Coming in at the number one spot on my list for personal growth is goal setting. 

Last week, I mentioned my Top 8 Personal Growth Tips, so today, I wanted to talk more about number one on the list: know what you want, and write down your goals. Then, make sure they are specific and visualize them.

Let’s start with some statistics. I know not everyone loves statistics, but these are some really powerful ones: 

  • A Harvard Business Study found that the 3% of graduates from their MBA who had their goals written down ended up earning 10 times as much as the other 97% put together, just 10 years after graduation.
  • Psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews at Dominican University in California led a study on goal-setting with nearly 270 participants. The results? You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

The moral of the story: write down your goals! 

Before writing your goals down, you’ll have to decide what you want and what you’re willing to do to reach them. I write my goals down in the back of my journal. Once that journal is full, I transfer them over to a new journal. You can write them anywhere… a whiteboard, a napkin (just don’t throw it away), or in a notebook. Just write them down. 

Now, it’s time to get specific. Let’s say your goal is to lose weight. A better version of this goal that is more specific could be: I want to lose 10 pounds by December 1, and to do that, I will burn more calories than I eat. Or, I will exercise five days a week for at least 30-minutes a day and limit junk food six days out of the week. Read both of those versions. Doesn’t the second one feel more real with a plan? 

To go even deeper, think about creating a vision board. 

Let’s say you want to buy a house. 

You can write down the steps you’ll need to do that, but a vision board will help remind you of your plan through visuals. For example, put up photos of your dream house (inside and out), the neighborhood, and interior design ideas, and visualize people gathering at your future dining table celebrating Christmas or a pool party in the Summer. This makes the goal feel really real! 

Use whatever tools you can find to get a clear image in your mind of the goals you’re working to achieve. 

And, just a few other tips: 

  • Don’t confuse goals with desires. Wanting something and taking steps to get it are two different things. 
  • Don’t forget to celebrate wins (even little wins) along the way as you work to reach your goal. 
  • Share your goals with others. It’s harder to fall off the wagon when you’ve told others what your plan is. They can also help hold you accountable. 

Life is good. Jeff 

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