Are you familiar with what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is? It is a goal that is set to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time bound and in today’s post I want to cover how you go about setting SMART self confidence goals (or any other kind of goal).
Once you get used to setting your goals in this way they will become second nature.
It is important you know what you want and by when for a goal to be specific. So “I want more confidence” is weak and very broad because although it expresses your wish for confidence it doesn’t help you measure how you know (which is important).
What works better is when you stick to a specific goal that will help you know whether you have achieved it or not. For example “increase my self confidence when talking to new people” or “increase my self confidence in being able to go out alone”.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure! Your goal needs to have a start and end point so you can see how far you have come. It doesn’t mean you can’t extend it or it won’t continue but you are least need a target to start with. So you might say
Today is January 10th and by July 10th I choose to increase my self confidence when talking to new people
Once you are specific and you know how you will measure your results you move onto looking at whether your goal is attainable.
According to my dictionary to attain something means to achieve with effort. In order to attain your goal you are going to have to put in the effort to achieve it.
In the case of talking to new people that will mean getting out of your comfort zone and putting yourself in positions where you have to talk to new people. It may also mean buying CDs or books that will help you be more confident in social circles. There is no way around this one – you must add effort!
Realistic is a little like being measurable and attainable, you need to decide whether your goal is realistic based on the skills and abilities you have. Is your goal relevant to your life right now.
If you are painfully shy is 6 months long enough time to achieve your goal or have you given yourself too much time? Only you can decide what is realistic for you.
Be realistic based on the time you have available to make your goal happen, your skills and abilities to work on that goal and the number of people that can help you to achieve it. Also ensure what you are working towards is relevant for where you are now and where you want to be.
I remember in 1998 setting a goal that I said I would achieve in 5 years. Three years later I was still saying “in 5 years I will achieve X” – can you see my obvious mistake! Every year I kept saying “in 5 years” and the 5 years kept moving forward.
In 1998 my goal should have been “by 2004 I will achieve X” and that would have made it measurable for me as well as specific and attainable.
In order to complete something you must have a time by when you want to complete it otherwise you will keep moving forward like I did or it will never get started.
If someone wants me to complete a piece of work and says “give it to me when you are ready” chances are they will wait for years! If they say to me “I need that in three weeks” I now have a specific time to complete it by and can work towards that.
So make sure you always add a beginning and an ending to your goal so you can reflect on the journey you have taken and how much (or not) your self confidence has grown.
Setting SMART self confidence goals really works when you take the time to stop and think about what you want to achieve, how you will achieve it and by when.
Then you simply do the work necessarily to achieve your desired result, learning from what happened if you don’t achieve it and celebrating when you do. In fact, as long as you learn from your mistakes/failures you can celebrate that also!