Why Writing Down Your Goals Leads to Success
By Jon Bottari, M.Ed., Adjunct Faculty
Using the SMART goal theory is just the beginning of your successful path for completing nearly any task, project or goal. There are many tricks and tweaks that you can do to reach your goals. According to a study conducted by Dr. Gail Matthews, you are nearly two times more likely to accomplish your goals when you write them down.
The most successful participants in the study did all of the following:
- Wrote down their goals.
- Wrote action commitments for each goal.
- Shared those commitments with a friend.
- Sent weekly progress reports to a friend.
By following the same actions you’re setting precedent for holding yourself accountable. Not only are you being accountable, but by sharing you’ll have friends or family members to remind and encourage you. Simply writing goals down and keeping a progress report allows you to focus on your benchmarks, and forces you to look for adjustments that need to be made to your plans. Knowing exactly where you stand with your objectives is crucial to remaining focused and motivated.
The Tricks Along the Way
A great way to share your goals is to connect with your Facebook friends, LinkedIn associates and Twitter followers. Making your commitment known publicly can be scary, especially when you publicize your goals to a wide group of people. But declaring your intentions to individuals you don’t know well may even serve as extra motivation.
Goal fulfilling can be a difficult mission. Setting goals is hard enough to begin with. And understandably, the twisting and tweaking along the way to accomplishing your goals can certainly sound tiresome. But isn’t it better to tweak as needed to fulfill your goals than to hear questions from your accountability network as to why you didn’t accomplish them?
As an adjunct professor of general education at Colorado Technical University, Jon Bottari, M.Ed., helps prepare new students for academic and career success. He earned his Master of Education degree with a specialization in Leadership of Educational Organizations from American Intercontinental University and serves as CTU’s Director of University Operations.
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