No matter who you are, your life is probably full of challenges these days. We all feel the constant push and pull of stress and the inability to fit everything into our fully-packed days. As a result, many of us struggle to achieve even the smallest goals we set for ourselves.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. In fact, everyone from medical experts to billionaires agree that we can all do something very simple to help us achieve our goals in life: write them down.

But how does writing down your goals really help you get what you want out of life? Well, it turns out that there four very important ways that the simple act of writing down your goals can help. And, by writing them down, you’re nearly twice as likely to achieve everything you set out to do.

Writing Down Your Goals Helps You Remember Them

Obviously it doesn’t take a degree in neuroscience to understand the most basic benefits to writing down your goals. When you write down your goals and keep them in a prominent place like your planner or on your fridge, you’re more likely to remember them. However, there’s even more to it than just basic memory recall.

According to an article published by Forbes, writing down your goals also helps you remember them simply based on how your brain encodes information. In basic terms, encoding refers to the process in which things we perceive work through our brain and ultimately end up in long-term memory. Studies show that writing improves the encoding process, which in turn helps you commit what you wrote down to long-term memory.

Furthermore, experts say that when you engage multiple senses while studying or thinking, you’re more likely to remember the information. When you write something down, you’re engaging touch as well as sight, which helps boost your memorization.

To-Do Lists Motivate You To Take Action

Whether you’re setting daily goals or more long-term plans, CEO and entrepreneur Michael Hyatt says that writing down goals is important because it helps you actually put those goals in motion. When you put your goals on paper, it forces you to brainstorm a plan of attack and create a strategy of smaller goals to set along the way to reach those overarching desires.

We all know how satisfying it is to cross items off a to-do list. When you multiply that by the effort it takes to reach a larger goal, the satisfaction of crossing it off feels even greater. This is the exact basis for Michael Leip’s highly successful company, Panda Planner, and why many of the world’s most successful people have running lists of goals.

The best way to do this is to make daily or weekly notes of your overarching goal and include a few action steps that you plan to take during that day or week. This lets you remember what the end goal is, but also gives you some smaller steps to achieve in a reasonable amount of time that you can then check off and feel a sense of accomplishment in the short-term.

Written Goals Feel More Concrete

Although we can sit and daydream all day, the act of writing down your goals actually forces you to decide what you want and outline what it takes to get there. By doing this, goals become much less of a “pie in the sky” desire and something tangible that you can achieve.

This may sound somewhat ridiculous, but studies have proven that people who write down their goals are actually 42 percent more likely to achieve them. This is, in large part, due to the fact that writing down these goals makes them feel more concrete and attainable.

When you write your goals down and track your progress, this also prevents you from jumping ship on them when you hit a road block or miss a milestone along the way. The road to success isn’t easy and always includes some small failures. When you write your goals down and hold yourself accountable, though, you’re less likely to abandon ship when you run  into choppy waters.

A Log Helps You Track Your Progress

When we’re focused on achieving a large or challenging goal, it can sometimes feel like an impossible task. However, writing down your goal and tracking your progress towards that goal over time can actually help you maintain your motivation to reach your end goal. You can look back on the smaller goals you’ve achieved to reach that larger aspiration, and use that to fuel your work on the next hurdle.

Furthermore, seeing your goals in writing helps you remember to revisit them frequently and make adjustments as needed. You can see what’s working, note what’s not, and adjust your course towards success as needed. Although it doesn’t sound thrilling to evaluate your successes and failures on a regular basis, it’s exactly what people do when they really want to achieve their goals.

So whether you’re setting lifetime goals or just planning your week, it’s easy to see how writing down your goals can help you achieve them. So what are you  waiting for? Get to writing and start watching your success unfold!

Originally published on Moms.