Writing Down Goals -A Means to an End

Author: Margaret Wood 5/17/2017

Do you believe in the power of written goals? Most people will say yes, yet when asked individually if they’ve written goals for this year, most people say no.


Research proves that those who write their goals down accomplish significantly more than those who don’t. The truth may lie in the fact that most people haven’t been taught how to write effective goals.

There are 5 basic principles to follow; below is a short primer to help you get started.  If you research “goal setting”, you will find there is no shortage of advice. But they all start with the basics:

  1. Work in small batches:  As humans, we are not wired to focus on more than 5–7 goals at any one time.  Keep it simple and don’t create subsections to the goals-that would defeat the whole purpose and will cause you to lose focus, become unmotivated and setting you up for failure. If you stay focused on a handful of goals, chances are you will meet with greater success.
  2. Use the S.M.A.R.T. technique : Every great motivational speaker teaches this method. S.M.A.R.T. goals meet 5 criteria.
    • Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish

      Bad: Increase sales
      Good: Increase sales by 5% by end of 3rd quarter 2017

    • Measurable—Make sure you have means or metrics by which you can measure success-that is the only way to track your progress.

      Bad: Lose weight
      Good: Lose 10 lbs. by the end of summer

    • Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (a word that desribes what the subject is doing, i.e “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.)

      Bad: Run more often
      Good: Run 5 miles a week by June 30

    • Realistic—the whole purpose of setting goals is to take risks nd stretch outside of  your comfort zone. Make sure you are setting realistc goals to ensure success.

      Bad: Qualify for Chopp’d – Pros vs. Cons
      Good: Practice cooking 3-4 gourmet meals a week to qualify for Chopp’d – Pros vs. Cons by  June 2018

    • Time-bound—A goal without a “due” date is just a dream. Deadlines are important; be reasonable on when you feel you intend to  meet this goal

      Bad: Clean out garage
      Good: Clean out garage by  June 30

  3. Writing down your goals:  This is your ultimate means to an end. This is the most important part- you will find yourself motivated as you write your goals down . This is where you state your mission and start the ball rolling.
  4. Review often.  This is where your goals become realities. Review often  and ask yourself, What’s my next step to accomplishing this goal?  How often you review is up to you. Let your goals inspire you-keep them fresh in your mind.
  5. Share them judiciously. Share  your goals only with those who are committed to helping you achieve them.

Goal-setting is known to contribute greatly to happiness. Accomplishment triggers a sense of euphoria — an “I did it!” moment.  According to an article in Psychology Today , people who are consistently making progress toward meaningful goals live happier, more satisfied lives.

Where to Start:  Here’s a suggestion! Make an appointment with yourself (write it down/add it to your calendar) to work on them. Work on a rough draft  (1 Hour). Come back and finalize (30 Minutes).

GET STARTED NOW! Don’t procrastinate–a small investment for a lifetime of reward!

We would like to hear from you!! What is your experience with setting goals? Do you have written goals? Experiences or comments welcome!


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