I was reading about a very interesting 1992 study by a British psychologist who studied two groups of patients in two of Scotland’s orthopedic hospitals. The psychologist was interested to see what helped most for these people who were recovering from either hip or knee surgery. Each patient was tasked with doing a certain physio routine to rehabilitate their joint. The question was what kept them motivated to do actually keep up their own physio exercises each day, despite the pain. Each group was given a booklet detailing their exercise routine. The difference was that one group’s booklet had a bunch of blank pages at the back titled “This week I’m going to…” for them to make notes on. The other group had no note area in their booklet. The group with the note pages, wrote about how they were going to do their rehab including when, where, how often and exactly what they would do. It seems a bit shocking, but the group that wrote out their “This week I’m going to..” plans were back walking and recovering 2x faster than the group who hadn’t written out goals. How can writing intensions make such a difference to an outcome?! Amazing! It seems that it’s the fact of detailing even the most boring things that makes the difference in completion. For me this really works too. I have a weekly “To-do” list with three high level goals and then I break my week down by day and order of operations. I’m sure there are other ways I can use this idea of journaling my goals. I need more detail in my intentions perhaps and what I will do if I encounter a rough patch. Inevitable!