“When you write down a goal, you’ll observe things happening that will make that objective more likely to materialize.” – Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert
What would you like to see happen in your career this year?
What would you like to do; to accomplish?
What good would you like to do in the world? Who do you want to become?
What problems would you like to see solved? What decisions do you need to make?
Each New Year is an opportunity for new beginnings and a fresh start. And so is each new month, new week, and even each new day.
Often the first step to turning dreams into reality is to ask these questions. The next step is to write them down. This simple, and obvious step is more powerful than most of us realize.
Today, think about what you want in your career and life this year and write every idea down as a possibility, as a potential goal. Goals give our life direction and momentum.
You can use the Notes feature on your iPhone to jot down goals, that way you keep them with you and can reflect on them often.
The very act of thinking about your goals and writing them down dramatically increases the probability that you will achieve them. It is the essential first step that makes things happen for you.
Don’t know what you want? Write what comes to mind, your writing will help you think and gain clarity – many of us don’t know what we really think until we write it down.
Get started now and use these tips from the bestseller, Write it Down Make It Happen:
1. Write fast.
2. Do not linger over the page.
If you find yourself dismissing a goal as grandiose or far-fetched, write it anyway and put a star next to it. That’s a live one.
3. Do not be afraid of wanting too much.
4. Write down even those ambitions which have no practical means of accomplishment.
5. Keep on writing.
6. Write from your heart and make the list as long as you like.
The third step to achieving your goals is to write the date you wrote the goal. When you write it down or put it in Notes, always put a date by it. That gives you a marker – a beginning point toward achieving your goal.
Writing it down is the first step to making things happen. It gives you clarity not only on what your dreams and aspirations are, it helps you learn to recognize and be open to their fulfillment.
Back in 2009, one of the goals I wrote was to serve on a public company board.
I wanted to offer my experiences as an entrepreneur and executive in business while continuing to learn and grow. I had co-founded an enterprise software company that we took public on the Nasdaq, and grew to $200million in revenue. I had served on the executive management teams of several organizations. I’d served on boards of large enterprises and nonprofits, but not a public company board.
This was a daunting goal for me – in part because fewer than 20% of all public company board members are women.
Of course, it helps to have role models.
But I needed to write this goal for myself, and by doing so, it motivated me to take action, while positioning me to better recognize the unforseen, inevitable opportunities that would emerge to make it happen.
After writing it down, I broke this goal into several parts with action items, and began doing the work to achieve it: first, I looked for ways to add more value to the existing boards on which I served. I took on extra responsibilities and contributed more while gaining new skills. I attended a board training boot camp, networked more broadly, and prepared a more focused resume.
It was not until 2014 that I was elected to serve on not one, but four public company boards. It all started by writing down the goal. Because I had written it down, I made the important first step. It gave me the clarity to assess what preparation I needed to achieve the goal, and gave me insight and momentum to take additional actions. Over time the goal was achieved.
When you start writing down your goals, your mind sends you more innovative and energizing ideas that will expand your imagination, and your vision for your life. You will begin planning ahead, and looking for ways to achieve your goals. It sets forward momentum going.
Give yourself some stretch goals that seem out of reach, or scare you a little. I used to play it safe and write only those goals that seemed possible to achieve. Then I realized that I was letting fear inhibit my imagination and momentum.
When you write it down, you have taken the most important, first step of realizing your dreams and aspirations.
And when you look at your goals daily (on your iPhone Notes, for example), and continue to capture and write down the inevitable ideas that will come on how to achieve them, you are opening your mind and day to planning, recognizing, and seizing opportunities to fulfill them.
So, the recap to unleashing momentum in achieving your goals:
1. Ask yourself important questions.
2. Write it down – using the steps above (it is the key step to making it happen.)
3. Put the date you wrote it.
4. Review often to ensure you are taking essential next steps, and recognizing the opportunities that will inevitably arise as you set out to achieve your goals.
Write it Down, Make it Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser
I’d love to hear from you; what is one goal you would like to achieve this year?