I just turned another year older last week and a dear friend gave me a little box with a powerful messages, "Wish it.
Dream it. Do it."
I've been a long time proponent of writing down my goals, yet for some reason, this little box made me stop and give thought as to why. Why did I believe in the power of a written goal above all other?
The simple and not so insightful answer, because that's what I've always been told. So today I ask why? Why is it that every professional development seminar, workshop or self-help book includes the principle of writing down our goals? I set out to investigate.
Studies surrounding the power of the written word as it relates to the success of goal achieve dates back to 1953. Yet many of you may also be familiar with the debate surrounding the validity of the Yale Class of 1953 study as well as the Harvard Class of 1979. The 1953 Yale Class study claims that the 3% of the 1953 graduating class who wrote down their goals out-earned the other 97% combined. The Harvard Class 1979 study claims that the 5% of the 1979 graduates who wrote down their goals outperformed the remaining 95% combined.
Regardless of the ongoing debate surrounding the accuracy of these studies, their has been a more recent study, that proves writing down goals does in fact have a direct correlation with your results.
Dr. Gail Matthews, Dominican University of California, did a study in 2007 of students who tracked goal achievement. She compared groups who wrote down their goals to those who didn’t. Through the study she found that writing down your goals contributed to a 42% increase in goal achievement. What’s more, she also found that by adding accountability, the success rate increased dramatically. By making a commitment to a friend and providing weekly progress reports, students show a 78% increase in translating their goals into action.
There you have it. If you want to increase your chances of succeeding, write it down. If you want to nearly ensure your odds, create accountability. Thinking back on all of my victories, I did both. Wishing you great success as you “Wish it. Dream it. Do it.”