If you've ever delved into self-improvement, then chances are you've heard of the study about the 1953 graduating class at Yale. Supposedly, 3% of this graduating class had written down specific goals. After 20 years, the 3% who had written goals earned more than the other 97% combined.
This story is a favorite anecdote of motivational speakers. It's been told many times by Amway "Diamonds" and MLM leaders. It has even been featured in multiple best-selling books.
Here's the problem. The study never happened. It's an urban legend. Stephen Kraus, Ph.D. shares a more complete analysis in his article "Yale Study of Goals: A Self-Improvement Urban Legend." I encourage you to read it.
Naturally, the question arises: "Should I continue to write down my goals?"
My feeling is that you should continue to do so. Writing helps you to clarify what you want. It also helps to cement your intentions.
Obviously, writing down goals does not guarantee you will achieve them. But I believe written goals increase the probability of you achieving them. It certainly cannot hurt.
So continue to write down your goals, but don't put too much stock in them. Action alone will trump written goals any day of the week.