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.