Reach for Your Goals by Reaching for a Pen

Did you know you’re WAY SUPER EXTRA more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down?

I do, thanks to Tofugu’s blog post, “How to get a Japanese Scholarship”.  One of his recommendations was this:

Write your goals down: I mean it, take out a piece of paper and write it. Then, figure out 10 people that can help you get closer to that goal and contact them about it. Every day, figure out who you can talk to and what you can do to achieve it. There was a study done recently. One group of people at the same college wrote their goals down, one group came up with goals (and didn’t write them down), and the last group came up with no goals. The group that didn’t write their goals down were twice as successful (in terms of salary), and those that did write their goals down made eleven times more. The people who didn’t think about goals at all are asking for your money when you walk by them on the street. WRITE THEM.”  (Check out the whole post here).

Exhibit A

This particular part of the post really hit home with me, and I thought it made a whole lot of sense.  (I also love research!  Yay research!)  It really motivated me to solidify and write down my own goals.

Have you ever really thought about what exactly it is you want to achieve?  I realized I never really had worked out more than the big picture, I was just working towards some vague ideas I had in my head.  That all changed when I sat my butt down and really thought about what I wanted to do.  I came up with 4 goals, all achievable within the next 5 years or so.  I wrote them down on a piece of stationary and tacked them in the center of my corkboard.  (See Exhibit A.  The blurred-out goals are part of a top-secret project, which has nothing to do with Japanese and everything to do with puppies.  You’ll find out more when it’s up and running…)

Now I’m reminded of my goals every day. And because I’m reminded about them, I think about them much more.  And because of that, I take more steps towards achieving them on a daily basis.

If you’re serious about learning Japanese, I highly recommend this exercise! Heck, even if you’re  not, you should do it.  Maybe you just want to learn enough to get by when you travel.  Awesome, write it down.  You’ve probably got some non-Japanese-related goals that could really benefit from some brainstorming and a written commitment, too.

You can even start here!  Tell us in the comments: What’s YOUR personal Japanese-learning goal?


6 Responses to Reach for Your Goals by Reaching for a Pen

  1. kanjiwarrior says:

    Great blog post, I agree that writting down goals really really helps you accomplish them because it’s so easy to forget about them with all the day-to-day bs we have to deal with hehe.

    My nihon-goal is to be able to read and listen to Japanese and be able to understand it. I don’t care much about speaking at the moment because I don’t have any Japanese friends or live in Japan, so I will work on that part last. However I’m not worried about the speaking part I’m sure it will come in time.

    I have a white board on the wall over my computer and I always write down what I’m going to do tomorrow on it. Usually It’s everything like “Run 30min, do some school work, then 日本語 etc..” Then on one side I have my life goals written down “learn Japanese, finish school, etc” and then I have month goals on the other side “learn x-amount of new words, pass x-exam, etc”

    Having the goal in my face all day helps, I’ve been doing it long enough that guilt starts to set in if I’m not working to erase today’s list, but since I been at it a while I’m pretty good at getting my today stuff done… occasionally it bleeds into the next day (like tonight I’m still finishing up my Japanese study heh)

    A white board works really well because you can easily erase and revise when needed, also sometimes I put up motivational quotes, but erase them when it becomes to cluttered.

    • veganliz says:

      A whiteboard sounds like a really great idea. So does sorting your goals into time-categories.

      Thanks for sharing your ideas as well as your “nihon-goal” with us, kanjiwarrior!

  2. Milena says:

    I want to learn Japanese and French, because i am linguist and i want to live and work in Japan, same goes for France.
    I have been studying Japanese language and literature for three years now, that is my major. French studied in high school, English since i was seven ( i am still learning ). Languages are my passion, but i also want to do something that is related with management and economy.
    Big plans i have there.
    It’s true you know, when you write down your plans they seem more realistic. Few months ago i started doing some research about finishing my master in France or Japan, there are some good offers. I’ll keep researching, people say “you are young there is time”, but i think if you want something, you should work on it and get it.

    • veganliz says:

      Amazing and really interesting goals, Milena! Best wishes for attaining them! It sounds like you’re already on your way 🙂

  3. Milena says:

    Thank You 🙂

  4. I’ve tried writing my goals down.. but for nihongo it was always “comprehend it”. Long shot, I guess. Having those short term goals seem like a good idea. I think I’ll come up with one for this month. Lately, I’m just here in there with my studying. Thanks for the ideas guys! I’ve just resolved to finish studying this grammar list I have – 100+ grammar for a month! Got to plan out… (and write them down) ^_^.

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