The Bucket List Journal
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When Setting Out To Accomplish A Goal…


Write It Down

You are 42% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

A study by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University of California, demonstrated that writing your goals down enhances goal achievement.

All you need is a pen and paper (you can even use your phone).

Matthews, G. Dominican University of California (2007)


Set A Deadline

Use deadlines to create your own momentum.

A study published in The British Journal of Health Psychology found that 91% of people who planned their intention to exercise by writing down when and where they would exercise ended up following through.

Setting deadlines helps you create your own system of accountability, and that helps increase your motivation and volition.

Milne, S., Orbell, S. and Sheeran, P. British Journal of Health Psychology (2002)


Make A Plan

Increase your chance of successful by getting specific.

Planning out the specifics of how you are going to go about achieving your goal (the when, the how, the why) increases your chances of getting started and following through.

Gollwitzer, P. and Keller, L. New York University (2016)


Start Now

Once you get moving, it’s easier to keep going.

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology on psychological momentum found that sequential runs of success are a key component of high levels of performance.

As they put it, “better performers perceive and experience the momentum of success more frequently, [they] ride it as long as they can, and as a result, [they] become more successful in the end.”

The first step can be simple. The important part is that you take it.

Iso-Ahola, S. E., and Dotson, C. O. Frontiers in Psychology (2016)


Be Accountable

People who commit to taking action and set up accountability saw a 25% increase in goal achievement.

The same study by Dr. Gail Matthews that showed the value of written goals, saw an even greater increase in goal achievement when goals were shared and progress reports were used.

So, share your goals. And if you want an even bigger boost, share them with someone you look up to.

Grant, H. Harvard Business Review (2014)


Pay It Forward

Helping others achieve their goals can help you achieve your own.

A meta-analysis of 37 observational studies found that 70% of older volunteers reported greater quality of life than the non-volunteers.

A white paper prepared by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley discussed how many studies associate paying it forward with better health and happiness.

The best part: generosity is contagious!

Summer Allen, Ph.D.
Greater Good Science Center
UC Berkley (2018)


Cultivate A Growth Mindset

“How we ‘see’ the world is a function of our beliefs and profoundly influences personality.”

A study covered in the Harvard Business Review found that those with a fixed mindset were more likely to believe that once you find your passion it should come with ease and “boundless motivation.”

In contrast, those with a growth mindset were more likely to believe that “pursuing that passion would involve some setbacks and difficulties.”

Now, there will be some setbacks. There’s nothing you can do about that, but you can develop your grit and resilience. A growth mindset helps you transform roadblocks into stepping stones toward success.

O’Keefe et al. (2018)
J.L. Fannin & R.M. Williams (2012)


Don’t Forget Your Why

Those with a Why-Mindset performed 7x better than those with a How-Mindset.

Knowing the reason why you’re doing something can make all the difference. If you find yourself struggling with finding your passion, try considering how to develop your passion.

Passions can be explored and they can be discovered. There’s always a place to start. Thankfully, you already know the steps!

F. Wieber et al.
University of Konstanz (2013)