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5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Write Down Your Goals

Goals Serve a Purpose, but You Need to Be Thinking of Them Often
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Published on Jan 1, 2021

By Amanda Dudley

Image Credit: Unsplash


The year was 2017. Ninety-nine year old Annie was pictured smiling as a policeman handcuffed and led her into a cell. You’ve probably never seen a smiling convict before but Annie’s case was a little different. While most people would be shivering at the thought of being placed in a damp, dark cell, she had just achieved one of her life-long goals: getting arrested.

Everyone on earth (including your cat) has goals – from the Forbes-worthy plans to the downright ridiculous ones that would probably top the “craziest life goals you’ve ever heard of” list. The 6-year old girl down the street wants to own Disneyland someday, while your cat probably wants to become the only owner of your house. These goals can be achieved. However, the big question is how? How do you stop your goals from just ending up as unchecked items on a bucket list?

Even though there’s no clear-cut formula for success, one way to ensure that you can actually achieve your goals is to write them down. In fact, psychological studies have shown that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them than people who don’t. But don’t just take our word (and statistics) for it. 

Here are five solid reasons why writing down your goals is a surefire formula to success:

1. Increases motivation

Most people say that the Bermuda Triangle is the hardest thing to find. However, this isn’t exactly true. Do you know what’s harder to find? Motivation when you need it the most. For a lot of people, it’s quite easy to set and map out personal or professional goals. On the other hand, when it comes to actually take action, their zeal suddenly disappears. An easy solution to this problem would be to set a goal and then write it down immediately. 

Studies have revealed that when you write down your goals, the motivation to achieve them increases substantially. Subconsciously, you would feel committed to the objectives you’ve written down and as such, take the necessary steps to achieve them. Writing down your goals is just like giving yourself a subconscious command. Consequently, each time you get distracted, your brain will subtly remind you of your goals and aspirations. 

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie

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2. Makes it easier to remember 

Believe it or not, a large number of people often forget their goals or aspirations. With the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s far too easy to get distracted and forget about any goals or New Year resolutions you may have set. However, putting your goals on paper helps to enhance remembrance. Ever heard of the generation effect? If you haven’t, here’s a quick breakdown of this neuroscience term. The generation effect is a phenomenon when a person finds it easier to remember information generated by their own mind, rather than the information they read or picked up from a book. When you write something, your brain automatically assumes that it’s important and focuses on it. 

For instance, if you read a travel guide to Paris, you’d most likely remember only a few bits and pieces from it. However, when you jot down salient points from the guide in your own words, your brain knows that this piece of information is more important than the one you just read from the guide. As such, you’d find it easier to recall it later. This is basically how the generation effect works.

Even though the generation effect seems like a fancy term, it’s more common than most people think. When you map out your goals and write them down, your brain assigns importance to them and as such, makes it easier for you to recall them. 

3. Helps clarify your goals 

Let’s admit it, our goals can be a little vague and non-specific sometimes. For instance, let’s assume your goal for the year was to do something daring. In this case, your goal for the year could end up in an epic fail because you’d spend so much time trying to choose a daring task. 

It’s even harder because “daring” could mean anything, ranging from hiking up Mount Everest or drinking a bottle of hot sauce without water. However, writing down your goals would help to narrow your focus and clarify what you really want to do. This way, there’d be no room for confusion or dilly-dallying. 

4. Enhances hope

Hope is one extra reason why you should be writing your goals as soon as you set them. When it comes to achieving one’s goals and aspirations, hope is an essential factor. Without hope, you’d most likely lack the drive to take the necessary steps towards achieving your target. 

Writing down your goals and committing to them fuels hope and gives you something to look forward to. When you’re hopeful, you’re able to achieve your goals in no time at all. 

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso

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5. Sets boundaries between wishes and goals

What’s the difference between a goal and a wish? A shooting star. Just before you chuckle or roll your eyes at this joke, it’s important to note that there’s a whole world of difference between goals and mere wishful thinking. 

Before your goal is written down, it’s just one of your thoughts or longings. However, the moment you pen down your goals, you give it substance and transform it from a wish to a target. It becomes something real and tangible. You could even set deadlines and action plans. This way, you won’t spend hours building castles in the air when you have a real target. 

Any dream or goal can be achieved eventually. Sure, it may take time, but a great way to kickstart your success is by penning down your goals. Writing down each goal spurs your subconscious into action and transforms your passive longing into actual targets. This way, the distance between you and your aspiration will be shortened. At the end of the day, who needs shooting stars when you have a pen and paper?

 

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(For additional information on goal setting for 2021, go to =>Why You Should Write Down 100 Goals For 2021 And Beyond (addicted2success.com)

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Amanda Dudley

Amanda Dudley is a writer and a lecturer with a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. When she is not lecturing and helping students with complex assignments, she works as a part-time essay writer, providing top-quality essay writing services and academic projects. An efficient writer, she delivers projects in good time, ensuring that her clients are satisfied and content.



 

How To Develop Traits For Success From 7 Entrepreneurs

7 Entrepreneurs and Their Traits That We All Can Develop for Success

Published 4 hours ago

on Sep 15, 2020

By Madhur Kushwah


Succeeding in life and entrepreneurship takes more than just desire and passion. According to many successful entrepreneurs, life rewards people who take time to cultivate their minds for success.

If you have read Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, you might recall his idea of a mastermind alliance. In case you’re not familiar with the book — a mastermind alliance is “a friendly alliance with one or more people who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

Imagine what wonders you would make if you could have the most successful people as your allies. In this blog post, I have listed 7 successful entrepreneurs and their advice to develop traits for success.

1. Gary Vaynerchuk – Enthusiasm

“If you 100% enjoy the chaos and the unknown, you’re an entrepreneur.”

Running a business involves dealing with many people and shouldering several responsibilities; at times, working this hard can exhaust you to unexpected levels. That’s why entrepreneurs need to be pleasantly energetic. 

If you have watched any of Gary’s videos, you can visibly tell that his energy is on another level. Being energetic helps Gary work long hours, like 12 – 14 hours a day. Gary suggests practising natural optimism for high energy.

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2. Grant Cardone – Confidence

“Comfort makes more prisoners than all the jails combined.”

Having confidence in your abilities will take you places. While on your entrepreneurial journey, people will point fingers at you for your decisions, choices and desires, but how you respond to them will depend on you.

The degree to which you have faith in your skills and vision will drive your efforts. If you have confidence in yourself, you’ll not budge from your goals. Confidence will also allow you to do more for other people. Keep doing the difficult things to build confidence, says Grant.

3. Narayana Murthy – Courage

“Progress is often equal to the difference between mind and mindset.”

Courage is the differentiating factor between successful and the rest. Entrepreneurship requires you to go out and make decisions that no one else is making. To do that, you need courage. 

Many entrepreneurs fail not because they lack skills or resources, but because they shrink when they should expand. All the stories we hear are stories of courageous decisions and not cowardice. Without courage, there is no progress in life and business. According to Murthy, openness to new ideas is what makes people and organizations courageous.

4. Mark Zuckerberg – Change

“People think innovation is just having a good idea but a lot of it is just moving quickly and trying a lot of things.”

Change is the only constant in life and entrepreneurship, and people who realise this are usually the ones who change the world. Often we make the mistake of sticking to one way of looking at things, which hinders our progress. Learning how to move quickly and at the right time is the winning formula of the game of entrepreneurship. Mark states to move quickly, “iterate, learn from the feedback and go from there.”  

5. Bill Gates – Gratitude

“Through it all, what makes you happy?”

On your entrepreneurial journey, there will be instances where you’ll feel dissatisfied with your progress. To keep dissatisfaction at bay, practise gratitude — it’ll keep you focused on your destiny. 

Helping others to achieve their goals is one of the many ways to practice gratitude. You can also do philanthropic work to express gratitude. Practising gratitude generates a cycle of good relationships by promoting others to do generous work. Giving $41.3 billion away is how Gates expresses his gratitude.

6. Jeff Bezos – Patience

“Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient.”

Sticking to a long term vision and having patience while you build your dream is important for success. Having patience can help you stay in the present moment, and consider the big picture. If you look at Bezos’ journey, you’ll notice Amazon has been around for 26 years, but it feels like it’s been in business for 7 or 10 years, which shows how patient the multibillionaire has been in building his company.

Patience allowed Bezos to build Amazon from a suburban Seattle garage company to a multinational conglomerate. Bezos says, stay focused on long-term to be patient. 

7. Steve Jobs – Leadership

“My job is not to be easy on people. My job is to make them better.”

Leadership is the most important trait of a successful entrepreneur. When you’re at the helm of an organization, people look up to you for inspiration and effective influential decision making. The ability to influence others will help you get the best out of the people. 

Jobs has been arguably the most influential corporate leader in the last century which allowed him to build Apple from scratch. Developing leadership skills will also help you impact people and touch their lives. ‘No excuses’ is the way forward to be an effective leader.

Which piece of advice from the 7 entrepreneurs above resonated most with you & why? Share your thoughts with us below!

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Madhur Kushwah

Madhur Kushwah is a certified content marketer. Currently, he writes for a leading ed-tech company and Marketing Hashtags. Connect with him @madhur_kushwah!


The 4 Ways of How to Build a Learning Culture While Your Workforce is Remote

 

Mandating a three-hour webinar training is no longer going to cut it.

BY MARCEL SCHWANTES, FOUNDER AND CHIEF HUMAN OFFICER, LEADERSHIP FROM THE CORE@MARCELSCHWANTES


4 Ways to Build a Learning Culture While Your Workforce Is Remote

As business leaders and individuals grapple with the staggering impact of Covid-19 one thing has become undoubtedly clear. In order for leaders to foster organizational resilience and weather the post-pandemic storm, they must prioritize the learning and development of their workforce.

I don’t mean mandated Zoom presentations in which employees multitask on the side. What I mean is flexible, passion-driven learning where employees learn what they want, when they want and on their own terms.

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Shelley Osborne, VP of Learning at Udemy, offers a much-needed revision to corporate training in her new book: The Upskilling Imperative: 5 Ways to Make Learning Core to the Way We Work. In it, Osborne challenges traditional, one-size-fits-all approaches to training that are no longer relevant to modern workers–let alone those working remotely.

Shelley recommends the following to help leaders develop an effective and sustainable learning culture–with an eye toward continuous employee growth and long-term business success during (and beyond) Covid-19.

Demonstrate how learning drives business success

“When beginning to build their learning culture, leaders must consider that employees need to understand how their learning impacts business outcomes,” says Osborne.

As businesses continue to operate with limited staff or reduced capacity, it’s critical for employees to stretch their skill sets further and fill tasks and roles they wouldn’t normally. Individuals are more likely to learn and seek out learning when they understand the role it plays in overall business success.

“Leaders can signal the value of learning throughout the organization by setting aside their own time for it and sharing with their teams and the broader organization what they’re learning,” she says. “This makes it clear to employees that learning at work is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.”

Let your employees define flexibility for continuous improvement

Harnessing the power of learning isn’t as simple as rolling out more training modules or sending people to a slew of workshops.

Employees require more flexibility today than ever before, and that is especially true when it comes to learning. Due to Covid-19, parents are working double duty as busy professionals and homeschool teachers, while other employees navigate the nuances of working remotely with roommates. Bottom line: mandating a three-hour webinar training is no longer going to cut it.

Building a sustainable learning culture means giving employees time and space to learn where and when they want. Doing so will encourage them to seek out new learning opportunities independently and allow for psychological safety and the ability to learn.

“One of the greatest leadership lessons I’ve learned is that we must recognize we aren’t perfect and there is always room to learn and grow,” says Osborne. “When you have teams and businesses that provide flexibility for growth and development, we can all continuously improve.”

Focus on change agility

We need to do more to lay the groundwork for unexpected change. However, this preparedness can’t be exclusive to pandemics and recessions. We must understand and accept that change is constant, necessary, and beneficial for surviving and thriving in today’s workplace.

Osborne refers to this type of adaptability as “change agility”–seeing change as an ongoing opportunity, not as a threat or liability. And at the center of change agility is continuous learning.

“Grounding a company’s culture in learning is the surest way to navigate through change,” says Osborne. “A strong learning culture empowers employees to upskill themselves in the face of change, continually grow and adapt to new challenges.”

Continuous learning & Covid-19

If there is one message Osborne would like readers to take away from her book, it’s that learning programs must evolve with the times. Traditional approaches to training (a la overhead projector and chalkboards) were built for a world we don’t live in anymore. What’s more, they aren’t engaging for today’s workers who are accustomed to consuming digital content on their own terms. This was true before the pandemic and it’s undeniable now.

Beyond modernizing the learning experience at work–companies need to transform at every level into learning-driven organizations, where working and learning are inextricably linked.

As companies continue to navigate this new environment, Osborne is optimistic that the fundamental shift toward flexible, accessible online learning is here to stay. AUG 29, 2020. Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you’ll never miss a post. The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.


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