Recently, I’ve been listening to life coach and web-TV sensation Marie Forleo’s new book, Everything is Figure-outable. Though life coaches aren’t generally my cup of tea, Forleo’s work piques my interest because she was one of the first women in the online space who found a way to make bank online — in her case, through a steady stream of uplifting, commonsense content.
For me, one of the important takeaways from the book was its point about the power of writing down goals. In fact, Forleo writes a a recent study showed that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals and dreams, simply by writing them down on a daily basis.
The advice makes sense – and Forleo explains why:
Writing down our goals is what we naturally do in every other area of life when we want to produce a result.
If you’re renovating your kitchen, you don’t just wake up and take a sledgehammer to the sink. You first design a plan on paper. Need to pick up groceries from the supermarket? Write a list. Want to master a new subject? Take written notes. Going on a trip? Map out your destination.
Forleo’s advice about writing down goals applies with equal force if you’re starting a law firm. But it doesn’t mean that you have to put together a 40-page business plan since your goals may die of analysis paralysis. Instead, Forleo recommends that first, you set a time for 15 minutes and make a list of top dreams, goals or projects that you’re most excited to work on. Don’t hold back either – make those dreams as enormous and audacious as you can.
Next, you want to choose one dream to focus on to start. Once you’ve done that, break your dream goal down into clear actionable baby steps. Forleo advises:
You don’t have to map out every single step. Instead, use simple, clear baby steps. For example, “become a best-selling author” might become “write for 30 minutes every day and finish a first draft of my book by Christmas. “
Finally, determine the next three steps. Specifically, what can you do in 10 minutes or less – with the first step being something you can do right now – whether it’s making a phone call, setting up an appointment or registering for a class. Forleo advises that you must take that first action step right now and then, add steps two and three to your calendar.
Many times, we’re afraid to write down our goals for fear that the act of memorializing them will commit us to follow through. That’s exactly right – which is why putting goals into writing is such a powerful tool for increasing the odds – 42 percent worth — that we can achieve them.