What is one easy thing you can do to dramatically increase your chances of reaching your goal? And what if it only costs $1.99? Come on, you’ve taken classes, hired coaches, researched goal setting and you still can’t guess what it is? You actually can do this one thing right now and see results pretty quickly too. Still don’t know?
Okay, here’s the golden ticket to moving forward on reaching your goals — Sticky Notes! Yes, you have probably used sticky notes before, but here’s a sure fire way to use them to help you to go from goal setter to goal getter.
To achieve your goals, and to actually even make sure you work on your goals, you need to write them down. It’s ideal to put the details, due dates, task breakouts and big goals in writing for many reasons:
1) Writing down your goals helps create a vision in your mind of what you want in your future. The image you develop in your brain can be a key to gaining ground on the steps you need to take.
2) You can visually see the goal and that tells you how important it is. You will know when you look at your written goals that you are focusing on something that is important to you. It’s a reminder of what matters to you. Because you are writing it down, and seeing it, you’ll be able to put the energy and effort into getting the key action steps accomplished.
3) When we see something clearly, it creates change in how we act as we gain clarity and direction. Thoughts can flit in and out of your brain, but the written word holds more power and is more concrete. In addition, the act of having to write your goals down and put them into words helps you decide what you want and what it will take to get it.
4) Neuroscience proves that writing down your goals is much more effective in actually achieving them. One reason is external storage, this means that because you’re storing the information contained in your goal in a location (e.g. a piece of paper), it will be very easy to access and review at any time. You will remember something much better if you’re staring at a visual cue (aka reminder) every single day.
5) Neuroscience also points to encoding as a positive result of writing down your goals. Encoding is the biological process by which the things we perceive travel to our brain’s hippocampus to be analyzed. From there, decisions are made about what gets stored in our long-term memory and, in turn, what gets discarded. Writing something down enhances the encoding process, so when you write it down it has a much greater chance of being remembered.
6) Writing your goals down also means there’s no wiggle room. Once your goal is written down, you can’t ignore it. Through the aspect of writing it down you are telling yourself that it is important, that you’re aware of it, and that your goal isn’t just living inside your head anymore!
So where do the sticky notes come in? You’re certainly not going to be able to write your detailed goal down on small piece of paper. Well I believe that also being able to narrow down your focus and put it front and center will catapult your goal getting ability. I encourage you to break down your larger than life goals into manageable pieces so they don’t seem as daunting and so that you will be more apt to dig and get started. What should you write on your sticky notes?
1) Choosing one action item is ideal
2) Separate your goals into one focus per week or per day
3) No more than 3 bullet points at the most. If you do want to break down the action item on your sticky note, use no more than 3 smaller steps
4) Change your sticky notes as needed in both color and content so you don’t too used to seeing it. It can happen that once something is around and visible all the time, you may almost not recognize it after a while. It can become just part of the background. That’s why it’s crucial to change it up when that starts to happen.
Location, location, location. Where should you put your sticky notes to ensure the greatest effectiveness? Think about where you are every day and what would be the most visible and effective spot to plant your sticky note. If you place it someplace out of the way that you only occasionally look at, you are decreasing the effectiveness of this system. My suggestions for sticky note placement are:
1) Your bathroom mirror — I suggest this technique to my clients
2) Your computer screen — You probably are looking at that 24/7
3) Your refrigerator — another spot you can’t overlook
Try this system out! What have you got to lose? I’ll try anything once that i think might help me move forward and cross items off my list. Wouldn’t it be incredible if sticky notes were the only thing standing between you and starting to achieve your goals?