The Importance of Written Goals

Several years ago Steve impressed upon me that writing down your goals was a necessary step to achieving them.  I argued that if I knew what I wanted to do then why did I need to write it down?

He went through a lengthy explanation which, to my ears, sounded a lot like “blah blah yada yada ding dong” but he was certain that writing down goals was a necessary step to success.  I did notice that when he wrote down his goals they tended to manifest.  I also noticed that none of my goals were manifesting. 

At this point in my life I had a young baby at home and wasn’t terribly interested in working outside the home.  But we needed a second income so I had to do something.  Steve suggested I make a list of all the things I liked doing, how much they paid, and see if I could find something I would like to do that also met my income goals.  I did this exercise, on paper, which was very enlightening.  I could see from my list that one job looked more promising than all the others, and fit my requirements best.  Web development, design, and programming.

I took his advice and wrote down my goal.  Here is exactly what I wrote.

“I want to work for one or more companies, 20 hours per week total, and earning at least $25/hour being their webmaster.” 

In other words, I didn’t want to do jobs here and there for a variety of clients.  I wanted to settle in to a part time position with one or more companies so I wouldn’t constantly have to scrounge up new clients, since my time was at a premium in those days of caring for an infant.

After I wrote down my goal I showed Steve and he said it looked good.  Nice and specific.  Now what?  Sit on the couch and wait for it to manifest?  Start knocking on doors and asking for work?

I did write to three people I knew who owned web development companies and told them I was available if they wanted to farm out some work to me.  None of them had any work for me to do.

Then one day something interesting happened.  I got an email from a woman I didn’t know.  She worked for a magazine that was developing their online presence.  Six months earlier I had seen this company’s website and wrote to them and told them their site needed some improvement, and I actually gave them a list of what I would do if I was their webmaster.  I wasn’t looking for a job at all. I was just being friendly and trying to help them out since it looked like they were struggling.  Well, as it turns out, this woman who emailed me was their webmaster and she was about to go on maternity leave and they needed someone who could take over management of the site while she was gone.  It would only be for three months but she wanted to know if I was interested.

And guess what?  The job was 20 hours a week exactly, and the pay was $25/hour exactly.  And they needed me to start right away.  I was concerned that it would only be for three months, but something told me to take the job and I’d be okay.  I loved being this magazine’s webmaster.  I was able to take them to a level they had never gotten to with their previous webmaster.  And you know what?  After three months, the first webmaster didn’t want to work anymore; she wanted to stay home with her baby.  So I was asked to continue on.  The perfect job, manifested, and it came to me totally out of the blue because of a seed of goodwill I’d sown 6 months earlier.

That experience taught me a major lesson.  I truly believe that when you write down your goals it’s like sending an order to the universe.  When you’re just thinking about it, the universe doesn’t know if you’re serious.  The act of writing it down is like casting a magick spell, and if you’re at all familiar with Wicca you probably know what I’m talking about.  There’s a committment when it’s on paper.

I worked for that magazine for a year before deciding to pursue my own goals with my own websites.  Now, every year, in January I write down my 3 or 4 major goals for the year.  Since 2002 I’ve been doing this, and every year in December I check in to see if I’ve accomplished these major goals.  So far I have, and there’s no reason to expect it won’t continue to work like this.

Do you write down your goals?  Or do you just bandy them about in your mind before you go to bed at night?  Are you waiting for someone else to decide your goals for you?

I read for a lot of people who are wanting to change their careers and don’t know what direction to head.  I highly recommend you get clear on your values, then make a list of possible careers, and rate each career on a scale of 1 to 10 for how it meets your goals (hours, income, contribution, easy vs. difficult, schooling or no schooling, etc.).  Once you’ve determined what career will suit you best, write it down.  State it, on paper.  And voila, you’ve got an intention.  Become a vibrational match for your intention and in no time you’ll achieve your goal.  It may be lurking right around the corner or it may come careening at you like a meteor, but when your goals are written down you’ll be ready for that impact.  When opportunity comes knocking it’s going to ask to see your receipt.  Will you have one?

Think of it like playing the lottery.  What if you pick all six winning numbers… in your head… but you never bought a ticket?  You can’t claim your winnings without your ticket.

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