Setting and achieving goals can give you a big boost in confidence. They help in many areas of our lives – getting more done; moving forward when we’re stuck; and getting the things we want out of life. Not only that, setting goals forces us to think about what’s really important to us, make an action plan to get it, and set a deadline.
With smart goals like that in place, you’ll be making in measurable progress in no time. That in turn will give you a big boost in confidence. That confidence is all you need to get the courage to tackle your next set of goals.
Let’s look at this process a little closer. The first step is to determine what you want. Spend some time thinking about this and writing your thoughts down. Your journal is a great tool for setting goals that boost your confidence.
So, what should your goals look like?
What is your specific goal going to be? Notice that I said specific. Wanting to lose weight, get in shape, or having a lot of money in the bank are a starting thought, but not a real goal. If you don’t know how much weight you want to lose, you don’t have anything to measure your progress on. If you want to lose 10 pounds, a two pound weight loss is a great first step. If you don’t know how many pounds you want to lose, you won’t know if those two pounds are where you can stop, or if they are a small drop in the bucket.
If you want to get in shape, you need to know what “in shape” looks and feels like for you. Does it mean keeping up with your toddler when you’re running around on the playground? Or does it mean running a marathon next year? They are two very different goals that both fall under “in shape”. Yet the preparation and what it will take to reach each goal will be very different. You can’t begin to measure your success unless you set a real, well-defined goal.
The same holds true for the idea of having money in the bank. That’s all it is, an idea. It’s not a bad starting point to set a goal, but it’s not an actual goal. Do you want a couple of hundred dollars in the bank after paying off all your outstanding consumer debt, do you want to save up $10,000 for a down payment on a house, or do you want to have six months’ worth of living expenses in savings as a financial safety net? Those are all very different goals that all fall under the idea of “money in the bank”. They may even amount to a fairly similar dollar amount, but the motivation behind them and the use for that money is different.
That’s another important part of setting a goal that will help you boost your confidence.
Don’t throw an arbitrary number out there, whether its money in the bank, pounds lost, or how fast you can run a mile. Make it mean something. It’s much easier to stick to the goal of saving $10,000 for a down payment on a house than it is to just say “I want to buy a house” and leave it at that.
Here are a few tips to help you achieve your goals and boost your confidence.
Tip #1 - Stay Focused
It’s so easy to get distracted unless you learn how to stay focused on your goals.
A couple of things you can do to keep your goals in the forefront are to a) write them down and review them regularly; and b) keep a picture of the end result either in your mind or on a vision board in front of you.
Tip #2 - Keep an open mind
Your goals aren't set in stone. If you choose to change what you're focused on and set a new goal, that doesn't mean you've given up on your goals. It only means you've seen that your goals need to change, just as you change. That's a sign of growth and wisdom.
Tip #3 - Set realistic deadlines
We often have the tendency to overestimate what we can get done in a short time, and underestimate what we can get done over a longer period. While it’s true that some small goals can be met in a day or a week, larger goals often take months or years. When you set goals, it's important to be realistic about how long you expect them to take.
Tip #4 - Break a big goal into smaller steps
Another great way to reach your goals is to divide big goals into smaller ones. Each small goal is one step, or one task, on the way to achieving your ultimate goal. And each step you take gives you another confidence boost along the way.
Some of the ways you can do this are:
- Set individual deadlines for these small steps. This way, you'll always be moving forward, one step at a time.
- Take action toward your goal every day. Each day, find something you can do that will bring you a little closer to meeting your goal.
Tip #5 - Don't give up
Many people give up on their goals just before they reach them, not even realizing how close they were. Never give up! You may be closer than you think. When challenges arise – and they will – getting discouraged won't change anything, so seek solutions that can put you back on track. Just stay focused and adjust your plans as necessary.
Using these tips to set goals will help boost your confidence as you take step to reach, and ultimately, achieve them.