Anyone who has ever attended a motivational seminar would have heard of the “Yale 1953 Goals Study”.
Details may vary, but the gist of the story was essentially that in 1953, researchers surveyed Yale’s graduating seniors to determine how many of them had specific, written goals for their future. 2 decades later, the researchers checked with the surviving class members and found that the 3% who had written goals had accumulated more personal financial wealth than the other 97% combined.
This story has been been touted by countless speakers, coaches, gurus as the ultimate proof of the power of goal-setting. Tthere is only one problem… no such study exists.
We would probably never know how this urban legend got perpetuated over the years without anyone ever bothering to verify it (Fast Company Magazine did eventually found out the truth by doing the most obvious thing… they checked with Yale) , but I am sure it will continue to be used and be passed off as some historical fact.
However… having said all that, writing down your goals is important (though not in the way the motivation gurus made them out to be). In fact, it is even biblical.
Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
God encouraged us, Christians, to write down the vision (dreams/goals) He has put inside us, and He promised that those will surely come to pass at the appointed time.