Photo by Hannah Olinger
When attempting to change your current habits or start a new habit, writing down your intentions is an integral part of the process. Writing down your goals can be done several ways. Use whatever method makes you most comfortable, whether it’s journaling, making a list, sticky notes or by using a vision board, it’s up to you.
When you are more comfortable, you are more likely to follow through. However you decide to record your goals for yourself, make sure your writings are placed somewhere that can be easily seen by you. Writing down and rereading your desired habits will help ensure success in achieving your goals in a couple of ways. When you write your goals down, it helps you remember to focus on them frequently, especially when you read over them regularly. When you are able to put them out as a reminder, that will help you stay focused too.
Try a vision board that hangs in your bedroom, sticky notes on the fridge or a note in your car that you will easily see and reread it. Even if you’re not consciously rereading them, simply seeing them written down will remind your brain of what you’ve written. Writing down your plans for a new habit also helps encode the idea in your brain.
Encoding is a brain process that allows an idea to be stored and recalled by long-term memory. If you’ve written your ideas down, your brain has a better chance of storing them in your long-term memory, giving you a better chance of long-term success and ability to follow through. Personal accountability is another reason why putting your plans into writing is important.
When you write your goals down on paper, it’s almost like a promise to yourself. You are more likely to adhere to your plans when you’ve put them in writing. You are also more likely to feel motivated and committed to make the changes you’ve set for yourself. When your goals are clearly written and defined, it becomes easier to eliminate distractions. Distractions from your goal are best dealt with when planned for. Writing down your anticipated distractions and pitfalls with a plan to fight them, will help you stay on track also. Although it takes a little extra time, writing down your goals has many benefits. It is an important part of goal setting and habit formation that will help you stay focused and give you a leg up achieving what you want.