What I’ve Learned: Writing Goals Helps Make Them Happen

By Craig Ruppert, CEO

I’d like to start this article, as I do every year, by saying thank you. We couldn’t have made this year a successful one without each of you—from our Ruppert team members and your families, to our vendors and our customers. Thank you for your continued support that enables us to do what we do.

The holiday season is a time to slow down, spend time with family and friends, and reflect. As I look back on the previous year, I often think about the things that have gone well and the areas where I would have done things differently. I think about my family, friends, health habits and work, and then I evaluate which areas to focus on in the coming year. One of the ways that I’ve found works best for me is to write down my goals for the coming year. Someone once told me…a goal is a dream in writing. Some of you may already practice this (better than I do), but if you’re like I was, you’ve heard this advice before but never acted on it. Until one day, about 25 years ago, when a friend of mine named Cal Simmons suggested I try writing down my goals. I tried it, it seemed to work, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I write each year’s goals in the same journal so that it’s easier to look back on past years and see how many of my goals I’ve accomplished and how many I haven’t. It has helped me to prioritize what’s really important in life and to realize that most goals are attainable if you put your mind (and your pen) to it.

[Scroll down to view Craig’s journal entry from 1994 and his goals for 1995.]

So, as we near the end of the year and look toward the future, I’m encouraging you—just like my friend Cal did with me—to try this. I’ve found that simple and measurable goals are best. A small list the first year worked for me, and in the following years it got easier and I added more goals. You might begin by considering just a few specific goals in four areas—health, family, personal development, and finances—or areas that are most important in your life. Whatever your goals may be, the act of writing them down will dramatically improve the odds that you’ll achieve them. I expect you’ll find that taking a small amount of time to work on goals can give you a sense of direction and accomplishment, and just might make you happier along the way. This time next year, you’ll be able to look back at your written goals and celebrate just how far you’ve come. If you try this and it works, let me know a year from now!

With best wishes to you and your family for a joyful holiday and happy new year,