very affordable. So purchase a journal that appeals to you.
- Start off by writing down all of your goals for the year, at least 10. Be brave. Think big. Include even the things that seem impossible right now.
- Every day jot down 3 things that you want to accomplish by the end of the day. This is not a “to do” list per say. This is a list of 3 goals for the day. Do this every day.
- Pick 1 day a week, every week that you review your year goals from the first bullet point. You don’t have to do anything “fancy” here. Just read through the list. Did you accomplish any of them yet? Cross it off if you have. If not, that’s fine. Just review again next week.
Slowly but surely you’ll start to see that your list will become shorter and shorter. I’ve personally seen a difference when I write things down and suggest it to those that are serious about reaching their biggest dreams.