Throughout the last 4 years, my interest in personal development had peaked — I’d consistently read articles, books, inspirational stories, you name it. I’d procrastinate my college homework by reading more articles on getting things done (ironic, right?) and would look for the latest websites that had information that I liked.
But nothing ever got done. I’d continue to read more and do less because it feels good to read these articles. The act of reading them makes it seem like I learned something, even if I didn’t apply it to my life. I was so good at theory that I was able to help other people, but actually improving my own life with these concepts was nonexistent.
Since then, I’ve analyzed my vicious circle and found a way on how to be productive with productivity. If you haven’t read the article, I highly recommend reading that if you are just starting to get into personal development and making lasting change to your life.
But even when I followed my own system and found a single item I wanted to improve (for instance, cold showers), I still had trouble making it a habit. I would remember my goal one day of the week, do it, and then it would taper off during the week until I remembered about it again. This cycle went on and on with each goal I had until I remembered something about my past:
Every goal that I’ve made for myself that actually stuck was something that I’d written down and tracked. I didn’t only think of a plan, but I wrote it down. Instead of it being an idea in my head, it became a concrete one. It became words on paper…a commitment. This applied to everything that I’ve changed.
I look back and see my plan for working out, developing my body language skills, and for creating a morning routine. The things that I didn’t write down were things that didn’t stick — it’s amazing.
So if there’s one thing to take away from this post, it’s that if you want to succeed at a goal, you have to write it down. Put it somewhere where you can see it everyday.
I personally keep a notebook next to my bed that I review every night before I sleep — you could do this or write them on a piece of paper and tape it to the door. It doesn’t matter how, it just matters that you do it.
The Power of Daily Affirmations
If you’re like me, then you see a million things that you could improve on: social skills, not procrastinating, exercise, or even something simple like smiling more. I know that you’re eager to get started and to make lasting change in your life, but before you get started on your next goal, I want you to write down one thing: your personal affirmation. It’s a saying, phrase, or paragraph that represents your goals and values in life. It’s something that you read every day and abide to every day, regardless of what your daily goals are. It’s your mantra, your credo if you will. Let me give you some examples:
For years, I have been striving for taking more action against the things that I want to improve instead of complaining about them. So my mantra includes my favorite quotes on getting stuff done and taking action, since this is my biggest focus right now. In fact, in addition to writing it down, I created a wallpaper for myself so that it’s a reminder to me every time I go on the computer (which is a lot). It even includes the best advice I’ve gotten from a CEO.
I also recently just ordered another affirmation poster for my room, from Expert Enough, which serves as a reminder that life is an experiment:
You’ve probably seen these before, but I challenge you to make your own. Use your own values and quotes that resonate with you. You can include phrases that have stuck with you from friends, family, famous people, whatever. And don’t just type it on the computer and print it. Write it down on a piece of paper and hang it up. There’s something special about taking the time to write it with a pen or pencil, perhaps because it takes longer or because you are creating every stroke of the word. Who knows, but try it — it works!
Bonus points if you get up in the morning and write it down before you start your day. My journals are filled with these in random places because I want to write it down whenever I can, and by doing that, it helps me go about taking action towards my goals with some perspective and a positive mindset.
By creating a personal affirmation, you are creating a framework and mindset for success. I miraculously began to see improvement in myself tenfold when I started writing down my affirmation every day, and I encourage you to try it out. Not only that, but writing down your goals will solidify them and will increase your chances of completing them.
If you’re still reading this article, take out a piece of paper and write down: “I will write down my goals from here on out.” That’ll get you started and committed to making lasting, sustainable change in your life.
So what are you waiting for? Go create your own affirmation and write down your goals — you won’t regret it.
What goals are you currently working on? Do you currently have an affirmation that you write or read every day? Share in the comments!