There is power in writing down your goals, and I have witnessed it first-hand. I started writing down my goals and dreams after reading several of Brian Tracy’s books, Chalene Johnson’s book, and listening to Hannah Keely’s videos.
I always had yearly resolutions growing up, but nothing that I wrote down. It wasn’t until 2014 that I really started focusing on what I wanted in life, and I wrote down my goals several times a year. I didn’t even look back on them. In 2014, I wrote a letter to my future self that I was supposed to read in 2015.
The Power of the Future Letter
I just stumbled across that letter this weekend while cleaning out the office. The letter talked about how much happier I was as a mom and how much more I enjoyed motherhood. I paused for a moment. I was enjoying motherhood so much more than I was as a first-time mom to a two-year-old, and it wasn’t because life magically got easier.
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Then there was a part of how skinny I was because I had lost a lot of weight. Wrong! Another part congratulated me for being debt free. Wrong again! Maybe this writing down goals thing isn’t all that beneficial. I thought for a moment.
The next part of the letter talked about how we were living in our dream house. When I wrote that letter, I had plans of building our own one story because we were struggling finding a one-story home with a large yard that had everything we needed. When I wrote that, we didn’t even have plans to move. We thought we wanted to live in that house for at least five more years, but sure enough, we are living in our dream home right now. We didn’t build it, but it has everything I wanted.
Then the next part of the letter talked about how my kid books were published. I had the idea for Blondie McGhee since 2012, but did not even write a single word for it until 2015. Sure enough, I have three Blondie McGhee books, with one on the way, and a picture book that wasn’t even thought of until after I wrote the letter.
One of the final things I wrote was, “And guess what, you are going to Hawaii for your anniversary!” I gasped out loud and read that to my husband because we are indeed going to Hawaii in four months for our seven-year anniversary. That statement was so dead on, and I was surprised because when I wrote that, I was three months pregnant with my second daughter. It’s not like traveling was likely to happen in my near future.
Top 4 Things You Need to Know About Writing Down Goals
I share all of this with you for a few reasons –
Your dreams and goals evolve, and that’s okay.
Originally, I thought I wanted a publishing contract and to build my own one story home. However, my dreams still came true, just in a different way. It is important to be open for game changers and not to be afraid to change your mind if your lifestyle or preference changes.
See also: 7 Reasons You Fail at Goal Setting
There is power in writing your goals and telling people your goals.
Don’t underestimate the power of writing out what you want in this life and telling other people what you want. I don’t necessarily believe that you are speaking your dreams to the universe so that the positivity will reflect from you and come back and hit you, or whatever some people believe. However, I do believe as Brian Tracy says, “Whatever we expect with confidence becomes our own self-fulfilling prophecy.”
This quote is true for those who tell themselves they are “losers” and will never reach their goals, as well as true for those who tell themselves they will accomplish X goal. If you tell a child that they are dumb every day of their lives, then they will most likely score horribly in school and feel like a failure. That child could have been a genius, but because they heard that negative message daily, it became their truth that they held on to until they became it. The words we speak to ourselves and others are more powerful than we think.
Don’t set a year expiration date on your dreams.
Had I read my letter when I was supposed to, September 2015, I would have been disappointed. At the time, I had made a few changes of being more positive, keeping a cleaner home, and even started writing the first Blondie book, but my most of my goals weren’t truly fulfilled until 2016 and 2017.
As Bill Gates says, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” In addition to this, I would say write out your dreams and goals for the year, and then give yourself two to three years to accomplish them.
There is no right time for writing down goals.
I wrote that letter to myself only nine months after my mom committed suicide and four months after I miscarried my 11-week baby. There will always be trials and challenges in your life. Sometimes they will be as drastic as losing a loved one, and other times they will just be annoying and frustrating, like dealing with a hard family member or surviving motherhood with a broken washing machine.
Don’t let the hard times derail you from your goals and dreams. Of course, these challenges might put a damper on your progress. For example, the stress and grief of my mother’s death in 2014, my grandmother’s death in 2015, and then finding out I had a secret half-sister in 2016 led me to stress eating and spending and not making any progress on my weight or paying off all my debt. But, I am not giving up on that dream, and I expect 2018 will be the year that my written down goal becomes truth.
How Should You Write Down Your Goals
There are so many methods of writing down oals, so pick one that you like and don’t feel like you have to stick to one method.
Hannah Keely recommended making a vision board, writing down ten goals, and then writing a letter to your future self. Rereading the letter was a lot of fun, and my husband and I are going to do that again this year.
Chalene Johnson recommends writing down your monthly goals daily without looking at what you wrote down the day before.
Daymond Johns, Shark Tank investor, also writes his goals down daily and reviews them nightly.
Brian P. Moran, author of the 12 Week Year, recommends focusing on smaller goals that can be accomplished in 12 weeks, and therefore helping you get more done the whole year.
How often do you write down your goals? Have you experienced the benefits of writing down goals?