Yesterday we discussed getting to know yourself before charging headlong into setting your goals.
Today we’re going to delve a little deeper into goal setting for success.
The single most important part of this process is writing your goals down.
“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” ― Christina Baldwin
If you’re thinking, next he’ll be telling me to go to hot yoga, don’t worry!
I was never a fan of journaling myself, but that’s because I didn’t see the critical part it plays once you’ve completed the Know Yourself equation.
Identifying, confirming and reinforcing our goals is something that requires a great deal of specificity and journaling is one of the key tools for goal setting success.
Write them down
Writing down goals, clearly and concisely with a step-by-step breakdown is the next best thing to having Tony Robbins cheer you on every day.
It focuses your attention, increases your motivation to actually start working on your goals, and keeps a living record of how far you’ve travelled so far.
A blank piece of paper each day (read a post about this approach in more detail here) is a way for you to be brutally honest and transparent.
On these pages you are free to do you, to express your emotions honestly, and reflect on your progress.
Journaling also allows you to identify your individual patterns and to understand better why you make the choices you do.
You’ll identify what/why daily events push activate you, and make you fall off the wagon a bit, and what things help to calm and motivate you.
This isn’t just an opinion though – Encoding works.
Thankfully, science comes to the rescue again in the form of Encoding.
Encoding is the vehicle we use to transport our perceptions to our brain’s hippocampus where they’re analyzed.
Here, we decide what makes the grade for our long term memory storage, a little like the images you choose to back up to the cloud, in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets binned.
Writing supercharges that encoding process.
Put simply, when you write it down it has a much greater chance of being remembered.
The Generation Effect – goal-setting gold dust
2nd up is the “generation effect”.
The generation effect tells us that we demonstrate better memory for the material we’ve generated ourselves than for the material we’ve skimmed over.
To add some extra boost to this, and you’ve got to love how the brain lets us better ourselves, when you write down your goal, you get two tickets to the “generation effect”
: one for when you generate the goal (creating the picture in your mind)
: one for when you write it down, as you’re essentially reprocessing or regenerating that image.
In essence, you get a double whammy that really sears the goal into your brain.
So, your task now is to get a journal, pad of blank paper, hell maybe even a napkin, and get writing!
“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” —Zig Ziglar
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the importance of failure in your goal setting success.
Paul and the Ignite team.
(P.S. If getting this down on paper is a struggle, or you need some help clarifying just what it is you hope to achieve, click here to schedule a time with me, and we’ll go over it together.)