You’re a man of many goals and aspirations, and a little extra help getting there couldn’t hurt.
You’ve probably heard that writing down your goals can help you achieve them, and you probably heard that in one of those forwards from grandma. However, according to a study in Palgrave Communications, that writing down your goals trick actually works—although it’s a touch more complicated than grandma made it sound.
Researchers had 200 undergraduates at the University of Toronto take a writing class. Students had to combine expressive writing with goal-setting. Basically, they had to write about their past—key moments, pivotal decisions, mistakes, lessons learnt, and all the stuff you’d expect out of self-reflection—and then write about future goals and strategies to get to those goals.
Students who did the writing assignments completed more credits and were more likely to stay in school than the control group, who didn’t do any writing assignments.
This experiment taps into a major movement in education—cultivating grit. Grit is about having a growth mindset; that is, the idea that your strengths, weaknesses, and personality traits aren’t fixed, but they can be improved. Want to start improving? Well, start writing down your goals.