How To Double Your Chances of Achieving Your Goals

A long rumored Harvard study once found that the 3% of the population which makes the effort to write down their goals makes over ten times as much as the other 97% combined. While further research has shown that this study was never actually conducted, it has spurred a number of other research tests to see how one can maximize their chances of achieving their goals.

One of these research studies was conducted by Dominican University, where participants were divided into five groups, one which simply thought about their goals, one which wrote their goals down, one which wrote their goals and formulated action steps to reach these goals, one which wrote down their goals, formulated action steps, and sent their goals and steps to a friend, and a final group which wrote down their goals, formulated action steps, sent their goals and steps to a friend, and created weekly reports on progress towards the goal.

The test was conducted over the period of a month so it was for short term goals and a total of 149 participants were part of the study.

The research findings showed that of the participants in the study who simply thought about their goal scored a 4.28 on a scale of 8 in terms of achieving their goal where 0 is no progress made and 8 is goal fully accomplished. However, those in the last group who wrote down their goals, formulated action steps, sent their goals and steps to a friend, and created weekly reports on progress towards the goal scored 7.6.

Hence, this research supported the positive effective of accountability as those who sent progress reports to friends accomplished more than those who did not. The positive effect of written goals was also supported as those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not.

So, what is the moral of the story and how does it apply to web entrepreneurs and bloggers? Well, if you want to accomplish your goals, find out what you want to do, both in the short term and long term. Once you have a list of goals, write them down and create a series of action steps that you must do reach your goals. Lastly find a family member or friend and share your goals and the steps that you will take to accomplish your goals with them. Then check in with them on a weekly basis to share the progress you have made towards reaching your goals.

This post was written by Aditya Mahesh, founder of AMBeat Wire, the ultimate social news website for web entrepreneurs and bloggers.

39 thoughts on “How To Double Your Chances of Achieving Your Goals”

  1. Re-affirmation plays a large part in our personal success. It is a huge point made in The Secret teachings.

  2. chester says:

    Lost your goals. Detail them. Instead of saying you want to get rich, describe how it’ll happen. Develop the action plan. Post it and read it often enough that it becomes engrained in your thoughts and mind.

  3. ibnu says:

    plan with action….. 2 simple words to success… 🙂

  4. Tom says:

    My experience definately concurs with the results. Whenever I write down goals I get so much done – usually more than I plan. However, if I just think about what I want to do, I usually just procrastinate a lot!

  5. Plan, action, and then measure the result. That’s great combination and become perfect when added evaluation on it.

  6. Conor Neill says:

    …and stick the list on the fridge, in your bathroom, put photos of your vision of completed goals around the house… the more you are reminded of what is important to you, the more you will spend time on what you have decided is important to you…

  7. Jeff Kee says:

    We always keep a “to-do” list on our google calendars, and check it throughout the day. It reduces missed tasks, and keeps the urgent and important things on top.

  8. Harry says:

    Keeping stats and tracking stuff always helps a lot. My monthly income was more than doubled when I started making notes, tracking sales etc.

  9. sohbet says:

    Post it and read it often enough that it becomes engrained in your thoughts and mind.

  10. I try to write goals down that I want to acheive for the day, but that is about as far as I get.

  11. Although writing down goals has always been a tool of busy people, it’s good to see actual research backing this up.

    To that end, there’s a great free and open-source note-taking tool called FreeMind at

  12. Mark says:

    Great post. It’s funny when you run across something that you have thinking about a lot lately. I plan on writing something about accountability on my new blog within the next week. I also want to put accountability to the test by announcing my goals on my blog so that I will be held accountable.

    stickK ( sounds like an interesting way to maintain accountability, although I have never tried it. Anyone ever use them?

  13. Shirley says:

    Writing down your goals and taking action on them is a great way to achieve success :).

    Great article, Aditya :).

  14. Annalise says:

    I am one of those people who loves to see “big picture” but gets frustrated when it doesn’t happen fast enough. I’ve found the happy medium to set goals by month, rather than year.

    By breaking my yearly goal into monthly chunks, it feels more attainable and keeps me on track. And often, the monthly goal is realistic enough that the sense of achievement keeps me motivated to keep going.

  15. Jack says:

    Just got my whiteboard for my desk, will definitely put it to use! Thanks for sharing.

  16. mmo says:

    Isint it common sense that if you do more, you will be more close 🙂

    1. ibnu says:

      sometime it is easier said than done dude… no offense .. i had try it myself…. it take time and practice…when it become habit… it’s easy…:-)

  17. Fique says:

    If you have a list of your goal with action listed to reach the goal but FAILED. What will you do?..Do you stop? and updating new action step that already you have it? Or delete the step and add the new one? What if you are still not even 1 inches closer to your goals or even the last goal on the list?….

  18. Writing down your goals is nearly a slam dunk method for completing them. Don’t be afraid of writing down the big ones either.

  19. DrBill says:

    A variant of that study, done at Cal Poly, had an interesting result as well. It found that people who talked to their friends (or parents) about such a goal early and often were less likely to accomplish it than those who wrote it down and posted it where they would see it often.

    The thinking is that they dissipated more time and energy talking about the goal, and less actually working toward it.


    1. ibnu says:

      Is it true…… my mentor always said, by sharing your taught , goal with other people…. you tend to have an ‘inner force’ that tend to push you to finish the task.. to avoid humiliation…he said… 🙂

      maybe different people deal with it in different way….

  20. Kaja says:

    Interesting tip. I definitely ‘think’ about my plans more than writing them down and formulating a plan. I think I’ll give this a try, couldn’t hurt.

    1. ibnu says:

      me two….:-) but i don’t know how long i can stay with that…haha… it had become a habit….

  21. Nick says:

    Great post, John. Writing down your goals keeps always the important things on top.

  22. This is such great advice John.. the problem is that i can’t find anyone like minded. Everyone wants to make money, but no one wants to put the effort into making money. The goals of a blogger aren’t tangible in the biginning so no one really understands. I am sure in a year from now I will most likely have a ton of people who would like for me to share my goals with them. I have no problem with that. I hope to be the same perso no matter what my status is.

  23. Custom Essay says:

    We must write goals which we want to achieve and in which time duration. You wrote correctly that, it is better to generate report on weekly basis. It’s how we will come to know, are we progressing with the time.

  24. Brainstorming and doing research always goes so far, its good to know there’s fact behind this data

  25. Sounds like it’s time for me to go formalize my new year’s resolutions!

  26. I’ve ever heard the importance of writing down your goals. But still never try it first hand. Perhaps, I should write my goals from now on and see the result

  27. Support from family is a great idea. Like following through with a new year resolution.

  28. Re-affirmattion is key here. This comes spontaneously when you’re excited about something, but for more mundane things it needs to be forced on the animal. Hahahah.

  29. i think after reading this post i should start thinking about my goal

    i have no goal yet 🙁

  30. “While further research has shown that this study was never actually conducted…” and the other study run for only one month? Bit thin, don’t you think, the evidence. But I agree, knowing where you want to go, really helps to find the way to this place 😉 SY

  31. S Ahsan says:

    Good Post Mahesh, good luck with 2010!

  32. Bidet says:

    This is a good post, its always good to visualize your goals and being able to see them written down will allow you to always stay focused and never forget about your goals.

  33. Looks like its time I start to write down my goals.

  34. The mind is a powerful thing, as you have outlined here John.

    I think I might go purchase a small notepad this evening and try this out. I do make progress on my goals, but I certainly don’t put 100% into each one. Maybe this well help. 🙂

  35. Adam says:

    Is writing my goals and hang on the wall is he best solution? Or its enough to write the goal on he paper?

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