5 Reasons Why Writing Down Goals Gives You a 42% Higher Success Rate

Did you know that when writing down goals, you are 42% more likely to achieve them? That’s according to a research study with 267 participants performed by Dr. Gail Matthews at the Dominican University in California.

That’s why having a goal card is so important. When you write down your goals, you are forced to be specific and articulate them. One of my favorite ways of expressing goals is a variation of the SMART model, modified to SMRT.

  • Specific–State exactly what you want. The more specific, the better.
  • Measurable–The more specific your goal is, the more measurable it is.
  • Results–What are the end results you are looking for? This ties in with being measurable.
  • Time–State a deadline by which you plan to achieve your goal.

On your goal card, make sure you write your goal in the following form: “I am so happy and grateful now that it is [‘T’ in SMRT] and I am [‘SMR’ in ‘SMRT’].


When you specify goals, the more specific it is, the more measurable it is and the more you are able to quantify the results you seek. For example, saying you want to lose weight is too generic. What is better is, “I want to lose weight by [some date that is believable to you].”

Better yet is saying, “I want to lose 20 pounds 1 year from now.”

Of course, I prefer this, “I am so happy and grateful now that it is [1 year from now], and I weigh NN pounds.”


The more measurable goals are, the more you are able to quantify success. Saying you want to lose twenty pounds is a lot more quantifiable than simply saying you want to lose weight. You can see the results by stepping on a bathroom scale.

Your goals should also be believable to you. They should also stretch your comfort zone, scare you, and excite you, all at the same time. As you read your goal card over and over again, you will start to believe in it. That’s the other thing, keep your goal card in your pocket so that it is always with you and so that you are always reminded of your goals.


I took this out from the original SMART model and shortened it to SMRT for one simple reason: Most people set goals they already know how to achieve. After all, is that not the whole point of setting goals?

Take it a step further. Your goal should be so big it scares you and excites you at the same time, while maintaining some semblance of being achievable.


This is “relevant” in the original SMART model. I changed it to “results”. After all, why set goals if they are somehow not relevant to what you want?

Instead, look at your results. Your thinking dictates everything. It starts with a thought, which leads to your beliefs. Your beliefs lead to emotions. Emotions produce actions, and actions create results. If you want to know where your thinking is, just look at your results. If you want a different set of results, then change your thinking.


A goal is just a dream with a deadline. When you specify a deadline, it has to be believable to you. Having a deadline causes you to take action. This is why writing down goals are so important if you ever want to achieve them!

Example of Writing Down Goals

I am so happy and grateful now that it is January 31st and I am joyfully going to the gym three times a week, doing both resistance and cardio exercises in an hour.

This is a good goal because you are specific about what you want. It could have been less specific, such as “I want to lose weight.”

More specific is saying you go to the gym three times a week, doing both resistance and cardio exercises for an hour. It is definitely measurable (3 times a week, 1 hour each time). The results you want are to go to the gym in that time frequency, which indirectly translates to losing weight. The time frame is stated as January 31st.

Notice that in the goal card you also express gratitude, as if you are already in possession of the good that you desire. Acting in this manner puts your mind in a more abundant frame. Instead of focusing on lack, you start seeing what’s possible and all the opportunities around you. Feeling good causes you to start taking action and becoming more outcome independent because you realize there is an abundance of choice.

Read It Often

When you read your goal card, it is important to feel good. Act as if you are already in possession of what you want, of your goal achieved. When you do so, you will start to do something that the movie The Secret fails to mention, you take action. You will do the little things that add to big things. You start visualizing, engaging your imagination to help you “see” and do things that you may have once upon a time believed was impossible.

With more and more successes gained over time, opportunities start opening up whereas before they may have been closed to you. It gives you the confidence to go after even bigger and better goals. That is the wonderful thing about goal-setting. It’s a lot more about growing than getting.

This is why having a goal card and writing down goals are so important. It’s worked for me, and I know it will work for you, too.

How has writing down goals made a difference for you? I’d love to hear from you, so please leave your comments below.


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