Writing Goals

Writing GoalsDid you know that writing goals down enhances the actual achievement of the goal?  It’s true!

In a study at Dominican University, participants that wrote down their goals showed greater success in achieving the goal.  What this study also revealed was how writing goals and sending them to a supportive friend (in writing) even further increased success in achieving their goals.

The study was done scientifically over a 4 week period of time with almost 150 people participating in the results that drew some seriously interesting conclusions.

The goals the participants set were items including, completing a project, increasing income, increasing productivity, getting organized, enhancing performance/achievement, enhancing life balance, reducing work anxiety and learning a new skill.

In the study, participants were divided into 5 groups:

  1. Unwritten Goal – Participants in this group were simply asked to think about their goals and then go for it.
  2. Written Goal – Participants in this group were asked to write down their goal and then go for it.
  3. Written Goal and Action Commitments – Participants in this group were asked to write down their goal and set specific action commitments.
  4. Written Goal and Action Commitments to a Friend – Participants in this group were asked to write down their goal, set specific action commitments and send their goals and action commitments to a supportive friend.
  5. Written Goal, Action Commitments and Progress Reports to a Friend – Participants in this group were asked to write down their goal, set specific action commitments and send their goals and action commitments to a supportive friend as well as weekly progress reports to the friend.

The Results:

  • Group 5 achieved significantly more than all the other groups
  • Group 4 achieved significantly more than Groups 3 and 1
  • Group 2 achieved significantly more than Group 1.
  • Groups 2-5 combined was significantly higher than Group 1.

Conclusions:

  • Participants who not only wrote down their goals, but also send a written progress report to a friend, accomplished significantly more than the other participants in the study. Participants that wrote down their goals, accomplished significantly more than other participants that did not write down their goals.
  • The author of the study says that this means that there is “empirical evidence for the effectiveness of three coaching tools: accountability, commitment and writing down one’s goals.”


To learn a great way to set goals where you are more likely to achieve them, read here: Smart Goal Setting.