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Remarkable things happen when you commit something to writing. How this works is beyond me. That this works – especially with goals –  is abundantly clear.

Lou Holtz is best known for coaching the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team.

Coach Holtz has been a longtime inspiration for me. Lou’s a perfect example of a goal setter.

In 1966 he was an out-of-work assistant football coach. Beth, his wife was about to have their third child. In a gesture of confidence, she bought him the classic book, The Magic of Thinking Big, by David Schwarz.

Holtz devoured the book, followed the instructions, and committed his goals to paper. One hundred and seven of them.

His list included having dinner at the White House, appearing on The Tonight Show, meeting the pope, becoming head coach of the Notre Dame football team, winning a college football championship, being coach of the year, landing on an aircraft carrier, jumping out of an airplane and making a hole in one.

By his own count Holtz has achieved 102 of his original 107 goals (including TWO holes in one).

Five Reasons To Commit Your Goals To Writing

1. A written goal forces you to clarify what you want.

2. Written goals motivate you to take action.

Writing your goals down is only the beginning. You must execute on your goals. You have to take action. I have found that writing down my goals and reviewing them regularly provokes me to take the next most important action.

3. Written goals provide a filter for other opportunities.

The more successful you become, the more you will be deluged with opportunities. In fact, these new opportunities can quickly become distractions that pull you off course. The only antidote I know of is to maintain a list of written goals by which to evaluate these new opportunities.

4. Written goals help you overcome resistance.

Every meaningful intention encounters resistance. From the moment you set a goal, you will begin to feel it. But if you focus on the resistance, it will only get stronger. The only way I have found for overcoming this is to focus on the goal. Steven Pressfield’s book Do the Work is must reading on this topic.

5. Written goals enable you to see—and celebrate—your progress.

Life is hard when you aren’t seeing progress. You feel like you are going nowhere. But written goals are like mile markers on a highway. They enable you to see how far you have come and how far you need to go. They also provide an opportunity for celebration when you attain them. Writing your goals down doesn’t take that long. Don’t over-think the process. Just get something on paper and refine it as you go.

I know you will find that the benefits are well worth the effort.

Got goals?

Got them down on paper? Get started now and make them happen. Please leave a comment below.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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