Do You Set Personal Objectives? If Not, Why Not?
To be confident you need to be focused. This is difficult if you don’t know where you’re going. You’ll never get there if you don’t know where ‘there’ is. So work out what you want to achieve by setting some personal objectives. If you have never done this before (I mean actually written down some personal objectives), then use this blog as the catalyst to get started. Look at the longer term first and then think about the shorter term. You could start by asking yourself:
- – What was I doing five years ago?
- – What’s happened since then?
- – But more significantly – What have I achieved since then?
These questions should get you thinking about whether or not you are making the most of your life. Be honest with yourself. Don’t try to find excuses. If you haven’t achieved a great deal, then acknowledge and accept it. Don’t blame yourself, there’s no point. Your job now is to make a commitment to not let the same happen over the next five years.
Most people I help to build their confidence come to the conclusion that they have not achieved as much as they could or should have. This is valuable information but it’s meaningless if you don’t treat it as a lesson.
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Positive thinkers focus on the future and that’s what you must start doing if you want to build your self-esteem and self-confidence. Always looking back and dwelling is not going to help you. That time has gone.
So you MUST look forward and create some meaningful personal objectives. Try creating a Mind Map. Mind mapping is a simple, practical, creative thinking process. It involves jotting down everything you can think of that has relevance to the strategic period you are looking ahead at in your life. Consider your needs, your wants, your aspirations, your responsibilities, your family, your career and anything else you think is important.
Mind maps only work if you challenge yourself to be bold and imaginative. Don’t be scared to write down your aspirations. This will help you to think creatively. Then using all the ideas you have come up with on the Mind Map, draw out some personal objectives that you’d like to achieve. I suggest you focus on a strategic period first (maybe two years) and then drill down to a more tactical level once you have done that (say six months).
An example could be:
- – Strategic Goal; To run a marathon by the end of 2019.
- – Tactical Goal; To run a half marathon by November 2017.
Be sure to keep track of the goals you decide on and challenge yourself every day to do something towards achieving them.
Think about the amount of time available to you each day. There are 480 minutes in an 8 hour working day.
Be clear about your long term personal objectives. Use the SMART formula to make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
So, once you’re clear about your personal objectives, think about the tasks you aim to tackle each day in order to achieve those objectives.
Be sure to start this thinking process the day before, so think today about what you plan to achieve tomorrow.
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So how do you make this happen?
Very simply by creating a to do list. You may well have the concept of the to do list mentioned before. That’s because having a to do list is essential if you want to focus on what you want to achieve
So, you’ll need to create a ‘to do’ list each day for the next days’ tasks.
Once you’ve written the list, you’ll need to prioritise it.
Be disciplined when you do this. Some people find it helpful to divide the tasks into A, B and C priorities – A = Urgent & important, B = Important, C = not important. These words relate to time, not importance of doing the task. They’re all ‘important’ to get done because you’ve added them to your list, in other words you’ve decided they need doing.
These words just help you to prioritise the tasks in terms of which ones should come first. It might even be that although you added a task to your list for tomorrow, because it falls into the ‘not important’ category, if it makes sense and you’re really busy tomorrow, you could shift it to the next day.
So the first task on the list should be the most urgent and important one, in other words a high priority ‘A’ task, not the easiest one or the one that will take the least time.
Tips when writing your ‘to do’ list
Write the list in the same place each day. Some people find it helpful to buy a small hardback notebook for this sole purpose. Use it to drive what you do.
Tick off items as they’re completed. Account for every item on your previous list when carrying forward. A benefit of writing your list the day before is that you’ll feel more motivated to get on with it when you see it in the morning. Even the tasks that perhaps seemed quite challenging when you wrote them down yesterday, now seem slightly more manageable because you’ve had a chance to mull over them and prepare yourself for them.
Have a separate list for smaller more incremental tasks. Know what you can do quickly when you have a couple of minutes free. It’s surprising how much time you can waste if you don’t use this time effectively. One minute here and two minutes there don’t seem very much at the time. In fact they aren’t very much, but when you add them over the whole day, they can turn into significant chunks of time. Time you really shouldn’t have wasted.
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