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

How to Create Social Goals to Make an Impact in the World
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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 July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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