Are There Benefits to Writing Lists?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

Goal list

When it comes to recovery and mental health, goal-setting is incredibly important. The right treatment center will have you work with a therapist and/or coach to help you establish goals for yourself in recovery, as well as ways to reach those goals. Forbes Magazine states that the key to reaching your goals are to have a vision, identify measurable goals (goals that you can clearly tell when they have been reached), set benchmarks by making smaller steps towards reaching those goals, and to celebrate when you have reached them. Okay – so you have a clear idea on how goal setting works, but how do lists fit in to this success?

Bustle Magazine states several benefits to list-making:

  1. It can alleviate anxiety.
  2. It fosters creativity.
  3. It boosts your memory.
  4. It feels great to see what you’ve accomplished and to be able to mark it off the list.
  5. It can be used to celebrate achievements.

While there are some very real benefits to making lists, just what is the psychology behind this? Research conducted at the University of Toronto found that students who wrote tidbits about their past and found connections with what made them who they were and used that information to set goals for the future were more likely to stay in school and accomplish their goals than those who did not do these things. According to The Guardian, list-making is so beneficial because it helps us ease the overwhelming feeling of life’s chaos – it breaks things down into more manageable bits that we can focus on.

People who get the most out of lists enjoy the structure it provides, giving them a plan to stick to no matter what. What about people who enjoy more freedom and “go with the flow”?

Management expert David Allen stated that anyone with a full schedule needs some sort of structure, regardless of whether they consider themselves more flexible or creative. He stated that tasks will likely not get done if there are no details explaining how it will get done and when. Is list-making truly the key to success? You be the deciding factor, and give it a try.





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