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Write Your Goals Down

Write Your Goals Down – If You Want To Achieve a Goal, You Have to Write It Down


pen to paper

“A goal that is not committed to paper is no goal at all.”

– Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Okay, this damn book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, has really got under my skin…but in a good way – unlike the bed bug bites last month, courtesy of the seedy hostel in Santorini 🙁

In last week’s blog, Process This: Why Focusing on Process versus Completion Leads to Stronger Results, I ranted about process and touched on the importance of writing goals down. But ever since posting that, I kept hearing this annoying little voice in my head telling me to write a blog emphasizing the importance of writing down goals and all the smaller tasks that need to get done in order to accomplish said larger goal/s.

However, as per the saying, “We teach best what we most need to learn,” (Richard BachIllusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah), writing this blog may be just as much of a reminder to me about the need to write goals and tasks down, as is it to readers. So that’s exactly what I’ve been doing this past week…and wow, what a difference it makes!


Because writing our goals and tasks down on paper makes them real, concrete, tangible. It’s almost as if when you take the time to write down what you are going to do, you are telling yourself – and the universe – that you mean business. No more monkeying around; time is passing.

In The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, Sharma states: “Setting clearly defined objectives for what we desire in our mental, physical and spiritual world is critical to their realization…anyone who wishes to improve the quality of their inner as well as their outer world would do well to take out a piece of paper and start writing out their life aims.”


Because, as Sharma explains: “At the very moment this is done, natural forces will come into play that start to transform these dreams into reality.”

In other words, if we show up each day and do the task/s we promised ourselves we would do, life tends to meet us halfway – and opportunities to help us on our way will start to present themselves. I have certainly found this to be true.

But simply writing down our goals, objectives and tasks isn’t enough.

Yes, writing down the WHAT (our goal), the HOW (the necessary tasks) and the WHY (our objectives) is essential…but doing so is all for naught without also writing down the WHEN (timeline).

“Never set a goal without attaching a timeline to it.”

– Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Why? Because (Sharma’s wisdom again): “You will never hit a target that you cannot see.”

So if you don’t assign some sort of target date for achieving something – be that a list of tasks for the day or reaching a goal 5 years from now – you probably won’t achieve it.

But maybe that’s okay?

Maybe you have a goal or a dream that, deep down, you really have no intention of ever achieving. I once had a conversation with a friend who loved to sing and play piano. She told me that she’d always dreamed of making a professional recording of her music one day.

But when I began brainstorming ideas about how she might be able to make that happen, she looked at me and said, “I know all that, Maryanne. But I don’t think all our dreams aren’t meant to materialize. Maybe some are meant to remain just that: dreams…safe and secure in our hearts and imaginations with no real hope of ever seeing the light of day in reality.”

I didn’t know what to say. Because for me, the whole point of having a dream is to figure out a way to make it happen in real life. But to each their own.

However, if you have a dream that you genuinely do want to achieve – whether that’s writing a book, taking a trip to Paris, starting your own business, going back to school, becoming financially secure, etc – the first step is always the same: write it down. That’s the easy part.

The tough part, of course, is actually doing all the hard work…and having the courage to stay the course. But, as Sharma writes, there is tremendous “power in setting clearly defined, purposeful goals, and most importantly, having the character power to act on them.”

And the payoff, I have found, is well worth it:

“Lasting happiness comes from steadily working to accomplish your goals & advancing confidently in the direction of your life’s purpose.”

– Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive Maryanne’s weekly blog, please sign up here.

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