Molly Cranna for TIME
Advice

The Power of Writing Down Your Goals

Feb. 9, 2016

An elite physical trainer explains how putting pen to paper changed her life—and the lives of her clients

Every time I meet with a new client, I have them do one thing before anything else: Write down their personal goals, their professional goals and their physical goals.

I’ve been writing down what I want since the beginning of my career, and honestly, it’s so amazing because everything I’ve written down has happened. I started this habit in college because I loved Oprah, Deepak Chopra, The Power of Now.

Granted, you have to work for it. But somehow, even if you don’t know how it’s going to happen, knowing what you want to happen and writing it down helps it become reality.

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Sure, some people roll their eyes. But to them, I say, “Why not give it a try?” It’s worked for a lot of successful people. Here’s how to get started.

Ask yourself why you want your goals
I have one woman who I’ve trained, and she was maybe 30 pounds heavier. She said, “I want to have a body like you.” So I asked her why she wanted this. Because I’m telling you right now: Having a great body or getting rich isn’t going to make you happier. How you feel is what’s going to make you happier—which is why it’s so important to know why you want to achieve your goal. Do you not feel happy in your own skin? If it’s just about the weight, it’s not going to come off.

Get super-specific
It’s really important to be clear because if you’re not clear, you’re going to be going all over the place. See your goal in your head, feel it with your five senses. Close your eyes, and think about what you’ll feel like, what you’ll be wearing, who will be there. What’s it going to smell like? See it happening. I truly believe that if you can see it, you can make it so. Visualize it, and see what it feels like. And don’t worry about how it’s going to happen—just trust that it will.

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Put your goals where you can see them
At the beginning of every New Year, I write all of my goals, put them on the wall and look at them pretty much every day. And that helps remind me to say yes to things that will bring me closer to my goals—and no to things that will only leave me further from them.

You just have to keep putting it out there and talking about it, and if you’re a good person and you’re not trying to force your way, people will come into your life who will help you get there.

No dream is too big. Open your mind, open your heart to the possibilities and trust that, if you write it down, one day you’ll make your goal happen.

Lacey Stone is a bi-coastal fitness professional and celebrity trainer.