You’ve Heard It Before, But Have You Done It? Why You Really Need To Write Down Your Goals

July 29, 2015  |  

This has to be something all of us has heard time and time again, but didn’t always follow. Whether life crowds your daily schedule or you just don’t feel like doing any extra work outside the office, there are so many reasons why we say we can’t do something. When it comes to goals, this is an area you definitely should not neglect.

Among my never-ending list of to-dos, I always try (keyword) my best to make room for my goals. Is anyone else horrible at making an “I promise” list at the beginning of the year? Luckily it’s never too late to start. This year I was determined to put my dreams to paper and write out a list of short- and long-term goals. And while there’s still work to be done, I’m beyond thankful to say many have been crossed off the list.

Obviously you can’t just add something to a vision board or a journal and expect it to come to fruition without a little work on your end. Contrary to what some hold true, sitting around and doing nothing will not elevate you to the level you desire to achieve. You actually need to work in order to see something come to pass. Even then, there’s never a real guarantee it will pan out the way you hoped.

One of the biggest goals I had was to try and double the amount I make in a year (giving birth in 2014 and 2015 will do that to ya). As a person who pursues a life of self-employment, I know far too well how many ups and downs can come at any given moment. Thankfully I’ve been able to keep things steady for some years, but I can recall many sleepless nights when I stared at my journal and wondered how I was possibly going to achieve this goal. At the time, it seemed impossible — especially since my husband and I were planning for our second child at the time.

How was I going to work harder than I already was? Was my dream too crazy or unrealistic?

I thought about every excuse in the book and started to become discouraged. One thing I will say about writing down your dreams is that it holds you accountable. There’s nothing quite like a piece of paper staring you in the face with an unchecked completion box to make you want to do something. As silly as it might sound, this helped to motivate me to find new ways to expand and earn income.

With time and a bit of research came light bulbs that started to go off in my head. I began breaking down each goal into ideas and obtainable parts that led me back to areas I had previously glossed over. Doors I once thought were closed or couldn’t work began to make sense. At one point, it became a game where I tried my best to piece this puzzle called life together (though I still don’t have all the parts I need yet). With dedication and a relentless spirit, I found myself aligned with an opportunity that would allow me to double my salary. What’s funny is it came a few weeks before I gave birth to my son that still works today. While things aren’t perfect (whose life really is?), everything fits, which is a blessing I’ll definitely take.

No matter how much ambition I had, writing them down on paper definitely helped me stay focused. It’s one thing to imagine an idea and catalog it in the back of your head, but a completely different story to have it front and center in your day-to-day hustle. It can be your friend and also your hardest critic as it challenges you to work hard. There will be times when you can complete a desired goal without too much trouble, and other times when you need to break that sucker into more digestible tasks. No matter how long it takes, the fact that you’re moving forward puts you one step closer to the things you want.

Have you written down your goals?

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