Welcome to Navigating Your Course for Success

Goal Setting Success is a Hand Eye Coordinated Event

Goal SettingThere are a few studies out there which make the case that actually writing out your goals by hand, and plans to achieve them, creates a unique type of energy unmatched by electronic devices to record your voice or to type into some software. If you consider journaling and you partake in this activity, you hand write your entries into your journal.

Here is some information on one of these studies:

  • This study provides empirical evidence for the effectiveness of three coaching tools: accountability, commitment and writing down one’s goals.
  • There now is a study demonstrating that writing one’s goal enhances goal achievement. However, it was not done at Harvard or Yale, but at Dominican University.

(Source: Summary of Recent Goals Research (PDF here: Gail Matthews Written Goal Study Dominican University), by Gail Matthews, Ph.D.,DominicanUniversity)

Some will say, “This is absurd. I know what I have to do and I just do it”. Unfortunately, the proof is solid. There is a higher percentage of performance and completion of goals when the goals are written down. In addition, when you have a team or an organization of some number of employees, by providing a clear set of written goals and objectives, you are setting everyone up for success.

Let’s take the example of a cruise ship. The ship carries thousands of passengers. If there was not a defined destination and list of ports of call and dates attached, how would the amount of food, fuel, and entertainment be provided? If the ship just sailed off to anywhere how would the crew, the support staff, the passengers and the ports of call know when the ship was going to arrive?

This example is the same if you are alone in a kayak, with another person in a canoe, with a number of people on a motor boat or on this cruise ship. One might say, “Well I’m an entrepreneur, so I’m like the one person in the kayak. I can do whatever I want”. This may be true to a point. If you plan to be out for days at a time you will want to have food and supplies. Others who might be interested in your safety might want to know your location.

For the achievement of the results we want is it really too difficult of a task to write out by hand the goals we may have for our personal lives and for our business?

Mitch Tublin is a certified personal and executive coach who lives in Stamford, CT.


  1. I definitely believe written goals are achieved more often and more quickly. It’s too easy to forget details or get distracted without the reminder of what you’ve written. Interesting study!

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Just wonder if the younger generation will lose this aspect of development?

  2. This is a habit that is a must for me. I write down my strategic goals for the year at the beginning of each year and then break that down monthly, weekly and daily. Absolutely necessary if you are going to make any real progress in your business.

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Great for you! And over time have you found how effective and productive
      the results have been from this habit?

  3. That is so cool, Mitch! I’ve seen that over the years, and it is always fun to see “scientific evidence” backs up your teachings!!

    Here’s how I explain it: Your thoughts are pure energy. As you organize your thoughts, they become more real, and if you type them into a computer, they manifest visually on a screen or even in a print out, but that is not as “concrete” a manifestation as when you write it down because they are still pixels and dots.

    Writing down your goals and desires is very often the very first physical manifestation of them… it helps bring them into reality, part of the physical birthing process, if you will. There is also a real connection with your body that does not happen with typing.

    LOVE this, sharing for sure!

    Katherine C. H. E.
    CEO, Law of Attraction association

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Your comment goes to the root of the discussion.
      As a father of four children and married for over 25 years,
      it is probably wiser for me not to compare any writing to
      the birthing process. I do understand what you are saying.

  4. Great cruise ship/kayak analogy! Now I want to write on my goal list, make time for boating!

  5. Great study Mitch. I think that there is so much more of one’s whole self involved when doing hand written goals, it sinks deeper into the system and into the tissue memory!

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Yes, I imagine you must hand write into your own journal.
      Sounds like it from your comment. Good for you.

  6. Good advice and evidence on the power of writing down our goals. It’s amazing how seemingly small things (picking up and pen and writing on paper) can make a significant difference in achieving our goals.

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Sometimes the small things not being done prevent the big things from ever taking place.

  7. Planning keeps out distractions — I am a firm believer and practitioner of this! 🙂

  8. Mitch,

    I agree that writing your goals is important. In fact, I often say “A thought becomes a bright idea and when put into writing — words turn ideas into actions.”

    Write on!~

    Lisa Manyon

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Yes, agree totally. Even more to the point directed planning and goal setting guides the action steps to become meaningful.

  9. I absolutely agree, Mitch. I am actually very tactile, so writing things down helps me to process them on a different level. For many people, writing goals down makes them more tangible and concrete, and also helps them focus on those goals.

  10. I am so with you on this one Mitch in fact I tell all my clients “Ink it don’t think it”

  11. Mitch
    I’m on board with this (no pun intended!) and writing down my goals really does help.

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      There is definitely a deeper connection when we write the goals down vs. the typing them into our laptop.

  12. I agree! Writing down your goals and making them tangible things, makes them much easier to achieve, and must faster to achieve. It’s easy to change your goals, adjust them , or forget them, when they are just in your head!

    • Mitch Tublin Business Success Coach says

      Definitely getting goals out of your head is a key step.
      The head is not a good filing cabinet. Goals must be
      in front of you as much as possible.