A goal not written is merely a wish. Really???
It's often said that a goal not written is merely a wish, implying that without a formal, written commitment, we just can't / won't achieve our high ambition. Really? Is this true? Have you not achieved anything great without first writing it down? I know I have. Surely, with sufficient desire, focus, and will power, we accomplish great things - with or without a formal commitment?
There lies the problem - sufficient desire, focus and will power. Over the last years, I've been watching my weight steadily increase. With each additional pound on the scales and each extra inch around my waist, I knew that I should eat less and exercise more. I really wanted to. I had the desire. I tried. Yet I also had the desire to eat more delicious food, and to sleep more rather than going for that morning run. Just this one doughnut. I'll start exercising tomorrow.
Finally, after months of good intentions, and being 10kg overweight, I put pen to paper and wrote my list of eating and exercise goals. I announced them to friends and family and added my signature to the declaration. From then on, when tempted by the Ben & Jerry's in the fridge, or dissuaded from running by the freezing rain, I thought of my personal integrity and how it was at stake - my reputation. Formally declaring my intent really increased my resolve. Four months later I was back to my target weight, and I've been eating better and exercising regularly since. (Mostly!)
Having a clear, written goal that guided my actions each day, certainly helped keep me focused on doing the right thing and be less prone to distraction and procrastination.
The principle is true both in our personal and professional lives. Some of today's best organisations use Personal Development Plans to help employees define and publish goals that keep a focus on doing the right thing. PDPs typically include formal reviews with the employee and a mentor in which they evaluate progress and ensure things are on track.
So, must we write down our goals? It certainly helps. Whether individually or as a corporate organisation, making formal goals helps us focus on doing the right thing and be less prone to distraction and procrastination.
For information on Calibrae's approach to corporate Personal Development Plans visit TODO.