Write Down Your Goals – Here’s 20 years of Personal Proof

If you haven’t already taken the time to sit down, really think about what you want to accomplish this year and committed it to paper then you probably won’t hit your goals this year. In fact, chances are you will have forgotten all your great plans and wonderful ideas come June.

I was one of those too busy entrepreneurs who spent my 20’s running around like crazy, working 14-16 hour days and allowing one year to magically blend into the next. I was constantly reminding my team members the importance of writing down their goals. In my sales boost meetings I would often share the “infamous” Harvard Business School study that concluded 3% of Harvard MBA graduates earned more that the other 97% combined simply because they wrote down their goals.

Or was it Yale? If you’re interested in the validity of the research here’s a great blog by Sid Savara where he searches high and low for the validity of this study and comes up with a surprising answer. There’s no actual proof of a study done at either Harvard or Yale, in fact, Yale admits to no such study, see Sid’s blog on this topic.

What Sid did find, however, was an actual (for real) study competed by Gail Mathews a clinical psychologist at Dominican University in California. See Gail’s findings here.


Gail’s analysis revealed that the mean achievement score for Groups 2-5 (written goals group) combined
was significantly higher than Group 1 (unwritten goals)

1. The positive effect of accountability was supported: those who sent weekly
progress reports to their friend accomplished significantly more than those who
had unwritten goals, wrote their goals, formulated action commitments or sent
those action commitments to a friend.
2. There was support for the role of public commitment: those who sent their
commitments to a friend accomplished significantly more than those who wrote
action commitments or did not write their goals.
3. The positive effect of written goals was supported: Those who wrote their goals
accomplished significantly more than those who did not write their goals.


My own Proof is proof enough for me and it should be for you too. The first year I wrote my goals down was on Jan 1, 1995. That was the year I finally got my Vice-President promotion I’d been diligently working towards for the previous 7 years (the unwritten goals years). That year I paid off my first property and took control of my finances both in business and personally by paying off all outstanding debts.

The power and fulfillment achieved on  that first year of goal writing and relentless focus created a built in success habit. Every year since then I’ve sat down and written my goals and kept a copy with me at all times. I carry my goal sheet with me in my daily “to do” binder. It’s always available for me to glance at and remind me to “stay on task”,  keep mentally focused and moving towards my bigger picture.

Some years I don’t hit every single written goal because many “Big Picture Goals” take much longer than one year to achieve and of course sometimes priorities change. But I’ve witnessed an interesting personal phenomena  in that if I didn’t hit the goal I had written in year one, it gets put on the top of the next years goals and the year after that until it’s completed.

I won’t stop until I hit the goals that I’ve set for myself. And the culmination of hitting some and hopefully all of my goals year after year will add up to an accomplished life of personal freedom and “no regrets.”

Our lives will inevitably become what we focus on year in and year out; Therefore, I encourage everyone to do this one simple thing this year. Write your goals down and carry them around with you, then let me know how successful you’ve become on January 1st, 2016. GOOD DEAL?

I’m 100% confident that you’ll be glad you did!

Dominic Kotarski – Author of “The Making” and Founder of Sales Success Academy

Dominic writes, speaks, inspires, motivates and teaches on the most important aspects of your business including Sales, Coaching, Team building, People Management and Business Development. Get weekly access to his blog & training videos FREE by subscribing HERE



Join the conversation

1 Comment

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field