Using 3×5 Cards to Achieve Your Goals


By Josh Hinds

A common stumbling block I see standing in the way of most people otherwise reaching and achieving their goals is that they simply stop focusing on them or move on to other things.

Did you get that?

Notice it wasn’t that they lacked the know how, but rather they lost focus.

If you’ve found yourself guilty of this (as most of us are at times) the following tip should be a welcome addition to your life — and success journey.

I caution you not to downplay the simplicity of it. It works, and there are countless examples of high achievers who have put it into play in their lives and are reaping great rewards as a result.

3×5 cards keep you focused and on track as you work towards achieving your goals

First you need some 3×5 index cards. See, as promised nothing fancy.. Oh, and you need a writing pen.

Since as I always say, personal development is a hands on project, you have room to personalize this idea so that it works best for you. With that said, I’ll explain how I use the 3×5 index cards goal-setting tool … Again keep in mind you can certainly tweak any suggestions here as you see fit.

I would write down the particular goal. For example, lets say my personal goal is to write at least one new article a week.

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I would write the following on my 3×5 index card:

“I write and complete one or more motivational articles a week. I receive nice notes from people that read my writing to let me know that they found the ideas helpful. This or something better is happening in my life now for the good of all concerned.”

It’s worth noting that I do adjust the wording according to the particular goal I am recording, but in all instances I like to include the last part which reads “This or something better is happening in my life now for the good of all concerned”.

You certainly don’t have to add that part, but for me, I find it helps to keep me focused on my larger objective of helping others.

Hopefully you noticed a few other things I like to include on my personal goal cards from the example above. In case you missed them they are…

I write in a present tense. I find this helps make the distinction in my mind between what I am doing (I.e. Being active and taking the real action necessary to see results) versus simply what I’d like to do.using-3x5-cards-to-achieve-your-goals-1

Remember, we’re on our way to making our goals a reality when we take the needed steps to achieving them, not simply hoping they’ll happen on their own. Writing my goals in the present tense makes a difference.

Another thing I do is include a little supporting statement for my goal. In the example above I included “I receive nice notes from people that read my writing to let me know that they found the ideas helpful”. I find that including a statement like this helps to give life to my goal — and help highlight one of the reasons why it is worth taking the effort to work on the goal.

You might consider it written visualization. Just as visualizing an outcome in your mind helps to manifest your goals, so adding a little written visualization to your goal card will give some added emotion as you are reading and reviewing them.

The key to why keeping your goals written down on 3×5 index cards works is because they’re easy to keep around. They can easily fit in your pocket, on your desk, or practically anywhere. Since it is easy to keep them nearby, it is also easy to review them often! And make no mistake… Reviewing your goals as often as possible is what makes all the difference.

Think of it like this… When it comes to goal achievement, out of sight and out of mind is a killer. And seeing as how our lives can move 90 to nothing it is far to easy to be sidetracked by any number of life’s challenges.

So in summary, set regular times with yourself during your day to review your goal cards. Keep them in places where they won’t be easily missed. While it is true this idea is a simple one, it is also true that it is easy to neglect taking action on it. While simple, it does work — if you work the idea that is.


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