Write your goals, ideas, and next steps on paper to help make them become a reality!
Research shows that people who write down, revise and go after their goals on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and/or long-term basis are much more successful at achieving their goals. For example, a Harvard University study found that the 3% of students who wrote down their goals ended up earning ten times more in ten years time than those students who did not.
The reality is that most of us have alot going on – on the inside and the outside. Also, life includes change, making it harder to track and act on the things that are on our minds. Getting clear about our priorities, writing them down, making them visible, and linking the steps we have identified to specific points in time is a huge step towards achieving our goals.
What if your goals change over time? Presumeably, that’s because you have discovered and are now aiming for better goals. That’s great!! It’s also human. Writing down your goals (and the steps to achieve them), even if they change, will very likely help you grow and move forward faster and more easily than you would have otherwise.
The Power of Noticing What You Don’t Know
It’s important to notice your passions, interests, and abilities. It’s also important to notice what you don’t know- that includes things you are curious about as well as skills and knowledge gaps. Questions point you towards pieces of the puzzle that you need in order to make an informed and supportive career decision. When questions pop up, “capture them”; write them down, along with details about how when you are going to get questions answered. There are so many ways to find the information we need: doing research online, talking to people we know, reaching out to professionals in the community, getting work experience (paid or unpaid), etc. In most cases, it is worth gathering information from many different sources and angles to get as much perspective as possible.
Goal Setting & Action Step Planning
Why bother writing down your goals:
- 5 Reasons Why Writing Down Your Goals Will Lead to Success (article)
- Achieve More by Setting Smart Goals (video)
- Writing by Hand Leads to Success in Achieving Goals (video)
- Reaching Goals, One Step at a Time (video)
- The Power of Writing Down Your Goals and Dreams (article)
Templates and worksheets:
- Simple Planning Template
- Education and Career Plan Template (DESE)
- MyMnCareer Plan Notebook (MyMN)SMART Goal Setting Sheet
This resource was created by the state of Minnesota. Therefore, you might want to use MassCIS or MEFA Pathways to conduct research for the worksheets included in this career planning tool.
This online career and education exploration tool includes extensive occupation information, a career plan, career assessments, a resume creator, and more.
Not sure what career(s) you are interested in?
The Career Exploration page will help you get perspective about what stage of the process you are in. In particular, check out the Career & College Readiness Checklists by Grade for ideas on steps you can add to your career plan to help you get clear about your career direction.