The power of written goals is well documented. In a Harvard MBA study, students were asked if they had clear written goals and plans to accomplish them. Only 3% had clear written goals. Ten years later, those 3% were earning ten times as much as the other 97%. Not on average. Combined. Three people made ten times as much as the combined earnings of 97 people. This means that those 3% earned more than 300 times on average than their other classmates. Note that this isn’t just written goals but HAD A PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH THEM. In another study, Dr. Gail Matthews found that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down. Study after study as well as personal experience proves that writing your goals down makes it significantly more likely that you will accomplish and exceed your goals.
So why does writing your goals down make them more likely that you will accomplish them? Here are a few benefits of writing your goals:
1.) Focus: Writing your goals out forces you to be very specific with what your goals really are. When you write your goals down, you clarify what it is that you really want. It allows you to spend some time to make sure that your goals are complete and pieces aren’t left off.
2.) Prevents goal creep: Goals that aren’t written down tend to change over time. Sometimes they change in big ways. Sometimes in little ways but when your goals are always changing, it makes it difficult to make the many small decisions that will lead you to success.
3.) Prioritization: You can accomplish anything but you can not accomplish everything. There simply is not enough time or other resources for one person to accomplish everything. When you try to accomplish too many things, you end up accomplishing nothing. Writing down your goals helps you determine what actions and decisions you must make today to accomplish your big goals.