It is said that only about 3% of people have clear written goals and plans that they work on each day. It is an age old tale, the most successful people in the world all have goals that they actively frame, reframe, and work towards every single day.
Did you know that if you write down a goal you are 5 to 10 times more likely to accomplish it?¹
Thinking on paper is almost a lost art in the days of digital technology; however, when we actively transcribe and can see a target we increase the likelihood of achieving it.
This is a proven fact reiterated in countless books written on achieving success and flat out getting what you want. So if it works, why aren't you doing it?
The following post will help you program your mental GPS by taking action now and writing out meaningful goals. If you don't have 15-20 minutes, a pen and a few pieces of paper or printer to print off the attached worksheet, save reading this for another time.
Top 3 goals in 0:30
1, 2, 3.. go! Write them down, whatever comes to mind. Don't overthink it by paying mind to your current circumstance, just simply write what you want based on possibility.
Turn off your phone and eliminate all distractions for the next 15-20 minutes. This is a pretty crucial part in the cognitive process as we want as few distractions to get you off track as possible.
This is your time to be selfish, and that is not meant to be negative. There is a big difference between being selfish and self-centered. For example, the self-centered individual thinks "What can you/does this do for me?" the selfish person realizes "I need to take time for myself to be my best for others."
So grab a cup of coffee, turn off your phone, and get to a quiet place where you can think.
10 Goals in 12 months
Alright now let's narrow your focus a bit. You can go off the first three things you wrote down to do this, or change directions, it's up to you.
Think a little more realistically now, what can and will you accomplish in the next 12 months? Don't think about the logistics of it all, just fast forward to this day next year, what did you accomplish?
Write these goals as if they have already happened. Examples:
On your list, which of these goals resonates the strongest with you? Circle it and now write it on separate piece of paper. What does it tell you about your values? To give you another example, I will share with you my top goal:
My life is lived every day fully and passionately (love myself, love my work, love my friends/family, love my guy)
Writing that made me realize that I value life well-lived and giving/sharing love generously. Now am I always on point with that? Absolutely not, that's why it's a goal.
But, I do realize now that is the highest on my priority list and now by sharing this with you (it is slightly selfish I will admit) I am truly projecting that into the universe so that I may live every day to meet this goal.
Further, I know what you're thinking ("Well, that's not very specific, in fact; it's pretty darn broad if you ask me") and you're right! So proceed to the next step.
Take your #1 Goal and write 20 ways you will accomplish It
If you were realistic and honest with yourself before this, this step shouldn't be too terribly difficult. Start pouring on to the paper what comes to mind. I'll let you in to my personal space now and give an example of how I did this: I broke my list into fourths based on the four things I want to love in order to live every day fully and passionately.
Now ask yourself these questions
Now that you've written the goal, obsess about it. Take responsibility for what you can do to work towards accomplishing it every day.
Put it somewhere you can see it.
This goal will not only give you structure and direction with your life, but it will help you identify where you are in life currently and where you'd like to be.
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¹ Tracy, B. (2016). Get smart!: how to think and act like the most successful and highest-paid people in every field. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Covey, S. R. (2005). The 7 habits of highly effective people: personal workbook. London: Simon & Schuster.