Mini habits are simple actions that you can habituate, which take 10 minutes or less to complete, and which will have a noticeably positive impact in your life.
Today’s mini habit is writing and rewriting your goals everyday.
Brian Tracy, millionaire, public speaker, and author of numerous self-development books, is a big advocate of this habit, going so far as saying that: “this exercise of writing and rewriting your goals everyday is one of the most powerful you will ever learn.”
All you’ll need to do is choose upwards of 10 major goals which you want to reach this year and rewrite those goals (as statements) on paper each day in the order of priority.
Difference between goals and statements:
Goal: Earn $10,000 each month by the end of the year. Statement: I earn $10,000 each month.
Complete this exercise in the morning as part of your morning routine, or write your statements in the evening before going to bed.
Also, you’ll need to avoid typing and stick to handwriting your statements. Typing might make it faster but writing will engage more of your brain. You need to really think about the statements you’re writing, you need to feel what it would be like to have already accomplished them, and when you type, you’re less likely to do that.
The reason this exercise is so beneficial, is because each time you rewrite your goal statements and feel what if would feel like to have accomplished each one of them, you are slowly programming your subconscious mind through repetition, you’re letting it know exactly what it is you want in life. Furthermore, rewriting your goals each day keeps you on track and helps your mind focus on where you need to be, you’ll be more conscious and aware of what you spend your time on throughout the day.
How to Structure Your Goal Statements
Here are a few guidelines to follow when you are converting your goals into statements. Use these to get the most out of this exercise.
- Start each statement with “I.”
Beginning your statements with “I” makes each one feel more personal, giving them greater mental impact. For example, try saying “Exercise for 30 minutes every day,” then say “I exercise for 30 minutes every day.” Do you feel the difference?
Incorrect: Exercise for 30 minutes every day. Correct: I exercise for 30 minutes every day.
- Write in the present tense, as if you’ve already achieved it.
Writing your statements in the present tense will help evoke the emotions associated with achieving your goal, you can feel exactly what it would be like once you’ve reached your desired end. The reason why that’s important is because using your emotions is a powerful way to program your subconscious mind, which doesn’t think in words and phrases, but in symbols and emotions.
Incorrect: I will earn $5,000 every week. Correct: I earn $5,000 every week.
- Don’t include negation in your statements.
The reason for omitting it in your statements is because the subconscious mind only sees that which you’re focusing on, and when you use negation you are focusing on that which you don’t want. For example, when you say “I am not fat,” you think about being overweight. On the other hand, when you say “I am my ideal body weight of 160lbs,” you envision yourself in that state.
Incorrect: I am not fat. Correct: I am my ideal body weight of 160lbs.
- Statements should be as specific as possible.
Specific is always better than vague. This is for the goal oriented mind and subconscious to have a clear target, to know exactly what it is you want, what exactly you are aiming for.
Incorrect: I live in a new house. Correct: I live in a new 3 story, 12 bathroom, 1 bedroom house, in a nice and quiet 2 house neighborhood.
- Take time to really think about each statement that you write instead of quickly writing everything down and moving on with your day.
- Write down your goals without referring to what you wrote down the previous day so that you have to give it some thought and reflection. After a certain number of days doing this (10-30), you won’t need much reflection because your goals will have become much more defined in your mind than they were previously, before starting this exercise.
- Brain Tracy recommends adding deadlines to the end of statements, for example, “I earn $5,000 each week by January 1st 2050.” (I prefer to omit this part in my statements. I think it’s something that should be a part of your actual list of goals, instead of these goal statements. But you should do whatever you feel more affinity with.)
- You can take this exercise a step further and not only write out your goals for the year, but statements that encompass what your ideal self and your ideal life would look like (ex: “I have supreme confidence,” “I am always comfortable around others,” “I have great friends who share similar interests as me”).
- Buy a cheap notepad, and devote it fully to this exercise, each day writing on a new page.
- Rewriting your goals down everyday will help you achieve them.
- When writing your statements, start with “I,” use present tense, avoid negation, and be specific.
- Take a few moments to feel what it would be like to have already achieved each of your goals.
- Handwriting is more effective than typing for this exercise.
- Choose up to 10 of your most important goals for this year.
- Convert those goals into statements.
- Each morning and/or evening, rewrite your goal statements on paper, in the order of priority.
- Tracy, Brian. “The Golden Hour (Continued).” Brian Tracy’s Self Improvement & Professional Development Blog, 9 Jan. 2018, www.briantracy.com/blog/general/the-golden-hour-2/.
- Tracy, Brian. Goals! How to Get Everything You Want – Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible. Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. 2010.
- Tracy, Brian. (2012, December 12). “Activate Your Subconscious Mind and Set Goals.”. Online video clip. Retrieved from youtube.com/watch?v=V2l4L1Hn2qg.
- Mueller, Pam A., and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. “The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard.” Psychological Science, vol. 25, no. 6, 2014, pp. 1159–1168., doi:10.1177/0956797614524581.