Goal Setting and the Importance of Being Earnest

goal setting

Everyone has a goal in life. Few people are truly satisfied with their current station in life and are constantly trying to improve their situation. This is certainly an admirable attempt, but, by itself, is not enough. Goal setting is an art that one must learn to master.

A loosely defined goal is rarely accomplished. If you are serious about your objective, you cannot blindly set down a path – you are going to have to set goals.

One of the most common mistakes made with setting goals is that the ambition is never written down. Most people form a basic idea of their goal and then keep it in their own minds. This, however, is not a good way to ensure that you will accomplish your aim.

Instead, you should get into the habit of writing down your ambitions. While it may seem simplistic or to have little correlation with achievement, jotting down your aims actually helps.

Importance of Goal Setting

goal setting

Goal setting helps in paving the way

Goal setting is a skill that you must master as your success in life largely depends on your ability to set and achieve goals.

Most ideas never see the light because of all the distractions around. Writing your goal is step one towards attaining them.

Here’s how writing them down might accelerate your progress:

Defining What You Want

Unless you write your goals you will never be able to define them.

Only once you have put pen to paper will you understand the complexities involving your goal. Most commonly, people find that their original aims are too broadly defined. This means that you are going to have to narrow your goal down.

Also, I have experienced it to be beneficial when you focus only on few goals at a time. Having more on your table is a recipe for losing focus, and accomplishing very little.

Motivating Factor

Thoughts are fleeting and will not always provide you with the motivation that you need.

As you jot down your aims in life, you will have something to look at each day. Every time you read those words that you have written, you will be able to experience the same feeling of inspiration.

This, in turn, is going to encourage you to take the necessary action. You will be bolstered each day to take the crucial steps towards your ultimate goal.


Another reason why keeping a mental track of your goals is not enough is due to distractions.

People are easily tempted away from their original plan by a variety of disruptions. These disruptions are quite small but they can take the form of life-altering events.

It can be very easy to forget about your goal and to get lost in the distractions of life. Having undeniable proof of your plans (in writing), nonetheless, can help you stay on track.

Understanding Progress

Writing down your goals is essentially like writing down a checklist for yourself.

It has a list of all the things that you need to accomplish before you can achieve your final aim.

This is why when you are able to physically tick off a box or a point, you will feel exhilarated. This will give you the hope and the faith to know that you will be able to endure.

It Works – If you are planning on taking up this trend, you should know that you are following in mighty footsteps. There are numerous intelligent and famous people who were known for jotting their goals and thoughts down at a moment’s notice.

Do you really need more proof that taking down notes actually works? There was a study conducted with the graduate students of Harvard’s MBA Program. It was found that students who wrote down their goals were earning ten times more than the rest of their classmates.

Here’s what I do – Goal Setting with Whiteboard

I keep a whiteboard in my living room. And I write down my goals/tasks as well as what I need to do to accomplish them.

  • I use it to set an outline for: Today, Tomorrow and the Week.
  • I also add any other information that comes to mind related to my objectives.

I don’t keep a journal or a notebook. Apparently, it’s not for everyone. It’s certainly not my style. I tried keeping one, but I find technology to be pocket-friendly.

But what about the big goals? My big goals are deep in my heart. I live them. I breathe them. And I take small steps that get me closer to them.

How I Stick to my Goals

I have accumulated too many things on my plate because of which I started losing track of things. So, I got the whiteboard. I try to focus on smaller tasks at hand which – not only let me accomplish more but also allow me to focus my behavior day after day. Your behavior leads you to your goals

I see the whiteboard before I go to bed and I see it first thing in the morning.

I am never worried about the final outcome instead I feel good about what I accomplish each day, and I know I am getting closer to my goals!

Small things leads to big achievements.

Whiteboards are great they allow you to erase and replace as you go. I think everyone should own one. It will prompt you to work around necessities that are unavoidable, leave reminders, notes and to-do things as chunks of time are available.

What I noticed most about writing down my aims is how it has changed my mindset. Just by writing about something, new ideas float in. 

Instead of “I will” or “I might” I see a to-do list. I see a deadline which if I miss will only delay my goals.

Buy whiteboard on Amazon

The Importance of Being Earnest

goal setting

Oscar Wilde had a point when he wrote “The Importance of Being Earnest”. It is not only imperative that you should be honest with others but also true to yourself. While it can seem odd, most people find it quite difficult to be truthful.

I focus on my behavior every day, my behavior is under my control. My consistency is under my control. And I control whether I deliver things I said I am going to do.

I control how I respond to what I write. I get to practice my integrity. Integrity is being honest with yourself. Your integrity helps you stick to what matters – your goals.



Goal setting will induce remarkable influence on your life. The most important way, how writing your goals can impact your life is – it will trigger/motivate/encourage you to be true. True to your goals. True to those important to you. True to your beliefs. True to your wants. True to your capabilities. True to yourself!

In order to achieve something, you have to be true to yourself and your goals.

You must always be honest with yourself. As each decision you make will drive the course of your life. If you have any kind of confusion or doubt about anything…anything  just write it down. For the answer write either YES or NO.

Here’s an irony: For most people, if they start writing their goals, they’d realize that their goals differ from their verbal goals.

  • Do you really want to be in the relationship you are? Would you really like to spend rest of your life with this person?
  • Do you really want to do the job you are doing? Is it something you love doing? Can you live where you are for the rest of your life?

With each YES you have a goal. With each NO you have an even bigger goal.

My objective seems a lot more achievable as I write them down. Another thing that I have discovered is that I become more competitive with myself.

I feel when you write something down and see it over and over it prompts you to be true to yourself. When you hold yourself accountable you are left with no other choice except to practice your integrity (with yourself).

In addition to causing a great deal of turmoil within yourself, being dishonest with yourself will also make it difficult for you to reach your goal.

Here is why you should consider being more candid with yourself:

  • Be Self-aware – You cannot be self-aware if you are hiding your true nature from yourself. It will significantly derail your personal development. You need to be conscious about your motivations and how you may react from one moment to the next. As you get aware of your own thought processes, and behaviors can you possibly expect to control external forces.
  • Acknowledging Your Wants – Possibly most importantly, being earnest is vital because it will help you to discover your true goal. You need to know that you are following your own path and not just doing what someone else wants. By being honest with yourself, you will be able to find out what you truly desire.
  • Knowing Your Beliefs – Another reason why being candid is a good idea is because it will help you discover your limits. For instance, really think about your personal principles and morals. Now consider the goal that you have set and the path leading up to it. At any point, is there a conflict between what you believe and what you must do? If so, you will not be able to reach your goal.

What more? You know you’re an achiever when you knock off your goals one after another. One simple act of writing your goals and daily tasks and seeing it in front of you can cause so much impact on your actions. Actions produce results. And results put momentum on your side.

The point of this article is to show that having a goal is not merely enough. You must learn to embody your objectives properly, particularly by writing them down. 

You need to have solid proof of what you want to achieve, thus fueling you to do so. Also, you need to be authentic especially to yourself. Otherwise, setting goals and endeavoring to reach them will have little meaning. Master these techniques and you will be one step closer to getting what you want.

Good luck and have a nice day,


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