Forgotten Goals

Have you ever forgotten goals you wrote down?
Power of the Pen
I recently completed an annual chore of cleaning out my paper files. This year I went deeper into a personal career folder instead of taking a cursory look as I had done in the past. I was somewhat surprised when I found a small white envelope with a handful of index cards inside. I knew immediately what the cards were, even though I hadn’t seen them in a several years. How could I have forgotten them… or did I really?

The white envelope contained 33 cards with a goal written in the middle of each card and a priority of A, B, C, or D in the upper left corner. In the lower left corner was the life area(s) that would be impacted when I reached the goal. For me the life areas included: Fun, Wealth, Spiritual, Health, Relationship, and Education.

As I flipped through the cards I realized the goals weren’t very well defined. They were a far cry from the SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic, and Time Bound) that I learned while in the corporate world and still believe in using. That’s okay though. It really wasn’t the point of the exercise, even though I found some components of the SMART goals incorporated into those rough goals.

It appears my sub-conscious, God, the Universe, or all of the above were at work as the years passed without my conscious recognition of the goals I had written. It was satisfying to flip through the cards and see just how many of the goals had been achieved: all the A goals except one; most of the B goals; a lot of the C goals; and one of the D goals. The one A goal that hadn’t yet been achieved was a goal I’d had for a long time – taking my dream trip to Africa.I smiled in thinking how I had just booked that trip the prior month and when it’s over all of my A goals will be achieved.

I was reminded of a similar experience when I started my corporate IT career and wrote brief 5, 10 and 15 years goals on a note pad. Over time this note pad got buried in a desk drawer and didn’t surface until a few years after leaving my 19 year corporate career. To my surprise I had achieved every goal in the notebook, sometimes sooner than intended, and sometimes with greater income than I had planned.

Both of these experiences are a great reminder of the power of the pen. Even when a goal isn’t written perfectly, there’s magic in writing down what you want.

What do you want to accomplish? Are you carrying it around only in your head? I encourage you to not wait. Get out a pad of paper and start making your list within the next 24 hours.

Comments are closed.