We’re now over a week into the new year. How is your goal setting coming along? Hopefully by now you’ve written down your goals. (If you haven’t, see the previous blog post in this series for powerful tips.) What’s next? Maybe you’re like me and write goals from time to time in your journal or someplace and never look at them again. This hasn’t produced the best results. The essential next step is to review your written goals regularly. Keep them always before your eyes and you will achieve them.
A study by Dr. David Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, shows the importance of both writing down AND reviewing your goals:
- 80% of Americans reported that they have no goals. (Huh, I really can’t even imagine having absolutely no direction in life! How sad.)
- 16% said they have goals, but don’t write them down.
- Of the remainder, less than 4% take the time to write their goals down. (If you’re reading this, I imagine you’re part of this group.)
- Which leaves less than 1% of Americans, who write their goals and review them regularly.
I want to be part of the last group, and here’s why. Dr. Kohl analyzed the income generated by this small group across their lifetimes and found that they earned nine times more than Americans who didn’t have goals. 9X! That is huge! Now, I know that income is only one of many indicators of success in life, but for most people, it’s pretty important to be financially secure. If this study doesn’t motivate you to write and review your goals, I don’t know what would!
How often should you review your goals? Jack Canfield, successful author, recommends referring to your goals 3 times a day: first thing in the morning, in the middle of the day, and right before going to bed. Personally, I aim to review my goals twice a day, morning and evening.
Okay, that’s great, but HOW should you review them, to get the most bang for your buck? Try the following tips, some from Canfield and some from me, and see what works best for you:
- Write your goals on index cards, keep them on your nightstand, and read them first thing when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. Doing this will help your goals to be on your mind throughout the day and prime your subconscious mind to work on how to achieve them while you sleep. (I don’t know about you, but I love the idea of being productive while I sleep!)
- Put your list of goals in your daily planner or calendar system.
- If you’re digitally inclined, create a popup on your electronic device of choice, or use your goals for the wallpaper image on your screen.
- Write your most important goal on the back of your business card and put it in your wallet or purse where you’ll see it often.
- Keep your written goals in your car, and whenever you are stopped at a red light, read one of your goals and think about it until the next time you’re stopped. (I’m going to start doing this when I take my kids to and from school!)
- Mount a vision board on your bedroom wall, posting on it words and pictures representing your goals. Look at it morning and night. When you’ve achieved a goal, take the item off the board and place it in a “success binder.” (I’ll go more in-depth on vision boards in a future blog post.)
- Create a “goal book” with a page depicting each one of your goals as though you’ve already achieved it. Review the book before bed.
No matter which method you choose to review your goals, be sure to also read them out loud from time to time, when you’re in an appropriate setting. Don’t just read them in a boring voice, but with energy, passion, and enthusiasm. If you really want this to be a powerful experience, incorporate gestures whenever you can.
Also, with each goal you read, take a moment to feel how you imagine you will feel once you achieve it. Jack Canfield writes in The Success Principles that doing this activates the structural tension in your brain, which increases your motivation, stimulates your creativity, and heightens your awareness of the resources you need.
Now go get after it! Make your selected method for reviewing your goals a daily habit, and soon it will become a near-effortless part of your life and bring you big results.