Writing the Goals Down: Your First Key to Success

Once, back in 2002, I read a book called “Write it Down, Make it Happen“, and the main theme was to write down your goals or whatever you want to achieve. Then you can forget about it…. even if your lose this list, it Will happen!

The idea seemed good, and I actually did it. I made a list of over 45 goals, and truly enough, the list really got lost over the years. Today, in 2013, when I chanced upon the list again, tucked away in another book, I was amazed… I had already achieved 9 of the goals, without me realizing it.

That set me thinking… How did this happen? Do I just have to write the goals, and not do anything?

Studying further to find out the science behind goal setting, I went to the local National Library in Singapore, I researched the topic.

I found two interesting things that threw light upon this matter.

1. Brian Tracy, author of Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible,  says that our brain has a RAS - Reticular Activation System, which acts as a giant filter, only bringing in the news, information, and whatever we need to achieve our goals.

To better understand RAS, imagine this - If we are at a busy airport, where thousands of passengers are talking, there’s a lot of noise, and chatter going on every where. Yo ucan hardly hear a thing. yet, when the announcer announces your name or your flight, you immediately hear it in the first time. How? Because the RAS is listening, filtering out everything else, and bringing us the real, important stuff.

Similarly, from the hundreds of mundane things, trivia, social media, email, chatter, and junk going on around our lives, the RAS picks up the most important things, and brings it to our attention - whether we notice it or not.  We just have to tell it what to look for.

When we write our goals, the RAS takes over…. and begins to look for things, events, people, places, that will help us get closer to our goals. So get started, write your goals down.

2. In a study done by Mark McCormack in his book,  What They Don’t Teach You At Harvard Business School, they asked a group of Harvard students in 1979, if they had written their goals. Only 3% had written their goals.  Another 13% had their goals clear in their mind, but had not written them down. The rest simply did not have any clear or written goals.

After 10 years, at a reunion, in 1989, they found that the 13% who had the goals clear in their mind were earning, on average, twice as much as the remaining 84% students who had no goals.

What was surprising was that the 3% who had the goals written, were earning, on average, ten times more than the other 97% graduates, put together.

The only difference between them, and the others was that they were clear about their goals, and had written them down.

So what are you waiting for, get started by writing down your goals.

All the Best! - Vinai Prakash


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