We’ve all been told that writing things down is beneficial. But did you know that writing down your goals can help you manifest them?
That’s right. Goals can seem so intimidating and out of reach, at first. But instead of feeling abstract and intangible, goals seem much more accessible when they’re written down on paper. And once we get our goals on paper, we then get into the momentum of creating a plan and following through.
And according to psychologist Dr. Anna Kress: “If you can master the habit of writing them down, you’ll prime your brain to be goal-oriented and equip yourself with the motivation to inch your way to success.”
Below we take a look at how the simple act of writing our goals can help manifest them.
How to manifest your goals by writing them down
First, what is manifesting?
Manifesting is about attracting the things you want in your life. The concept is that our thoughts and beliefs can attract things into our reality. And while manifestation may be considered “woo-woo” and a concept that's synonymous with the new-agey set, we can’t deny that there is power in writing things down.
Several studies have shown that when we write down our goals, we’re more likely to achieve them. Here’s how writing things down can help you manifest your goals.
Tools you will need
All you need is a simple notebook and pen to get started with manifesting your goals.
Choose your favorite notebook or treat yourself to a fresh, pretty notebook that will get you excited about writing.
Get crystal clear on what you want. We’ve all fantasized about having more money or living in a mansion or having a dream job or meeting our soul mate. But it’s hard to turn those dreams into something real when we only have vague, abstract concepts in mind.
Writing a list forces us to define what we truly want. What does a dream job entail? What are the traits we’re looking for in a soul mate?
Several studies have shown that we are more likely to achieve our goals when we are specific about what we want. A specific goal gives us a clear picture and a destination. Once we have a clear goal in mind, we’ll then have an easier time planning how to get there.
Neuroscience says it works. Studies have shown that we remember things more easily if we write it down. After all, our brains can only handle so much information. We may have thought about a goal, but unless we write something down, it’s likely to float away into the recesses of our mind. Writing it down helps anchor our goals and bring them to the forefront of our thoughts. And the cognitive work that goes into writing down our goals, helps solidify the goals in our mind.
Understand why you want this goal. Writing a list not only helps you get crystal clear on what you want, but it will also clarify why you want it.
When you write down your goals, you’ll start to think about what this goal means to you. It’s helpful to ask yourself why this goal is important to you and why you want to achieve it.
For example, if your goal is to start a side business because all your friends are starting a side hustle, the goal will probably feel less genuine and personal. You might realize that this isn’t a goal you really want, but one you feel pressured into pursuing. But if you want to start a side hustle because you’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and you’re excited to work for yourself, then this goal will be more meaningful to you.
When you know the deeper meaning behind your goal, you are more likely to stick with it.
Take action. Writing helps you manifest your goals by reminding you to take action. It’s not enough to just wish for something and hope it will eventually come into fruition. You need to integrate wishful thinking with action. Writing your goals is the first step, and then the next is to write down your action plan.
So after you define your specific goal, you’ll want to write down a list of action steps you can take to get you closer to your goal. Then do 1-2 things off your list everyday or week so that you're regularly taking active steps to reach your goal.
Create a constant reminder. As human beings, we are naturally forgetful creatures. And in this modern age, we are so easily distracted by devices and apps, that we need physical reminders to do things. Writing down your goals in a planner or in a notebook or even on a post-it, serves as a regular reminder to work towards your goals. When you see your goals, you will want to do something that day to get you closer to it.
Quiet the inner critic. When we set a goal for ourselves, we will inevitably be confronted with our inner critic. The voice that tells us we’re not good enough or smart enough or we’ll never make it. And for a lot of people, the inner critic can be more debilitating than the external ones. That’s why a powerful way to surmount those inner negative voices is to remind yourself of your goals. This will help you stay on course. You can even combine your handwritten list of goals with positive affirmations to give you a double boost of power.
Practice gratitude. Another exercise you can incorporate into your goal setting routine is the practice of gratitude. Take a look at your goal setting list and action plan and show gratitude for what you’ve achieved so far.
You can write down the people you are grateful for and recognize how they’ve helped you in your goal setting journey. You can also express gratitude for all the wins you’ve accomplished. The positive feelings you experience from a gratitude practice will give you the inner push you need to follow through on your goals.