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Published on March 12, 2020

How to Create Social Goals to Make an Impact in the World

How to Create Social Goals to Make an Impact in the World

As you pursue personal success, you need to bear in mind that you owe it as a duty to humanity to make the world a better place — to touch lives, preserve nature, and contribute your quota to help fight the world’s social problems, such as poverty, hunger, lack of quality education, HIV/AIDS, climate change, cancer, etc.

By taking a bit of time from your busy schedule, you can set aside some hours aside weekly or monthly or spend a portion of your annual leave pursuing a variety of social goals in your neighborhood, local community or around the world.

In this article, you can find some tips on how to set your own social goals. I have also shared some examples of such goals you can use to inspire you in setting your own.

What Are Social Goals?

Social goals can be described as the goals that connect an individual or group to their immediate world — to make an impact, to create values, to affect lives, to provide or preserve social amenities or infrastructure, to solve social problems, and/or to protect the natural environment.

Social goals can appear at the individual or corporate level. Corporate social goals are usually described as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), while some personal social goals can be described as community service. The focus of this article is personal social goals.

Why Social Goals Are Important

Setting and pursuing social goals can remind you that you are an important stakeholder in the overall development of society. There are diverse problems in communities and around the world that require more than government efforts. Individuals can join hands with the government to address some of these challenges. Below are some of the reasons you should set social goals and “get involved.”

To Touch Lives

There are many disadvantaged people around the world who also have great potential. When you set goals to meet social needs, such as feeding the poor and educating the underprivileged, you are touching lives and transforming destinies.

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To Find Your True Passion

Your social goals can indeed help you find your true passion. In many instances, your chosen career may not be your true passion, even if you are successful. By getting involved in some social responsibilities, you might be able to find your true passion — something to live the rest of your life for.

To Stay Motivated

Meeting social needs and achieving social goals can also be a source of motivation that can boost your performance in other areas of your life. When you focus too much on yourself and your career, you might get bored with routines and begin to lose motivation, but getting involved and achieving results in something different can be a source of motivation that can spill over to your career.

To Boost Your Public Image

While carrying out the honest duties of touching lives and meeting needs, there is a chance that you will begin to get some recognition for what you are doing, and this can boost your public image. You will also get to meet a lot of people and grow your network in your social pursuits.

How to Set Social Goals

Now that you know how important social goals can be, how do you go about setting your own goals and making your own contributions? Here are some tips below:

1. Consider Your Interests

To start setting your own goals, you have to start with your own interests. Search deep within to know if you have had a growing concern about any group of people or any social issues now or in the past.

A famous American preacher, Mike Murdock once said:[1]

“Those who unlock your compassion are those to whom you’ve been assigned.”

The things that make you feel like you need to do something can help you identify the areas where you can help.

2. Do Some Research

Search your community or online to find the current needs and opportunities available to touch lives and make a positive social impact around the world. For example, you can review the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development[2] to know the priority areas of need and use the information to draw out some of your goals.

You can also talk to charities, advocacy groups, or volunteering centers to know what needs they currently have.

3. Look at Your Schedule

The time you can devote to social causes depends on your current schedule, and this will determine how involved you can be and what goals you should set. If you do not have the time, your goals can be more of a financial commitment rather than physical involvement. However, if you have more time to yourself on certain days, you can get involved physically, too.

4. Review Your Abilities

This is about your talent, skills, abilities, expertise, and resources. As much as you want to help, you can’t do anything outside of your own capacity. Check in with your abilities and resources, what can you do, and what needs you can meet. It may be that you do not have the capacity but can mobilize resources and expertise from other sources to meet certain needs.

5. Decide on Your Goals

You will have many options before you, but you have to decide on which goals you want to pursue based on what is most important to you, what you can devote your time to, and what your resources can handle.

10 Examples of Social Goals

Below are 10 examples of social goals you can choose from. They can also inspire you to set your own goals.

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1. Be a Volunteer

One of the ways to “get involved” is by being a volunteer, and there are different ways to go about this. For example, you can volunteer to teach your favorite subject at your community school, visit a senior citizens’ center to help, prepare and serve meals at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen, etc.

If you want to learn how to fit volunteerism into your schedule, this article may help.

2. Donate a Portion of Your Income to Charity

Set a goal to donate a portion of your monthly or annual income to charity. This might also be an option if you do not have the time to get physically involved in an organization.

3. Join an Advocacy Group to Reduce Carbon Emissions

If you have a passion to curb the effects of climate change or to stop environmental degradation, you can start or join an advocacy group to educate, enlighten, and mobilize the public on compliance.

4. Become a Mentor

Sometimes, making yourself available to guide younger people and mentor them might be something you can do to help. Young people are always on the lookout for someone to look up to. Sharing your wealth of experience with young people in your community and guiding them on what steps to take to also become successful can be a great idea.

5. Attend Community Meetings

Attending community meetings will open your eyes to the needs around you. Keep regular attendance and participate in community joint initiatives. You can also volunteer to serve on a community board.

6. Request Charitable Donations on Your Birthdays

Another good initiative is using the occasion of your birthdays to make charitable donations. Asking your friends and well-wishers to support you in this initiative can yield desirable results.

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7. Coach a Youth Sports Team

If you are passionate about sports, you can raise new talent by coaching a youth sports team. You can also use the opportunity for youth mentoring.

8. Donate Your Old Clothes

You probably have plenty of clothes in your wardrobe that you don’t get to wear often. Any clothing (apart from clothes reserved for special occasions) that you have not worn for the past six months can be given out. You can also decide to change your wardrobe yearly to give out your old clothes to those who need them.

9. Become CPR Certified

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving skill you can acquire to save lives in the event of an emergency. If you get certified, you will not only be able to use it to save lives, but you will also be able to train several others.

10. Help Victims of Natural Disasters

Hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides, or forest fires happen around the world, and a countless number of people are suffering the aftermaths of these disasters. You can set a goal to provide help for such people, either by sending relief materials or by volunteering to build temporary shelters.

Final Thoughts

People can be remembered for their personal accomplishments, but the memories that linger most are how they have used their lives and resources to touch lives and make their societies better. Setting and pursuing social goals can give you the opportunity to put your name in the hearts of humans and feature in other people’s life stories.

More Tips on Setting Social Goals

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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