Why You Should Write Down Your Goals
I have always been a goal-writer. When I knew what I was aiming towards, I always wrote it down. My favorite moments would be looking back after time had passed (and likely after I had completely forgotten what I had written) and seeing all that I had actually accomplished. It really makes your heart proud, affirms your productivity, and even highlights your strength as I’m sure you jumped many hurdles trying to get there. It’s just so encouraging!
On the flip side, you could also find gaps in your alignment with your purpose in life and opportunities for growth could be highlighted when you find that certain goals have not been accomplished. However, this is just as important for the journey, because things can and should be done to fix this and you’ll enjoy a beautiful process a “becoming” when you choose to see this as an opportunity or challenge rather than a deficiency. Sounds like a win-win to me!
Where You Should Write Down Your Goals
You have to set the mood for goal-writing. Get in a quiet space, maybe have some lo-fi playing in the background (here’s one of my faves: With Care (instrumentals)), perhaps light a candle that makes you feel good, and have a nice refreshing beverage or favorite cup of coffee by your side. It’s important that you have space to think without distraction, so if home is not for you, maybe try to steal some time away at a park, library, or coffee shop. Solidarity is not absolutely necessary either. I love a good goal-writing session with some close friends!
I also think you should keep your goals in one place. I, personally, have so many journals and notebooks and I don’t know why, but I tend to write goals down anywhere. It’s pretty weird and I always find them later, randomly wedged between bible study notes, venting sessions, or meal plans/grocery lists. I’ve helped myself in this area by creating the Journaling With Purpose: Monthly Goals Edition journal which is formatted in a way that guides me to write intentional goals in specific areas and encourages me to take the time to reflect.
When You Should Write Down Your Goals
I think this depends on the kind of goals you’re writing. If you’re trying to master your daily routine, then writing weekly goals would be most effective so that you can track your progress over a shorter amount of time. If you want to change habits, they say it takes about 21 days for you to truly change a behavior, so writing monthly goals would be most beneficial in this case. And if it’s a general life goal, writing quarterly goals (every 3 months) should suffice. What we want to avoid is only writing goals at the beginning of the year or not writing them at all. We can change so much in a year’s time and you want to be intentional about that entire process. I think it’s ok to set a theme for the year and maybe overarching end-goals, but they should definitely be supported by monthly actionable goals.
The most important part of goal-writing is reflecting after the intended time-period has passed. You should constantly be trying to understand what you did that worked really well and acknowledge what you may have done or failed to do that hindered you from completing your goals. Does your conduct hinder or promote your performance? You have to be able to identify both things so that you can reframe your goals in a way that will work for you.
P.S. Give way to inspiration! If you feel the need to write goals outside of the schedule you subscribe to, definitely take advantage of the opportunity to be in alignment with your current needs.