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Bridges Financial Services

My Goals Don't put it off - write down your goals

21 May 2018

If you write down your goals you’re likely to accomplish more than those who don’t write down their goals. That’s one of the conclusions from a 2016 study by Dr. Gail Matthews from the Dominican University*.

Dr Matthews wanted to empirically prove what many of us have heard in the past. Perhaps you heard it from a teacher, personal coach or motivational speaker – “To be successful, write down your goals!”

So if you thought it was an urban myth – think again.

What was the goals research about?

The research enlisted participants from around the world including the United States, Belgium, England, India, Australia and Japan. The participants worked in a variety of jobs including educators, healthcare professionals, lawyers, bankers, marketers and managers.

Each participant was randomly placed into one of five groups:

Group one was asked to simply think about the business-related goals they hoped to achieve and rate each goal by:

  • difficulty and importance
  • the level of skills and resources they had to accomplish the goal
  • their commitment and motivation.

All the other groups were asked to write down their goals and then rate them as per group one.

Group three was also asked to write actions for each goal.

Group four was asked to write actions and also share those actions with a friend.

Group five did all of the above plus they wrote a weekly progress report and shared it with a friend.

Types of goals

The types of goals people set covered areas such as increasing their income, enhancing performance, enhancing life balance and getting organised. For example, listing and selling a house, hiring employees or completing a strategic plan. 

What were the outcomes?

At the end of four weeks, each participant rated their progress towards achieving their goals.

Unsurprisingly, Group five achieved significantly more than all the other groups.

Group two - the people who simply wrote down their goals, achieved significantly more than Group one who didn’t write their goals. 

And, Group four – the people who wrote action items and shared their goals with a friend, achieved even more.

What does it mean?

Overall, the research showed that by simply writing down your goals you are more likely to achieve them compared to someone who doesn’t write them down. You are even more likely to achieve them if you share them with someone – as this makes you accountable to other people and encourages you to achieve them.

Set your goals and seek advice

The way a Bridges financial planner can work with you is strikingly similar. A Bridges financial planner can:

  • help you write down and record your goals by looking at your current financial situation and personal circumstances to see what opportunities you have
  • build a plan with action items and measurable steps to keep you on track
  • be there for you to share your progress and keep you accountable to achieve them.

To get started, visit our My Goals webpage.

Take the next step

To discuss your financial situation, make an appointment with a Bridges financial planner.

We have an established alliance with Bridges, to provide our customers with financial advice. Bridges has been helping Australians with financial advice for 30 years.

A Bridges financial planner will develop a plan specifically for you; one that’s tailored to your needs and circumstances to help you achieve your goals.

To make an appointment with a Bridges financial planner, call Credit Union SA on (08) 8202 7777. The initial consultation is complimentary and obligation free.

* Research study by Dr. G Matthews, Dominican University, California, 2016.

Bridges Financial Services Pty Ltd (Bridges) ABN 60 003 474 977, ASX participant, AFSL No 240837. This is general advice only and has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation and needs. Before making an investment decision based on this information, you should assess your own circumstances or consult a financial planner. Examples are illustrative only and are subject to the assumptions and qualifications disclosed. In referring members to Bridges, Credit Union SA does not accept liability or responsibility for any acts, omissions or advice provided by Bridges or its authorised representatives. Bridges is part of the IOOF group.

Bridges pays up to $1,500 for business placed with Credit Union SA members and other people referred to Bridges by us. For investments placed before 1 July 2019, we also receive a trailing commission of up to 0.20% per annum of all funds held under management in The Portfolio Service on behalf of such people. The trailing commission ceases on 30 June 2021 or prior if no funds are held in the applicable platforms.

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