Toward the end of his 20s, Quora user Dirk Hooper started envisioning his ideal lifestyle five, 10, and 20 years down the road.
To ensure that he wasn’t just fantasizing, he wrote down what he hoped to achieve and how he might get there.
“The act of writing your goals and dreams do[es] a couple of things for you,” Hooper writes. “It forces you to nail down what’s really in your mind, and it gives you a tangible record that you can refer to over time.”
There’s research to back up Hooper’s theory. In one study, college students were instructed to write down a path toward achieving their future goals. Unsurprisingly, many of those goals involved finishing their education. Results showed that students who completed the writing exercise were more likely to stay in school than those who didn’t do the exercise.