Do you have written goals? If you are reading this at your desk can you put your finger on them right now? If you answered no to these questions, you are not alone. 90% of people do not have written goals. Writing down your goals does a number of things for you:
- It reinforces your commitment to them
- It helps you remember them
- It makes you accountable
- It gives you focus
Have you ever gone to the supermarket without a shopping list? The result is typically wasted time (when you go back for the things you forgot) and money (when you buy the things you don’t need). Having goals and not writing them down is like shopping without a list.
If you want to verify the importance of written goals, go ask the most successful person you know if they have written goals.
Here are some rules for writing your goals:
- Goal setting is not just writing down all that you desire (although that is a good way to start).
- Goals need to be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound). A word of caution here: People will often first consider what is achievable given their current reality. This can be a big mistake. You don’t really know what is achievable and realistic for you until you have accomplished step 3 and determined what you need to do to accomplish your goals. When you think about it, by now most any goal you can come up with has already been done by someone, so it is achievable. The only question is this: Is it realistic for you right now with everything else that is important to you? Always start with specific and time bound.
- Goals are no good unless you chunk them down into daily, weekly and monthly tasks required to accomplish them.
- Visualize your success – If you are one of the 10% who does have written goals, do you read them every day? 5% of people read their goals daily. Reading your goals helps you to visualize success in achieving them. The really cool thing about this is your mind does not have the ability to distinguish between an actual event and something that it sees vividly. What this means is by practicing visualization you are programing your mind to get you there and your mind works 24/7. Visualization also helps you to reframe things, which in many cases is what is required to make sure we achieve our goals and not fall back to our old ways or bad behaviors. For example, let’s say you set a goal to lose 10 pounds. By concentrating on all the dieting and exercise you do in order to lose 10 pounds the focus is on the fact that you are 10 pounds overweight. Until you reframe that image of yourself being 10 pounds overweight, you always will be. With visualization you become your new weight. It makes the process easier, more fun and sustainable.
So go write and read your goals and become one of the elite 5%. It WILL get you there faster.