Let’s talk about goals and how they can help us boost our confidence. Goals help in many areas of our lives.  They help us get more done.  They can help us move forward in life, work, or school more quickly. Not only that, they also force us to think about what we want, break it down into actionable items, and set a deadline.

With smart goals like that in place, you’ll be making 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. 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 setting 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.

You’ll be able to stick to eating beans and rice twice a week and cutting back the cable package if you know it’s for realizing your dream of homeownership. Not only that, but as you get a step closer to that goal (by depositing and extra $1,000 when you get your tax refund, a bonus at work, or a new client), you’ll be proud of what you’re doing.

Each step that gets you closer to your goal has real meaning and it increases your self-confidence.

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