Having trouble setting goals? Having trouble following through on them? Not only do you have to write them down as we discussed earlier this week, but you have to TAKE ACTION to achieve them!

This means that you have to “do what you don’t want to do, when you don’t want to do it”. That’s one of our regular catch-phrases because it’s SO IMPORTANT to your success! You need to write down your goals, and then you need to act on them:

Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

  • 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week.
  • 60 percent of people abandon them within six months. (The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten separate times without success.)
  • Only 5 percent of those who lose weight on a diet keep it off; 95% regain it. A significant percentage gain back more than they originally lost.
  • Even after a heart attack, only 14 percent of patients makes any significant changes.

The participants were male and female. They ranged in age from 23 to 72 years old. They came from countries across the world. And had a variety of jobs such as entrepreneurs, educators, healthcare professionals, artists, bankers, vice presidents and non-profit directors.

The participants were split up into 5 groups and each assigned a different task. Every group also had to rate the goal based on difficulty, importance, the extent to which they had the skills and resources to accomplish the goal, their commitment and motivation to the goal, whether or not they had pursued this goal and if so their prior success.

The group tasks were assigned as follows:

  • Group 1: thought about their goals (to accomplish the next 4 weeks) and rated the goals
  • Group 2: wrote their goals out and rated the goals
  • Group 3: wrote their goals out, formulated action commitments and rated the goals
  • Group 4: wrote their goals out, formulated action commitments, sent their goals and action commitments to a friend, and rated the goals
  • Group 5: wrote their goals out, formulated action commitments, sent their goals and action commitments and a weekly progress report to a friend, and rated the goals

At the end of 4 weeks participants were asked to rate their progress and the degree to which they accomplished their goals.

Group 5 accomplished significantly more than all the other groups. Group 4 achieved significantly more than Group 3 and Group 1. Group 2 achieved significantly more than Group 1.

FACT: writing down their goals made a tremendous difference!

The secret to accomplishing what matters most to you is committing your goals TO WRITING. This is important for at least five reasons.

  1. It will force you to be very specific with what you actually want. This requires that you not only define the goal, but the steps it takes to get there. How do you know if you win? How do you know when you’ve ‘arrived’?  This means not just stating ‘I want to save some money’, but stating how much money, by when, and why.
  2. It will motivate you to take inspired action. The ‘Secret’ was a good start, but didn’t go far enough; you must actually take steps to implement your goals, not simply write them down.  However, without writing them down, this step won’t happen; you have to start somewhere!  Don’t just talk about what you want, commit in writing, post in your office, read daily and be committed not just to the goal but to the actions the goal requires to achieve.
  3. It will provide an opportunity better exposure, to things you otherwise would never have experienced! The more successful you become, the more you will be exposed to new opportunities. Simply taking steps to move forward will unlock otherwise hidden opportunities and relationships.
  4. It will enable you to see—and acknowledge—your progress. Life is a grind at times.  It is particularly difficult when you aren’t seeing progress. You must do what you don’t want to do when you don’t want to do it, and at a high level!  Writing your goals creates anchors along your path. How else will you know how far you’ve come and how far you’ve yet to go?
  5. Napoleon Hill: ‘A Goal is a Dream With A Deadline’.  It’s not enough to just declare your goals; you must set in place a deadline, a date by which you’ll achieve your success.

Homework: Real Estate Treasure Map, Goals in 5 Areas of Life

-Figure out

-Post goals in an obvious location to you, maybe several locations

-Figure out the first 3 action steps for each goal

-Schedule those steps and get the help you need to be accountable to them!

-Get into coaching!!!