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  • Set Yourself Up For Success: The Importance of Goal Setting to Improve Self Esteem


    It’s a common aim for many people to make that they want to get into better physical shape. They wish to have flatter stomachs, firmer thighs, and flab-free upper bodies. True happiness, however, can only be found within, but how many people actually take the time to find it? 

    Who we are on the inside is far more important than how we appear on the exterior. Our level of self-esteem is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. The stronger our connection, the better our other connections will be as well. 

    It would do most of us good to have our pride bolstered. How do you suggest we go about doing that? Methodically, by means of creating objectives. 

    However, any old goals won’t do. We need to make sure we’re setting ourselves up for success by using the S.M.A.R.T. method. SMART goals are ones that are “specific,” “measurable,” “attainable,” “realistic,” and “time-bound.”

    What does this look like in real life?

    What have you been meaning to accomplish but haven’t gotten around to? Maybe you have a task that you started working on a while back but have yet to finish. Your sense of accomplishment has taken a knock because of this unfinished business. 

    Imagine you’ve been meaning to (and desperately needing to) organize your garage. You have undoubtedly thought, “I really need to go through the garage and throw a bunch of stuff out.” 

    That’s not a bad beginning, but it’s not exactly specific either. Let’s get things done by setting SMART objectives. 

    Let’s have a look at a narrow objective: Say it with me: “I’m going to clear out and rearrange the garage.” 

    So far, so good. What steps can we take to ensure that this is Quantifiable? Put in some terms that will tell us whether and when we have reached our objective. I’m going to clean out the garage and rearrange everything so that we can store two automobiles and a large number of bicycles there. 

    To make sure you are on track to achieve your objective, you need have a method to track your development along the way. You may, for instance, devote two hours on the weekend each week for the following four weeks. That’s how you know you’re making progress toward your objective. It will be clear that you have veered off course if you fail to achieve these benchmarks. 

    Let’s speak about how likely it is that you’ll actually be able to reach your objective. To put things simply, you know it’s doable since other people have cleaned out and arranged their garage. You want to do it, and you’ve set aside enough time to do it. To be sure, this objective looks doable.

    Instead of cleaning out the garage you already have, your goal could have been to build a new garage by yourself all in one weekend, but no, that would not have been an achievable goal.

    You know your goal is achievable, but is the schedule you’ve set for yourself Realistic? Do you actually have 4 hours on the weekend to devote to this project, or with your work and family time, is half an hour more realistic? While it’s understandable you want to get the job done as fast as possible, you also don’t want to set yourself up for failure. So be sure your schedule is realistic.

    And lastly, you’ll need to set a Time-bound deadline for the attainment of your goal. Will this task be completed in 4 weeks? Will it take two months? Choose a deadline that’s reasonable and motivating at the same time. It’s a balance between being practical and pushing yourself slightly. A date too far in the future could kill your motivation.

    Let’s recap. We started with the vague goal of “I’ve really got to go through the garage and throw a bunch of stuff out” and ended up with “I am going to spend four hours every weekend for the next four weeks cleaning out and reorganizing the garage so that both cars and all of our bikes fit.” Now you have a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) goal with built-in milestones to get you there. But more importantly, you’ve made a promise to yourself, and keeping this promise is what will enhance your self-esteem.

    Of course, sometimes it takes a little more work than reaching a goal to lift our self-esteem. There are experiences in our lives that can truly devastate our sense of self-worth, and often we need the guidance of a therapist to help us recover our sense of identity and self-esteem.

    If you or a loved one have struggled with self-esteem issues and are interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.