Of all the Tips on Setting Goals...
This One's the ‘Must-Do’

There are many tips on setting goals, all helpful to some extent. But the most effective one of all is simple but so powerful...

Write your goals down.

When it comes to goals, out of sight is out of mind. Goals, by nature, are long term projects that take time, thought and effort.

On that theme, bear in mind that ‘thoughts become things’. In other words what we think about becomes what we do.

So, the best way to keep your goals in mind? 

Display them where you will see them. 

This could be anywhere -– next to your bed, in the car, or above your desk -- wherever you spend time every day.

Why put goals in writing?

To commit

Whether it’s a research paper or a shopping list the reasons are the same –- put pen to paper and we commit, to ourselves and others, what we want.

Write out your goals and you turn a wish into a commitment about what you want.

It's rational

Have you ever reacted and then regretted it?

Writing down what you want means you become less emotional and more rational. Neither trait is good or bad, but in the context of goal setting, it helps to think straight.

As a reminder

Thoughts drift easily unless we anchor them with written words.

Visible goals not only remind, they prompt us. What is the purpose of advertising? To attract attention.

Sell to yourself what you want to achieve.

What to write on

Anything you’re happy to keep looking at!

It could be a colourful work of art or simple piece of paper; as long as (a) it appeals to your sense of sight, (b) you’ll see it regularly, and (c) the goals are easy to read, then it’s up to you.

Experiment and see what works for you. Try using a goals board with images of what you want along with relevant words to describe it.

How to set goals in writing

1. Be specific

Many tips focus on the SMART goal setting mnemonic, the first part of which stands for ‘specific’. When you write your goals, be crystal clear about what you want. So, instead of ‘exercise more’, put down how much, how often, even how intensely you intend to workout.

2. Be positive and present

Instead of saying ‘I would like to stop smoking’, replace it with ‘It is (insert future date) and I am smoke free’.

3. Write them out every day

Again, many tips on setting goals recommend writing your goals down. Do you do this already? Then write them out daily. This is an even more powerful technique for focusing on what you really want. Writing them out first thing in the morning and keeping them with you throughout the day is particularly effective.


Of all the great tips on setting goals, writing them works best. Use these suggestions to make sure you write with quality and you'll take the most important step towards achieving whatever you want.

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