Imagine for a moment, that you are in Munich, Germany. Your plan is to travel to Venice, Italy by car. It is a trip you’ve never done before. You’ll attempt to make this journey without a phone, map or GPS. Your only hope of arriving in Italy is to ‘wing it’ and chance that your memory of grade 8 geography hasn’t faded.
As you get out of familiar territory, earnestly searching the road signs is little assistance and you don’t speak the local language. Your chance of success? Minimo! (Italian for minimal).
Write your goals down
When you set goals, but fail to write them down, it is much like having a general idea of where you’re going without a clear set of directions.
According to a study done by Dominican University professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, you are over 40% more likely to reach your goals if you write them down. Put succinctly, unwritten goals are merely dreams. Most dreams are unfulfilled because they only happen in your mind and have little chance of success.
Written down, however, the dream becomes a plan, a blueprint that leads you from where you are to where you want to be. This is why filling in goal setting worksheets help you achieve your goals.
Write your goals by hand
Research has shown that there is a powerful link between goals that are written down by hand and goals that are attained. Why? The brain is hardwired to make connections by building neuropathways. When you are physically engaged in a process such as handwriting, your brain builds a pathway.
As you repeat that action, the pathway is reinforced. In addition, the brain forms markers that serve as reminders to help motivate you in pursuit of your goal. Writing down your goals creates over 10,000 new neural pathways. Typing them on a computer? Only 600.
Even more compelling, writing down your goals helps your brain form what researchers call the growth mindset. It is not enough to simply have a goal of being successful. The more specific the goal, the more motivated you are to work towards it.
By putting your goals in writing, your brain will begin to think in terms of your goal, causing what many refer to as a self-fulfilling result. Yes, you can transfer them to an app or online journal later, however, do your brain and your future self a favour – write them out first by hand on a goal setting worksheet.
The best wrote their goals
Some of history’s most successful people are known for keeping a handwritten journal. Anecdotal stories of famed inventor, Thomas Edison, noted film director George Lucas and others abound that demonstrate the importance of keeping a written list of goals, dreams and ideas.
These successful achievers were relentless about jotting down their ideas and dreams, and unsurprisingly, they accomplished many of the items found within the pages of their journals.
Want to join the ranks of successful people who achieve exactly what they want out of life? Pick up a pencil.
Michele Bailey is the Founder and CEO of My Big Idea™. My Big Idea™ workshops include the comprehensive My Big Idea™ Workbook in which participants write, assess and track their goals along their journey to achieving their own idea of success. Learn more about the My Big Idea™ transformational process.