Writing Down Your Goals
The benefits of writing down goals are universally accepted and they make sense. The act of putting an idea down on paper (figuratively speaking) causes you to contemplate that idea in a more focused and thoughtful way. The byproduct of the effort is a more clearly defined view of the issues surrounding the subject. It all seems pretty intuitive, but is there any scientific support?
Well it just so happens that the other day I accidentally came across the results of a study which provided some statistics about the benefits of writing down goals. The source seemed credible and verifiable and the results compelling. So, it led me to wonder if there were other studies about setting and writing down goals out there. The answer is Yes! So here are the statistical highlights of two studies:
According to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech:
- People who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as people who don't.
- 80% of Americans say they don't have goals.
- 16% do have goals but don't write them down.
- Less than 4% write down their goals and fewer than 1% review them on an ongoing basis.
Psychology professor, Dr. Gail Matthews, of the Dominican University of California conducted a study on goals that included 267 participants from a wide variety of businesses, organizations, and networking groups throughout the United States. The results of her study were "Share your goals with a friend."
There is a complete explanation of the experiment, how it was organized, and the results of the different groups in the study. I think it's a little too detailed for this blog, but if you're interested checking it out click here Strategies for Achieving Goals
. The upshot of the study is this:
- People who wrote down their goals,
shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that
friend were on average 33% more successful in accomplishing their stated
goals than those who merely formulated goals.
I'll be on the lookout for other verifiable studies but in case you know of any others please let us know.