Do you write down your goals? If not, you’re missing out on a key component of success. Studies suggest that simply writing down your goals makes you 42 percent more likely to achieve them. If such a simple action can have such a profound effect, why would you not make it a regular part of your routine?
Writing down your goals accomplishes several things. Primarily, it forces you to get really clear on what you want. The process of putting your goals in writing helps you strategize, brainstorm a path for success, and evaluate your progress. It helps build momentum and motivates you to take action.
Perhaps most importantly, writing down your goals embeds them into your subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind can’t differentiate between what is real and what is imagined. So, as you write down your goals, your subconscious mind accepts them as fact, and will go to work on making them a reality. This means your brain is constantly at work on your goals, even when you aren’t consciously thinking about them.
When writing down your goals, it’s important to do it the right way. Follow these steps for making the most of your goal-setting process.
- Write down your goals every day. Start by writing down your big goal and then write smaller goals, or steps that you need to take, to achieve your ultimate goal. These daily reminders will remind you whether your daily actions are helping you achieve your goals. Some people like to write their goals in the morning to create the proper mindset before they start their day. Others like to do it before bed, so the brain can reflect on your goals while you sleep. Or you can do both! The important thing is to make it a part of your daily routine.
- Use first-person language. You can’t change another person’s behaviour, so you can’t set a goal of, “My boss appreciates me more.” But you can set a goal of, “I have a job where I feel valued and appreciated.”
- Use present tense. You want to tell your subconscious that your goals are happening now, not at some point in the future. Your goals should start with words such as I am, I earn, I have, etc.
- Use positive language. Just as your subconscious mind can’t distinguish between fiction and reality, it can’t understand a negative command. Don’t set a negative goal such as “I am losing 40 pounds.” Instead, use positive language such as “I weigh xxx pounds.”
- Make your goals specific. It’s not enough to say, “I own a successful business.” Go deeper. What does success mean to you? Is it earning a specific income, being able to work from anywhere in the world, having more time to spend with your family? Get clear on exactly what you want.
- Proclaim your goals. Share your goals with others—like your mentors, friends or coaches. Doing this will ensure you are truly held accountable.
Visualisation is another way to provide your subconscious mind with clear images of the life you want to live, so it can go about making them a reality.
Athletes often use the practice of visualisation before a competition or a game. They picture the outcome they desire — playing to the best of their abilities and winning the game — instead of worrying about what they don’t want to happen. When they do this, their chances of success increase dramatically.
Visualisation helps you “practice” success. When you imagine every step of an event or activity going well, you get your mind and body ready to take those steps in real life.
Plus, visualisation is fun! Who doesn’t want to spend a few minutes daydreaming about their perfect life? The key to successful visualisation is to really allow yourself to feel the experience. Feel what it’s like to buy your dream house, or land the perfect client, or speak to a packed audience. These emotions send powerful signals to the universe that this is what you want to attract into your life.
Vision boards are popular tools that can help you visualize your goals. Collect pictures from magazines or look for pictures online that represent your goals. This can be a fun exercise to do at the beginning of each new year. Put your vision board in a place where you will see it regularly, such as above your desk or on your bathroom mirror. As you look at these images, it will give your subconscious another reminder of where you want to go in your life.
Learn more about making your goals a reality with my FREE guide, The Art of Goal Setting. It’s full of concrete actions to help you transform your life for the better and live the life you deserve!