In order words, writing is a high impact activity that can make all the difference in achieving your goals.
How does writing down your goals help in achieving them?
When you write down your goals you are more likely to remember them. This is because our brains are wired to interpret and focus on the written word.
So, how does writing affect the brain?
I decided to research this online.
Generally, the left hemisphere of the brain controls writing, the Mayfield Clinic explains.
The frontal lobe is responsible for controlling speech, which involves writing and speaking.
It also controls personality, behavior and emotions; problem solving, judgment and planning; intelligence, self awareness and concentration, and body movement.
When you write, you stimulate a collection of cells in the base of the brain known as the reticular activating system.
“The RAS acts as a filter for everything your brain needs to process, giving more importance to the stuff that you’re actively focusing on at the moment –– something that the physical act of writing brings to the forefront.”
Henriette Anne Klauser, author of “Write It Down, Make It Happen,” agrees that writing stimulates the RAS, ultimately sending a signal to the cerebral cortex. “Once you write down a goal, your brain will be working overtime to see you get it.”
In order words, writing helps your brain to focus more on your goals.
Some more findings?
Writing also serves as a calming meditative tool for some people. Stream of conscious writing exercises, in particular, have been identified as helpful stress coping methods.
Keeping a journal or trying out free-writing exercises, can drastically reduce your levels of stress.
For me, this works!
When I write down things, it takes the effort out of trying to remember it in the future. This way, I can clear up space in my head and save time time and energy for more important things.
In addition, Writing down your goals fosters a sense of achievement and opens up other areas of opportunities.
Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic is one man that knows how to harness the power of writing down his goals.
According to him, he attributes his phenomenon business success today to this habit.
Most of what he’s become today dates back to what he wrote on his “to-do-list” in 1972 at the age of 22 years.
If you are an entrepreneur like me and so far, nothing has motivated you to write down your goals and keep them in focus, hopefully Richard Branson’s success should.
With the fast paced, multitasking lifestyle of today, it’s easy to get distracted and forget about achieving your goals.
When will talk about being focus we simply mean thinking out one thing while filtering out every distraction.
But I love this dictionary definition better: “A state of having a clear visual definition.” In order words, you have to be able to visualise what you want to achieve.
Through visualisation you are not only able to catch a glimpse of what your future holds, but also create the possibility of achieving it.
Subsequently, this motivates and drives you to achieve it.
An example of somebody that attained success using this strategy is the Canadian American comedian and actor Jim Carrey .
He grew up in a poor family with a dream of becoming a renowned actor.
After a series of consecutive failures and rejection in acting, he visualised himself being paid $10 million for an acting service.
To make himself feel better Carrey wrote himself a check for $10 million for “acting services rendered.” Later placing the check in his wallet.
He removed it seven years later when he received a payment in the exact amount for the hit film “Dumb and Dumber.”
He employed the combined force of visualisation and writing down things to achieve his goals.
Focus is important to achieving your goals because it is the gateway to all thinking: perception, memory, learning, reasoning and problem solving.
Researchers have found that it’s easy to lose focus on our set goals with the quickening pace of modern life.
Because our brains try to process everything at the same time: Thereby increasing our stress, decreasing our effectiveness and negatively impacting our performance.
And the eventual outcome is, we become too overworked and unfocused.
- Stop incessantly checking your email.
- Put down your cell phone devices.
- If you have a door to your office, keep it shut.
- Setting time by having a timetable or work schedule.
- Keep strictly to what is relevant to achieving your business goals when using the internet.
- Avoid the distraction of social media
“I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and I try to ignore the rest.”
Believing in yourself and your goals is a critical step to achieving your purpose.
If you don’t believe in yourself, you’re not going to pursue your goals with the full effort required for success.
Frankly speaking, if you don’t believe in your goals and in yourself, no body else will.
Some people wait for others to validate them before they believe in themselves and their goals.
In the journey of setting your goals and achieving it, there’ll be countless numbers of barriers contesting your capabilities.
To successfully achieve your goals especially in business, don’t wait for others to Validate your competencies.
Validate yourself and move on!
Setting goals that are SMART creates a positive attitude toward achieving your dreams.
And this greatly increases your odd of getting help achieving your goals.
Let’s say you are a marketer and you want to convince buyers that your idea is worth putting funds into.
If you don’t have the strong persuasive skills to convince them to buy into what you are selling, no one will buy.
Being able to convince people comes with confidence in your idea and in yourself.
How do you tackle a difficult and large task?
Remember this proverbial saying?:
“ How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
Most of us know this saying, but we often fail to apply this lesson in solving those problems that seem impossible in our businesses.
By breaking up your large task into smaller more manageable tasks, you’re less likely to get stress, procrastinate or abandon it all together in frustration.
When you break up your task in smaller parts, I recommend you start working from the smaller and less intimidating bits and gradually move on to tougher tasks.
By doing this your body gets condition to doing the smaller task, while gathering strength to execute the bigger task.
The practice of breaking up your task into smaller actionable bit that you can execute within a timeline is a lesson you’ll learn in SMART goal setting.
Let’s take a quick example:
If your goal is to get 1000 subscriber in the next one year from social media.
You’re more likely to achieve this goal if you break it up into smaller goals (sort of like sub goals ) and allocate a shorter timeline to it.
You may choose to go this way:
Break it up into 90 subscribers per month from Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest combined.
Breaking up your goals into smaller bits makes it easier to accomplish.
Let’s take another example:
An athlete that wants to run a 500m race doesn’t start his first practice running 500m.
He take it in bits. For example, breaking it into 100m, and then building on it according to his strength.
How do you eat an elephant…..?
If he fails to take it gradually, he may put himself in a bad health situation or simply think it’s unachievable and give it up.
It bears repeating again: To achieve your goals you have to break up your task into smaller bits. When you achieve the first bit, then you go to the next step.
You may discover that despite the fact that you set clear goals and have a good plans to achieve it. It’s still tough and get you stressed out.
But if you can persist, no matter how you feel, you’ll succeed.
The fact that you’ve not achieved your goal doesn’t mean you should give it up.
Be like the athletes that keeps practicing everyday for a race and never gives up.
He’s consistently practicing because his heart is fixed on his goals. He never gives up.
Without being consistent, you cannot achieve anything.
I once saw a film where a man was practicing for American football, in the process he had a serious accident.
He broke his leg, and it was terribly damage.
He was taken to the hospital and treated.
Immediately he recovered, he went back to practicing.
I’m sure this sort of story is not new to most of us. However, what we fail to do is to see and learn the lesson behind it.
This lesson should become precious pearls to us when we set goals.
Sometimes we meet accidents, disappointments and frustrations on the way.
This best thing to do is to recover from it.
Look for a way to mend that area and go ahead with pursuing your goals.
You may have set a business goal to go into production and have plans to work with a technical man. But unexpectedly, he disappoints you by backing out of the arrangement.
What do you do? Give up on achieving your goals?
Look for a way to get around such a problem and continue with your goal.
If it’s no longer possible to meet your set time of achieving the goals because of the setbacks you’ve had in the process, revisit and review your goals and give yourself extra time to achieve it.
Goals are what you want to achieve based on time.
So, goals are time bound, but are not set in stone.
The people that are going to help you achieve your goals are the one that are closest to you.
For many of us, our closest are our employee, friends and family.
For one thing, involving them in setting goals makes them understand, accept and commit to achieving the goals.
And in most cases, they’ll set their goals to fit your goal. Making it even easier to achieve your goals.
It’s also important to carry your family along in order for you to achieve your goals.
Carry your family along by intentionally letting them know about what you are chasing and why you are chasing those goals, and how you planned to get there.
Research by Dominican University of California psychology professor Dr. Gail Matthews focused on setting and achieving goals gives credence to this.
He found out that those who gave progress report to friends accomplish more than those who didn’t.
For example, your family is a good place to raise fund, if the need arises. Because they know you have a goal to achieve.
They’re often more than willing to help you. Moreover, it’s your family that’ll be there to celebrate you when you achieve your goals.
You can talk things over when your goals are getting in the way of your relationship. Really, You are better off communicating your goals and aspiration to them.
The support your family gives to you is unbeatable and healthy for achieving your set goals.
Don’t measure the success of your goals using the yardstick of others, instead use your own yardstick.
Because setting and achieving goals is dependent on many factors, most especially your available resources.
Since, you don’t know the resources available to another, it might not be wise comparing your success with theirs.
By using others to evaluating your progress or success, you might end up getting discouraged without the willpower to continue.
Mind you, it’s not in all situation that it’s bad to use other people’s yardstick to measure your success.
Sometimes it can be quite helpful, because someone else success may propel you to lift the bar higher in your goals setting.
But you’ve to be careful how you look at other’s achievements.
Using it negatively or using it to castigate ourselves may make you become disheartened, and not able to achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself or business.
So measure likes with likes.
It’ll not do you any good, measuring your success with someone that’s been eighteen years in a business when you’ve only been five months.
My point is:
Take it a step at a time and have your own yardstick for measuring your success.
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