I’m a firm believe that setting and completing goals is the key to confidence. It gives a sense of capability and fulfillment. Whether the goal is to just get out of bed that day or if it is to accomplish the craziest dream, taking the steps to do it makes life worthwhile. The process itself is rather fun when it comes to completing goals. It’s satisfying to start from nothing then to suddenly have a ‘something’. Even more so, a person completed it all by his or herself.
Confidence is about being secure in one’s capabilities and actions, generally having faith in a person’s self. The more goals a person accomplishes, big or small, it reveals how much potential and strength she really has. It also gives a sense of purpose too.
So how does a person set a goal? Well, there’s the typical S.M.A.R.T outline.
S = Specific
It’s key to make the goal specific enough that there can be a plan in place, If it is just some vague goal, then it is easy to twist the definition to suit why a person wants to blow it off. Such as, “I want to write more.” There is plenty of room to exaggerate how much exercise that person has really done on days she wants to blow it off. The goal can be warped until it is no longer becoming completed.
Instead, change it to “I want to write fifty pages of my story in two months.” Having a stricter definition to the goal makes it undeniable of what needs to be accomplished. So, the vaguer the definition, the less likely a person is to complete it.
At this phase take time to visualize what you want. Revel in the idea of how awesome it would to complete it, and how proud of yourself you would be if you beat it. Remember that feeling, and hold it close throughout the process of meeting your goal.
M = Measurable
This would be measuring progress. There must be a time span or key points in the goal that can be made. Break down the big goal into manageable smaller ones that lay down the blueprint for it. “I will write seven pages a week for the next eight weeks.” Depending on what a person’s needs are, the time can be broken down into more of a schedule, such as writing one page every morning.
This part of the goal plan can be highly variable, but it is the most important part. Each time you take a step towards accomplishing your goal, you might feel just that much better about yourself It gives a feeling of accomplishment and power of how a person can do anything they put he puts his mind to.
A = Attainable
Is the goal attainable? After coming up with the plan, can it be done? During this step a person would figure out his priorities and how to fit the goal plan into his current life. For my example, it would be thinking about how to make sure I write one page every morning. It may mean I have to rearrange my schedule. If the goal isn’t attainable as the plan sets it out to be, then the goal should be reevaluated.
R = Realistic
This is about whether the person himself can do it based on prior experiences or current knowledge. I have wrote many short stories, a novel, and also consistently write three times a week. Writing fifty pages in two months by writing every day for seven days is definitely realistic, and provides a welcoming challenge. If the goal isn’t realistic, then there is a great alternative. Change the original goal into one that would prepare a person for it, so the original goal can be built up to.
Being aware of the limitations reminds you that you are only human, but that perhaps someday you will be able to do the bigger goal. Life is a journey with ups and down. Being a realist about how much you can accomplish is different than being pessimistic about all the things you like to do someday. I am a firm believing that if a person dedicates the time and consistency, anything is possible.
T = Time
Set up a deadline. There can be numerous ones like I have, such as the deadline for writing every day to meet the deadline of completing fifty pages in two months. Having a deadline keeps people accountable. Just make sure it doesn’t become a stressor.
Working on something every day, being productive, gives life a tad bit more meaning. It’s creating a vision of yourself that fits your idealization. A deadline assures that sometime, you will conquer it and having something to be proud of.