Like most of us, you probably have a general idea about your own life goals (a mental bucket list) — where you broadly keep track of what you would like to achieve in life and so forth. However, by only keeping these in that big brain of yours, you’re essentially setting yourself up for failure as they are then significantly less likely to work out the way you intend.
Research shows again and again that people are much more likely to avoid a regretful life and achieve their goals just by the very act of writing them down (e.g. this one). The problem is, most people don’t really bother to do so. And instead, they somewhat drift through life aimlessly, wondering why their life lacks purpose and significance.
Don’t need to be persuaded and rather want to go straight on to create your own bucket list? Check out my Ultimate Bucket List Resource Guide that easily takes you through every step you ought to take.
Writing down your bucket list is surely not the end-game. However, it is the crucial beginning. Writing down your goals is important for several reasons:
1. It Forces You to Gain Clarity on What You Really Want
To put this in context, imagine the scenario that you head out for a trip with no destination in mind. What do you bring? What paths do you take? How do you know when you’ve arrived? Rather, you start by picking a destination — and the same is accurate for the milestones in your life. By writing down your goals you’re forced to determine specifically what you want which puts you on the right track to achieve them.
2. It Motivates You to Take Action
Writing down your goals is only the beginning (obviously, as you haven’t achieved anything just by writing it down — you’ve just articulated your intention). And that’s not enough. You have to take action. But, by having your goals in a written format, you’re likely to be substantially provoked to take the next step in achieving them.
3. It Provides a Filter for What’s Important and What’s Not
Life throws us in all kinds of directions and opportunities may pop up everywhere. However, such opportunities can quickly become distractions that precludes and takes you off course. The only real solution is to maintain a list of goals (a bucket list!) which enables you to properly evaluate the new opportunities that arise.
4. It Helps You Overcome Resistance
Every goal or dream is destined to meet some kind of resistance. From the very moment you write down a goal, you might begin to feel it. And if you focus on that resistance it will continue to grow. The crucial way to overcome the resistance is to focus on the goal(s) — the thing(s) you want and have written down.
5. It Helps You to See and Celebrate Your Progress and Achievements
Life might be hard at times and it can be difficult to really see and grasp progress. You might feel that you’re stagnant at status quo. However, written goals also act like checkpoints. They enable you to see how far you’ve come and where you need to go ahead.
Written goals also provide a great chance for celebration when you attain them. That simple little checkmark on your bucket list item, might not look like much, but it is a powerful thing that keeps giving as time passes.
6. It Enables You to Involve Others and Increases Your Accountability
A written bucket list is easy to share with loved ones. And when we share our goals we naturally increase our own accountability to them. It makes us significantly more likely to go out and about to achieve what we’ve set out for, and it enables friends and family to more easily to assist with — or join in on — our life goals.
7. It Continuously Reminds You About Your Aspirations
Life passes by at a fast pace. Suddenly it’s been weeks, months or even years and you’ve basically forgotten all about your major goals. It’s easy to fall into the trap of more or less living on “auto-pilot” — which I also did once.
We all have a lot of things we live with; but what do we live for?
When you’ve got your life goals written down you can constantly refine and refer back to them. You’ve written your goals on paper? Keep a few of them up on your fridge! You prefer to store them digitally? Save it on your desktop. Overall, don’t let your aspirations completely slip your mind.
8. Your Goals Become SMART
Lastly, by writing down your goals they become much SMARTer! What I mean by that is that your goals will become much more Specific, more Measurable, more Attainable, more Realistic and more Timely if you write them down — as opposed to just keeping them in your head.
A further tip here is to really ensure that your life goals are Measurable. You might have good intentions by writing down “I want to become more healthy” as a goal, however, it is simply way too broad. It’s much better to rather write down “I will spend 30 minutes working out every day” or something in a similar vein.
I hope you enjoyed the read and got convinced to write down your life goals. I truly believe it will have solid positive impact on your life. Now give it a try.
Other relevant pages:
- Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions — Make a Bucket List
- My 1000+ Bucket List
- 5000 Awesome Bucket List Ideas — Free eBook