In our Ultimate Guide, we defined effective goal setting. For a refresher, you can visit it here: https://www.asianefficiency.com/goals/5-steps-setting-goals/
One of the tips we shared there is about writing down your goals, a piece of advice that Brian Tracy also advocates for. If you still haven’t started on that checklist yet, it’s definitely worth your time for the following reasons:
1. It affects our brain.
Dr Gail Matthews, from the Dominican University in California, did a study on the effect of writing down goals. She categorized 267 people into two groups: those who took their time to write down their goals, and those who didn’t. She found out that those who did were 42% likelier to accomplish what they set out to do as long as they were able to keep their writing routine.
This is related to how our brains function. When we are only thinking about our goals, as in only imagining them, we are only tapping into the right hemisphere of our brain. When we write those goals down, the right hemisphere makes contact with the left by sending electrical signals, and this helps deliver the whole message to every cell in our body. Our consciousness becomes more aware of what we desire.
2. It can become your map.
Traveling from point A to point B, you might encounter many twists and turns and it’s easy to lose direction. Your checklist can become your roadmap that breaks down your ultimate goal. You can identify your options, your Plans Bs, and it will give you a sense of where you are in your journey. You can also decide on your timeframe, how fast you want to get from here to there.
3. It makes your goals feel more attainable.
We don’t fantasize about something that we can realize in one day. Our goals are our dreams and there is usually a challenging element to it that is realistically possible for us to achieve. A checklist will show you the smaller tasks needed to be done in order to get closer to your goal, and with each step, your goals become more and more solid, closer for you to touch. Remember, if you keep taking big bites, you will get overwhelmed. Slowly but surely, as they say.
4. It will give you a sense of satisfaction.
A check mark is a universally positive symbol. They just feel great; they remind you of correct answers marked by your teacher when your papers are returned. Every time you check something you have finished in your list, it will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment. It can even signal you that it’s time for that well-deserved reward you have been thinking about. Don’t underestimate the effect of dopamine on your motivation; it might just become the secret weapon that keeps you going.
Think of the necessity of a grocery list. Without one, you’re just wandering aimlessly in the supermarket, even though you are intrinsically aware of why you are there.
A checklist for your goals is definitely worth your time, because without it, there’s a very real possibility that you can get stuck in your journey.