Last week in my published devotion and corresponding blog posts I encouraged people to make rest a priority. And as means to that, to declutter their bedroom and treat it as an important space. As a sanctuary of sorts for body and soul. I heard from many - via blog comments, Facebook, emails and tweets - that they were going to do so. I wonder if they did.
In fact, it got me thinking about the purported link between writing down goals and achieving them. And between making a goal public, and then making it happen. Would telling me they were going to do something create an extra sense of motivation or accountability? What about commenting on FB versus just giving it a thumbs up "like"?
I've seen multiple references - even in published books - to a 1953 Yale University study proving a link between writing specific goals down, and future success. Sometimes it's claimed to be Harvard study rather than a Yale study. But the thing is, the study didn't take place - at either university. It's a myth.
What isn't myth is a study done by Dr Gail Matthews at Dominican University that did find a strong correlation between writing down goals - actually spelling them out - and reaching them. I know when I write out my to-do list, I accomplish more than when I just hold the task list in my head. And I'm not really a list-writer type by nature. But is that true of big goals too, like opening a restaurant, or losing 50 lbs., or writing a novel?
What do you think? Will writing down, "I will write a novel during NANOWRIMO 2010" actually help you start and complete a novel next month?
What if you don't write it down, you just talk to your friends about your plan to do it? Earlier today I came across this video clip about the effect of verbally telling someone your goal as opposed to keeping it to yourself or keeping it on paper. It's only a couple minutes long - check it out.
So, apparently, it is helpful to write goals down but not necessarily to tell someone about it. I wonder if that is true of each of the 4 classic personality types. Maybe it depends on who you tell? Like if you tell your sister you want to drop 50 lbs, versus if you tell your local Jenny Craig consultant. What do you think?
Have you found writing down your goals to be effective in motivating you to achieve them? What about telling people what you plan to do, has that usually helped or hindered you in achieving your goal? What works for you in real life when it comes to reaching your goals?