Monday, April 30, 2012

Got Goals?

Lately I have found myself feeling very challenged by competing multiple goal deadlines. While not everyone finds goal-setting helpful, check out these ideas and see if they work for you!

Your brain works like a computer. What you program into your “computer” is what you think about.

Through a process called reticular activating system, you are drawn to those things you are most conscious of. This means your brain filters out things you are not focused on. By the same token, your brain attracts thoughts you are focused on. By writing down your goals, you are keeping them in the forefront of your thoughts. This focus makes you more apt to draw to you, what you want.

Let’s say for example that you are working on a project, a new chapter in your novel or a short story and are feeling a little stuck. You’ve just written down your goal of completing this project by a certain date. You wander through a bookstore and suddenly it seems ideas are everywhere! You have fired up your reticular activating system, seemingly magnetizing ideas to you.

You may be familiar with the weight loss studies that prove writing down what you eat helps you lose weight faster than if you recorded nothing. Why is this so?

When you write down everything you eat you are helping yourself to stay focused. If you are honestly logging or tracking in writing everything you eat, you are much more likely to get to your weight goal.

Let’s say you want to lose five pounds by the beginning of summer. You pass a bakery and see an incredibly delicious looking brownie, just staring at you from the bakery window. You say to yourself, “Oh, just one can’t hurt.” Then you remember your promise to yourself to write down everything you eat. You pause for a moment, knowing you don’t want to have to look at your log and see that brownie written down tomorrow morning.

Or, you notice you are feeling a little down about how slowly your weight loss has been going. But then you decide to check your daily food log and the weight log you dutifully maintain weekly. You see how you close you are getting to your weight goal and get inspired to keep going!


Sometimes a goal deadline is a long way off and you are not feeling particularly motivated to make progress. You have some ideas floating around in your head, but you tell yourself it’s “too early,” to bother with them.

Stop! Learn the technique of making notes as you go. Create what is known as a grass catcher---a file (computer or hard copy or both), notebook or even a drawer to begin collecting ideas and data.

This method helps to prime the pump for later. When you actually sit down to work on your goal or project, you already have a head start.

For example, I keep photo and letter albums for my granddaughter, sending her pages as I complete them. Sometimes it’s difficult to look at a blank page and begin when I actually sit down to work on this project. But by keeping notes on ideas, photos I especially like and ideas for stories I want to share with her, sitting down and creating is a lot more inviting with a few ideas and pictures already collected.

Will writing down your goals, tracking your progress and collecting and writing down ideas as they come to you help you accomplish your goals?

Try it and find out for yourself!

Take good care, 


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