Writing Goals Down May Help You Achieve Them

The Benefits of Writing Goals Down

Did you know that writing goals down enhances the actual achievement of the goal? It’s true!

In a study at Dominican University, participants that wrote down their goals showed greater success in achieving the goal. What this study also revealed was how writing goals and sending them to a supportive friend (in writing) even further increased success in achieving their goals.

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The study was done scientifically over a 4 week period of time with almost 150 people participating in the results that drew some seriously interesting conclusions.

The goals the participants set were items including completing a project, increasing income, increasing productivity, getting organized, enhancing performance/achievement, enhancing life balance, reducing work anxiety, and learning a new skill.

In the study, participants were divided into 5 groups:

  1. Unwritten Goal – Participants in this group were simply asked to think about their goals and then go for it.
  2. Written Goal – Participants in this group were asked to write down their goal and then go for it.
  3. Written Goal and Action Commitments – Participants in this group were asked to write down their goal and set specific action commitments.
  4. Written Goal and Action Commitments to a Friend – Participants in this group were asked to write down their goal, set specific action commitments, and send their goals and action commitments to a supportive friend.
  5. Written Goal, Action Commitments, and Progress Reports to a Friend – Participants in this group were asked to write down their goal, set specific action commitments, and send their goals and action commitments to a supportive friend as well as weekly progress reports to the friend.

Here Are the Benefits of Writing Goals Down

After conducting the study of the five groups of participants stated above…

Results:

  • Group 5 achieved significantly more than all the other groups
  • Group 4 achieved significantly more than Groups 3 and 1
  • Groups 2-5 combined was significantly higher than Group 1.
  • Group 2 achieved significantly more than Group 1.

Conclusions:

  • Participants who not only wrote down their goals, but also sent a written progress report to a friend, accomplished significantly more than the other participants in the study. Participants that wrote down their goals, accomplished significantly more than the other participants that did not write down their goals.
  • The author of the study says that this means there is “empirical evidence for the effectiveness of three coaching tools: accountability, commitment, and writing down one’s goals.”


To learn a great way to set goals where you are more likely to achieve them, read here: Smart Goal Setting.