Writing Goals Makes Them Real

With all the convenience of electronic media, including the ability to record ideas on our “smart phones,” will writing survive?
I have no doubt it will. Writing is more than just a way to record information. The act of writing helps make ideas concrete.
Think about it. When you get ready to go grocery shopping, you make a list of what you need or what is on sale. It is written down. What happens when you go shopping without that list? If you’re like me, you end up buying a whole bunch of stuff you really don’t need and not buying the things you do need.
I’m a “lister.” I have pads of paper all over the house where I list things I need to buy and things I need to do. I jot down ideas I’d like to explore later. I exist on the edge of chaos, so lists are my best hope for keeping my life organized.
But writing is so much moreastronaut. It can take the ghost of idea and force a person to give it substance. Think about when you were a kid and you had to write an essay about what you wanted to be when you grew up. “I want to be an astronaut” is a great statement, but writing it down in essay form forces us to think about why that is what we want to be and how we could go about getting there.
It is no fluke that people who write down their goals (with steps to get there and deadlines to meet) are more successful. Writing them down prevents them from being pushed aside by other ideas and lost forever.
Ashley Feinstein’s Forbes article, “Why You Should Be Writing Down Your Goals,” does a great job of showing how putting goals in writing makes them concrete. By having them right there in front of you and breaking them down into manageable steps, you give yourself a path to follow.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that, once written down, these ideas or goals are immutable. That’s what erasers and delete keys are for. Writing stuff helps us to decide if it fits in, where steps should go in the process, and whether it is what we really want to do.
Talking about ideas and goals is important, but it isn’t until we write them down that we make them real.


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