When it comes to changing your life, what’s the single most important thing you can do?

Posted on December 31st, by Dr Rob Yeung . 1 Comment

Did you know that people who write down their goals are generally twice as likely to achieve them as people who simply have good intentions?

Every year, millions of people try to change their lives. Many want to lose weight or get fitter. Some want to improve their relationships. Others want to learn new skills, get promoted or change jobs. Whatever you might be hoping to change or improve in your life, it might be a good idea to start writing down exactly what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it.

As proof, consider in one study that people who wrote down commitments about what they were going to do and when lost twice as much weight over a 12-month period as people who simply made mental commitments to themselves.

My new book is called You Can Change Your Life and it’s filled with exactly this kind of proven advice on change. I like the concept that the designer came up with – that my book is like a route map for change!

I started writing the book because I was tired of other authors writing books on change that don’t work! So I wrote You Can Change Your Life basing it on the latest scientific evidence as gathered by medical researchers, psychologists and health workers.

Here are some other top tips from the book:

  • Work only on one change in your life at a time.  Research tells us that we have limited reserves of willpower.  So if you want to lose weight, give up smoking and find a new job, I’d suggest picking just the most important goal first.  Get that sorted before moving onto your next goal.
  • Find a buddy to set collaborative goals with.  Again, research tells us that we’re significantly more likely to succeed if we write down goals with a loved one or friend who also has the same goal.  Agree what both of you will cook and eat together each evening.  Decide when the two of you will hit the gym together.
  • Ask a different friend or your partner to monitor your progress and spur you on.  If you know that your best friend is waiting for you to call him or her about how much weight you’ve lost every week, you may work just that little bit harder at trying to hit your goals.

Anyway, I think the finding about writing things down is massively important. So I hope you won’t mind if I say it again:

People who write down their goals – the actions they want to take in life – are typically twice as likely to achieve them as those who don’t.

You get the idea. So. Tempted to write out any actions yet?

One Response to “When it comes to changing your life, what’s the single most important thing you can do?”

  1. Stephanie says:

    I’ve always written lists of tasks I want to complete and I find it invaluable for getting basic stuff done at work and home. From now on though, I will also be writing down *when* I want to do things too!

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