Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Power of Written Goals

Goodbye 2009. Hello 2010.

So, what do you plan to do in these last few days of 2009?

Whatever you may have planned, I suggest you give yourself at least a couple of hours and write down your goals for 2010.

Okay already, one hour.

Your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and targeted. Yada, yada, yada.

Yeah, maybe.

Don’t be frazzled by all the spiel about setting perfect goals. You can always update them later.

Timing is everything.

Write down your goals for 2010 before the sun sets on 31 December 2009.

Better yet, write them down immediately after you finish reading this.

The most important point is to write them down. Write. Them. Down.

Not convinced?

In his book, When Success Is Not Enough, Adam Walker describes a survey at Yale University in which the graduate class of 1953 were asked about their future plans.

One of the questions was: “Do you have any written goals for the future?”

Though they were among the brightest students in America, only 4 percent had written goals.

Twenty years later, the researcher tracked down the surviving members of the class to find out what they had made of their lives.

The results were truly astounding.

Those who had written down their goals 20 years previously were on average 30 times richer than those who had not.

In fact, the combined net worth of the 4 percent with written goals was more than the combined net worth of the 96 percent who did not have written goals.

More importantly, the 4 percent with written goals were happier in other non-material ways. They reported better health, better-quality relationships and a greater sense of fulfillment.

So what are you waiting for?

Grab a pen and a sheet of paper and keep that hand moving.

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