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Write It Down, Make It Happen

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Write It Down, Make It Happen

We are all actors in our own life scripts – we have no choice with this.

But a role that we can choose, and should choose to actively play, is that of a script writer.

Your Life Follows a Script… So Be the Writer

Too often, people drift through life letting situations and circumstances determine their story.

They want adventure or purpose, and are envious of those who have found their calling.

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.” – Oprah

Writing Clarifies

Writing Clarifies

The first step to living the life of your dreams is to simply put your desires down on paper.

A POWERFUL exercise you can use to jumpstart your life script can be done in less than 3 minutes.

Note: this technique is from Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog!

Create your life snapshot by doing the following:

Give yourself only 30 seconds to answer each the following questions.

  1. What are your 3 most important business and career goals right now?
  2. What are your 3 most important family and relationship goals right now?
  3. What are your 3 most important financial goals right now?
  4. What are your 3 most important health goals right now?
  5. What are your 3 most important personal and professional development goals right now?
  6. What are your 3 most important social and community goals right now?
  7. What are your 3 biggest problems or concerns in life right now?

Please stop reading and try it out now.


Those who played along will be amazed at the results.

The rapidly generated answers give you a written snapshot of what is really important to you RIGHT NOW.

Review Your Written Goals

Review Written Goals

Look over this snapshot daily and you’ll start to see different paths to your goals.

Once you have set your attention on your desires, opportunities that were once hidden begin to appear with regularity.

There is actually a part of your brain dedicated to noticing information it thinks that you will find useful. It is called the Reticular Activation System (RAS).

The Reticular Activation System is like a search function for your brain.

Your RAS can work for your benefit, if you direct where its attention should focus on by looking over your written goals regularly.

Writing the above question and answer set is such a powerful exercise because it focuses and clarifies your thinking.

“What you focus on expands.” – Deepak Chopra

Seeing your goals in writing makes them real, establishes intention, and motivates you to seek their realization. So what’s next?

Date the Goals to Give Yourself a Timeline

Date Goals on a Timeline

If you’ve been working on spending more quality time with your family for the last 6 months but it hasn’t happened yet, it is time to get more clear by… you guessed it, more writing. Get more specific in your writing.

For example, “I will spend 30 minutes a day learning Spanish.”

Write the next action you should take to get closer to your goal. “I need to sign up for Duolingo.”

This type of writing helps determine the next step and prioritizes the most important issues. Then feel free to expand and update your goals as you reach them or as life circumstances change.

Writing Disciplines Thoughts and Actions

Writing Disciplines

When you say “yes” to an unfulfilling job or a lackluster relationship, you are saying no to other possibilities. Having your intentions on paper will help you recognize and uncover the things you are saying ‘no’ to.

This clarity makes it easier to do the work and make the difficult decisions that will get you to where you want to be.

“There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.” – Napoleon Hill

Writing Into the Unknown

Writing Into The Unknown

Writing your life script is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights illuminate… but you can make the whole trip that way.

A financial goal might be to:

“Make $100,000 a year doing something I love. [December, 15 2015] 600 days left as of 4/24/2014”

But what’s the next step?

Maybe it’s looking for a new job. Developing your unique abilities. Spending time with people who have already reached that goal.

You just have to write down what the next best option is, for better ones to begin to appear.

In Closing

“Have you envisioned wild success lately?” – David Allen

You are an actor in this world… so you might as well have a say as to what your lines will be.

Writing your goals down clarifies your thinking, directs your focus, establishes intention, creates self-discipline, makes action easier, and prioritizes your next steps.

It opens your eyes to the possibilities that are out there in the world.

I encourage you to be the writer, actor, director, producer, set designer, and any other role you can think of to stretch this metaphor.

Putting your goals to paper is the first step in creating the world you want to live in.

I hope some of you choose to share parts of your life script in the comments below. Your words will inspire others to start taking control of their destiny.

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This one lifehack led to the biggest breakthrough of my career. People like Steve Jobs and Oprah have used it to catapult their success, and now you can too.


Posted by Justin  | June 4, 2014 at 3:14PM | Reply

This is a great post! I find that a visual representation really keeps me focused and on track. Whether it’s personal fitness, meditation, work, or sleep, I always keep everything organized with my wellness planner Owaves ( It has a really unique fun and visual platform which I contribute my productivity to as I am able to keep track of my goals and their deadlines.

Posted by Zachary Sexton  | July 20, 2014 at 1:37AM

Thanks for sharing. I’m definitely going to download that app as soon as I get back to my iPad.

Posted by Ruth  | May 29, 2014 at 12:41PM | Reply

Thanks for this post Zachary. I’ve done countless lists throughout the year. but I have not gone back to review them. One of the reasons is that they were too long and I just had too many goals. I love the idea of reviewing the snapshot. I also love that you suggest writing each list in 30 seconds. If it’s important, it’ll be top of mind anyway. I’m definitely going to tweet this!

Posted by Zachary Sexton  | July 20, 2014 at 1:28AM

Thanks ruth. What’s your handle? Mine is @zwsexton.

Posted by Zachary Sexton  | May 22, 2014 at 9:19PM | Reply

I appreciate it Steve. RAS is powerful stuff.

Posted by Steve Spring  | May 21, 2014 at 7:30AM | Reply

Thanks for a great post. I first learned about the Reticular Activation System and the power of having written goals years ago in a David Allen seminar. You did a great job of summarizing everything that he said and that I have learned over the years about writing down your goals when you said, “Writing your goals down clarifies your thinking, directs your focus, establishes intention, creates self-discipline, makes action easier, and prioritizes your next steps.” Thanks for sharing this powerful post!

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