The development of written language is one of the most important events in human history. For most Western cultures, this event happened long ago. Yet, our post-modern, technological world is becoming more oral and less written.


We haven’t totally given up on writing and some things still rely heavily on the written word. One of them is planning and setting goals for the future. The fact is, people who write their dreams, vision, goals, and a plan to achieve them have the best chance of accomplishing what they set out to do than those who don’t.


Some things can only be accomplished when we discipline ourselves and take time to articulate our thoughts into writing. Here are five benefits to writing out your planning process:

  1. Slows Things Down. Slowing down helps the creative process. According to author Patricia Ann Wade, “Because it is slower, handwriting can be particularly useful during goal setting [and] brainstorming.”

  2. Triggers the Memory. I have often forgotten details of a meeting or conference until I read my notes. It is amazing how many memories come back from this exercise.

  3. Gives Focus to Our Thoughts. American author Flannery O’Connor stated, “I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say.”

  4. Communicates with Clarity. Written ideas can be read and re-read, studied and digested in a way that the spoken word cannot.

  5. Allows us to Refine and Tweak. Each time you review or edit a document, you develop those ideas one step further.

In the age of computers, tablets, and smartphones, some writers have resorted back to pen and paper for some phases of the thinking process. It is ironic I am typing this statement, but studies show that certain neural connections are activated when writing by hand that are different than those used when typing. Maybe that's why I still opt to carry around a paper notebook and write my thoughts on paper.

Writing your goals can focus your thoughts and get you ready for the challenges of 2017. So what are you waiting for? Grab a pen and paper, and write down your dreams, vision, and goals.


How will you set goals for the next year? Will you choose to write them down?

by Norival Trindade

*This post is part of a series to help you set goals. Check out our previous Goalsetting Posts to stay on track and plan the future God has for you!