top of page

The Hidden Reason You Need to Write Down Your 2016 Goals

A common ritual for many people this time of year is to take some time to plan for the New Year.We often take a look at where we are and where we want to be. The gap between the two is generally our “plan” for the New Year. Nothing complicated at all.

The complication with this “plan” often comes in the execution. While many people keep the plan in their head, some have taken the step to write it down. Research has shown us that writing things down increases the likelihood of us following through with the appropriate actions. My experience has shown me there is some truth to the research.

However, there is a hidden power in writing things down that goes beyond just getting something out of your head and into some form (paper or computer). American novelist Joan Didion once said, “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” Those words describe the hidden power in writing.

Whether I’m working on a book or writing for this blog, I start with an idea. In fact, I usually have a destination in mind, and the process of writing gets me to the destination. But over the past few years, I’ve found the act of actually writing opens my mind to things I hadn’t considered before. The same is true for writing down our goals for the New Year.

Each of us can learn a lot about where we are by taking the time to write. Stop what you’re doing at some point this week and write about what you hope 2016 will hold for you. When you think you’re done, keep writing. I have found that it’s when you get past what you think you know that you begin to find out what you’re thinking, what you’re looking at, what you see, and what it means. What you want and what you fear.

Getting your plans for 2016 out of your head and onto paper (or computer) will help you clarify where you should be spending your resources (time, talent, and money). If you share it with others, you will increase the likelihood of following through with your plans by having someone hold you accountable. But the main reason you need to document your goals is you just may find the New Year will have much more in store for you when you get past what you think 2016 should bring.

Clint Swindall

© 2015 Clint Swindall — Clint is the president & CEO of Verbalocity, Inc., a personal development company with a focus on leadership enhancement. For information about how he can enhance employee engagement in your organization, please visit, or contact him directly

Featured Posts
Recent Posts