The Stunning Psychology Behind Why Writing Things Down Increases Motivation

Everyone has goals they hope to achieve. Whether that be working out, getting a new job, spending more time with family, or buying a new car, we all want things in life. However, it can be hard to stick to the goals we set for ourselves. Even breaking our aspirations down into smaller steps doesn’t always help as much as we would like.  


Notebook with 'GOALS' written across the top in red marker

There is a quick trick to keep you on track to achieving your dreams. All you have to do is write them down. Writing down your goals, and your action plan, and tracking your progress on paper is a great, scientifically proven way to increase your motivation. 

Why it Works


Writing things down is not just a good idea, it’s backed by scientific research. People who write down their goals were found to be 3 times more likely to have success. Studies have revealed a positive correlation between writing down your goals and achieving them. This is often linked to the mind’s ability to narrow its focus on what it deems to be the most important. When we take the time to physically write down our goals, we’re signaling to our minds that this is important and needs to be remembered. Therefore, after writing down a goal the brain will subconsciously push us to achievement. 


The Benefits

Writing down our goals and progression has numerous benefits in helping you achieve your dreams. 


1. Clarity


Writing down what we want forces us to solidify our goals. Having goals be measurable, attainable, realistic, and set in a specific timeframe is paramount to their success. It’s easy to say you want to work out more, but when you say you are going to do yoga 3 days a week for 30 minutes, you are far more likely to stick to it.  

2. Daily Progress


When you write down a goal, you should also keep track of all the things you did each day to get there. For instance, maybe each time you have a family outing, you write down a few sentences about the fun you had. This will help you turn the small steps to achievement into habits that you go back to every day. 


3. Captures Your Attention


When you spend time thinking about, planning, and writing down your goal you subconsciously call attention to its importance. Having something written down shows your commitment to getting it done. Just like a to-do list, you will want to be able to check off each step of your journey. 

5. Increases Positivity

Woman writing in notebook


After spending a couple of days reflecting on how you brought yourself closer to your dreams, you’ll develop a deep sense of satisfaction that keeps you coming back for more. Often, we’re so focused on the end result, we forget to reward ourselves along the way. Taking just a moment out of our day to reflect on our small successes will increase motivation to keep going. Our goals should be something exciting to work towards.  


How to get started 


Getting started is easy. All you need is a notebook and a pen to begin achieving your dreams today. 

1. The Goal


Start by clearly writing out your goal. Using the SMART format is a great way to create a goal that is measurable and attainable. Try to have a clear endpoint in mind. Write your goal out in as much detail as possible. 


2. The Plan


Checklist being written out

Next, write out the steps you will take to achieve your goal. Make each step small and attainable. Try breaking down your goal into the smallest possible steps to get to the end. This will serve as your roadmap to help you get where you want to be. You don’t want to have to think about what you’re going to do next. This way you can just keep moving forward. 


3. Journaling


Write consistently in your journal to track your progress. This can be done in a variety of ways. You can write a few paragraphs about your day, have a leaderboard, or check a box each time you complete a step. This is paramount to keeping your motivation up. Often, we keep blindly working toward our goals and never feel like we’re getting anywhere. This will allow you to celebrate the small steps and love your journey. 


Get started on the path to achieving your dreams today. If you need help starting a journal, we have advice to get you started. Let us know in the comments below if writing your goals down helps you!



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