Just writing out a goal and looking at it regularly helps you stay on track. In fact, people who vividly describe their goals are nearly 50% more likely to reach their goal.
Writing things down makes them real. You’ve committed it to paper. You can fold and carry that paper with you and read what you’ve written. Or, you create a memo in your smartphone and easily read what you’ve written there. You will remember something much better if you are able to read it again and again. You can commit things to memory easier.
You also encode the things you’ve written into your brain better when you write them down. Encoding is the process of storing information in your brain so it’s available. Encoding messages for you to remember and use is a very important part of our mental processing. By writing down a goal and encoding it you can remember it and act on it.
For example, if you want to lose weight, write down what you eat. Compare it to a healthy list of daily food intake. How do you compare? If you don’t write down what you eat you will simply forget what you ate.
Try to remember everything you ate just yesterday. It’s a challenge. By writing down what you eat every day you can keep track of your food intake. You can compare it and learn how many calories your eating and how much fat, protein and carbohydrate you are eating.
There’s a tendency to understate the amount of food we eat. Or we don’t want to remember the junk food we ate because we know its not good for us. We tend to skew our memories to suit our needs. By writing down the food and amounts you’ve eaten, you’re creating a factual record that is reliable. Your memory or your impressions of your eating aren’t reliable.
Write down your weight goal. “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next 3 months and keep it off.” Read and reread your goal often. Associate your goal with good behaviors that contribute to reaching your goal. Next, write down what you eat for a week. Track your calories, protein, fat and carbohydrate. You may be surprised at what you’re eating. Compare what you’ve written to what you need to eat to lose ten pounds. What you are left with are real choices about how you’re going to eat. If your listed food is too high in fat, you need to make different choices. Here’s where the real work is done. Substitute better foods.
Writing down what you eat daily creates a record of your eating. You can go back and refer to your previous day or week. You can see your progress, or lack of progress, because you have a record. The more you work at the skill of writing things down the better the process becomes. You encode the positive goals and affirmations into your brain and will yourself to get the results you want.