Write it down!

PencilAn old friend of mine, Ken, once told me that if you want to achieve something, write it down. This is applicable weather it is a small task, like doing the shopping, or an important goal, such as achieving a new qualification.

He said that he has no idea why or how it works, but if you write down whatever you wish to achieve, it is far easier to do so.

I think that this works partly because by writing it down, you turn what ever it is from a conceptual goal in your head, into a more material, definable and realistic goal. It helps you to clarify exactly what the goal is, and how you wish to achieve it.

It also helps to include a reason as to why you wish to get something done. Showing the benefit makes it much easier to do.

The next step after writing it down is to put it somewhere where you will see it and be reminded of the goal. Stick it to the fridge, the bathroom mirror or your computer monitor at work.

A simple example is that I wanted to spend a few days without meat or alcohol. I am used to eating mostly vegetarian, but with a little bit of meat thrown in here and there, but had somehow shifted to eating a lot more meat, with a bit of vegetarian thrown in here and there. My body was not feeling very comfortable with this, and I needed a few days to clear my system.  So, I wrote :

“Until Thursday, I will not eat any meat, or drink any wine. I will eat health meals, and drink lots of water. This is to clean my body, and make me feel better.”

Well, today is Thursday and I managed to keep to my affirmation, and I really feel better with myself for having done so. It was very simple to write down, but doing so helped me to really make the internal commitment to do it.

Here is an experiment for you, make a list of things you need to do with your house (painting, fix the gutters, new carpets). Then have a look at the list in a few months and see how many of them you have managed to do. Remember to keep whatever is on the list realistic.

If it’s something that may not directly look realistic (such as climbing Kilimanjaro), perhaps you can break it into smaller, more-realistic goals (such as improving fitness levels and climbing Table Mountain).

Alternatively make a list of all the places you wish to visit over the next few years, and see how many of them you are able to visit.

You will be amazed at how many of what you write down you are able to achieve.

So, the next time you wish to achieve something, write it down.

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