Writing Goals For a Better Future
Twenty-five percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week. Sixty percent of people abandon them within six months. The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten separate times without success. Only about five percent of those who lose weight on a diet keep it off; ninety-five percent regain it. A significant percentage gain back more than they originally lost. Even after a heart attack, only fourteen percent of patients makes any lasting changes around eating or exercise.
But while New Year’s resolutions don’t work, goal do. Surprised? Dr. Gail Matthews, professor at Dominican University in California, did a study with 267 participants. She found that it is forty-two percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down. Writing down your goals is nonnegotiable.
Every December I take a good deal of time to pray, think and write down my prayers and thoughts. Then I write down my goals for the year and beyond.
Habakkuk 2:2-3 NKJV - 2 Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”
A vision is simply a picture of the future. Faith in God allows me to see beyond my eyes. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 - But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
What Michelle and I are doing today is what we saw ourselves doing over 30 years ago. Proverbs 8:17 – I love those who love me; and those who diligently seek me will find me.
Writing goals affects the brain in unique ways. Writing down goals allows electric signals to travel back and forth through a bundle of fibers in the brain. These signals move into the fluid around the brain and travels up and down the spinal column, eventually communicating with every fiber and cell in our bodies – literally turning our thoughts into actions.
The right hemisphere of the brain is the imaginative side, while the left is the literal side. If you only think about your goals, you’re only using the imaginative side. With the two sides working together on the goal you’ve focus upon, you bring your whole body in on it.
Writing down your goals forces you to hold yourself more accountable and demands results. It will force you to clarify what you want. Imagine setting out on a trip with no particular destination in mind. How do you pack? What roads do you take? It motivates you to take actions. It provides a filter for other opportunities. Every dream, intention or goal encounter resistance. When you focus on get attention – positive or negative. It helps you see and celebrate your progress.
Process of Writing Goals
Develop Goals for a balanced life: Personal (spiritual, health, financial), Family and Occupational. Write your goals in as much detail as possible. Write positive statement, not negative ones. Make sure your goals stretch you. Isaiah 54:2-3 - Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. 3 For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, and make the desolate cities inhabited. If you are not growing, you are dying.
Keep your goals before your eyes – Proverbs 4:20-23 NKJV - 20 My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; 22 For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.
Seek to be a blessing, not to be successful. Keep your focus outward.