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How to Set Goals (and Achieve Them)

31, December 2018

We always talk about the details of how to perfect your walk, how to do your pageant makeup or what to wear for competition, but there is a much larger part of pageant prep that needs to be discussed: pageant goals. Without setting goals each year, month, week and day, you won't ever find the success you're looking for in pageantry or in life. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to set realistic goals and actually achieve them. Check out the list below to drop down to the answer to your question. 

What are goals?

Why are goals important?

How frequently should you set goals?

How to set realistic goals

Why is accountability important?

What accountability measures can you put in place?

How do you measure whether you met your goals?

What should you do if you don’t meet your goals?

A real life example of how setting goals can help you become successful

Pageant Planet founder & CEO,Steven Roddy at Miss Royalty International 2017. Photo: Dazzleshot Images

What are goals?

Contribution by Julia Stone

“It must be borne in mind that the tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”  - Author unknown

Goal, objective, intention, intent, purpose, aim, design….you hear these words every single day. You hear them used on social media, by the guy on the news and from the teacher in your philosophy class. You hear them thrown at you from well-meaning parents and friends. You see them used as subject matter in political speeches and as the topics of Ted Talks.

But, what does the word, “goal” and all the similar synonyms really mean and why are they so very important in your life and in the world of pageantry? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word, “goal,” initially as “the end toward which effort is directed.” Hmmmmm, that seems pretty basic and kind of boring doesn’t it? Surely, that cannot be what all the hubbub is about? Let’s explore some other meanings.

Another definition is, “what one intends to accomplish or attain.” Again, a bit too simple don’t you think?

The synonym, “intention,” implies “little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about.” Yawn! Uh, no, let’s move on.

Oh! How about this one? The word, “intent," “suggests clearer formulation or greater deliberateness.” Ok, now we’re getting somewhere. I think we’re getting warmer. 

The synonym, “design,” implies “a more carefully calculated plan.” Now, it’s getting juicy!

And, then way down on the list, we find this little gem; “Another definition for the word, “goal,” suggests “something attained only by prolonged effort and hardship.” A sample usage would be, “She worked very hard for years to reach her goals.” Bingo!

Now, a goal is certainly something that encompasses all of those definitions. It is the end toward which effort is directed. It is what one intends to accomplish or attain. A goal is also what one has in mind to do or bring about. It suggests great deliberateness and a carefully calculated plan. But, the problem with all of those different uses of the word is that they all are talking about something in the future that seems like it may or may not happen. All of those sentences are mere thoughts, wishes and daydreams.

But, the last definition where we hear about work and challenges and the length of time it took to arrive at the goal, gives us a real feeling of dedication, effort and striving. All of those ideas are part of what it really means to go after a goal. All of those concepts most definitely describe what it is like to go after a goal in pageantry.

Miss Missouri Teen USA 2018 Chloe Bartlett. Photo Miss Missouri Teen USA

Pageant goals

If you are relatively new to the world of pageants and you just read about how goals are so important and all of that, you may be thinking to yourself, “well, duh. Of course goals are important in pageants. I have a goal and it is to win the crown of course!” That kind of a response is to be expected of someone who is a new contestant, no doubt about it.

You may have heard about a local pageant and thought that it sounded like a lot of fun. Maybe you’ve wanted to get involved in pageants for a long time because you’ve actually been to one and it seemed so cool and exciting. Perhaps you’ve seen them on television and the idea of wearing all of those fabulous gowns and being on TV sounds so glamorous!

All of those reactions are very, very typical and many of us who compete in pageants had the exact same experience Those were the things that motivated us to get into pageants in the first place. But, anyone who has been competing in pageants for any length of time will tell you that those reasons are now pretty much at the bottom of our list of reasons as to why we are involved in pageants now. “Wait, what?”  

Yes, it’s true. Don’t get me wrong. We do still have a lot of fun and we do think it is cool and exciting. Yes, of course, we are still crazy about getting to wear the fabulous gowns because it is definitely glamorous! But, there is so much more to being involved in as well as competing in pageants and most of it has to do with the goals we set for ourselves.

Oh, right! The goal of winning the crown, right?” you're probably thinking. Actually, no that’s not right.  Winning the crown is not the goal. Are you shocked? Before you pass out, let me see if I can explain.

Winning the crown is a major goal that many of us do have. If you do truly want to win the crown, then that had better be a major goal because it doesn’t happen by accident. But winning the crown is a goal, not the goal. Winning the crown is one of many goals that most seasoned and experienced competitors have when they are involved in a pageant.

You see, one of the very best things about pageantry is that it is the perfect format or arena to set goals in because pageantry is all about personal development and growth. Most people who don’t know anything about pageants, don’t know this. Most people, and especially new contestants, think that the only goal that every pageant girl has is to win the crown. That’s just not the case.

There are endless goals that you can set when you enter a pageant and throughout your pageant preparation time. In fact, you should never enter a pageant without having at least one major goal that you can achieve, all by yourself. If you don’t set a goal, other than just winning the crown, you are setting yourself up for a potentially devastating disappointment.  

Miss Grand International 2018 Clara Sosa. Photo Miss Grand International

Creating your own “win”

You may be thinking, “Why do I have to have goals when I’m doing a pageant? I just want to win!” The point of having a goal when you enter a pageant is that it’s the only thing that you can control. If you go into a pageant and the only goal in your mind is that you want to win, then you are leaving the results and your happiness in the hands of five (or three) total strangers. You are turning over your power and the entire point of this pageant to someone else.

When you have a goal or goals in addition to wanting to win, then you take your power back. When you have goals that are concrete and that are entirely within your ability and control, then you have something to focus on, something to measure and something to assess your final success by. There is nothing wrong with wanting to win. We are simply saying that it is wise to have a bigger vision than just winning the crown when you enter a pageant. This is not a “fall back” plan, if that is what you are thinking.

This is a carefully crafted strategy that will help you to adopt a winning mind set and will enable you to feel confident in who you are, what you’re about and what you can achieve. Part of the wisdom of setting other goals in addition to winning the pageant is of course practical. If you only set your sights on winning and nothing else, you are setting yourself up for a crushing blow if you do not come away with the crown and that kind of an experience is something we want to shield you from.

Only one person can walk away with the crown. That is the reality. Just because you may not be that girl this year, it does not mean that you didn’t win. Losing is all about your attitude and it’s all within your control. You see, what we’re trying to get at here is that we do want you to win! Winning your pageant is about so much more than just winning a sparkly crown. Winning your pageant is all about your attitude.

Brittany Crews DiCello knows exactly why your attitude is crucial to your success as a pageant contestant. She is a sought after pageant coach and the owner of “The Finishing Touch Consulting.” She captured local, state, national and international titles throughout her pageant career including titles from both the Miss Universe and Miss America Organizations.

“Your attitude towards your situation also affects your sparkle,” says DiCello. “Pageants are an opinion-based competition. The winner is chosen because a panel of judges with a hopefully unbiased opinion will choose her at the end of the day. In this type of situation, you must focus on the things you can control. Your attitude towards those things can be a game changer.”

"For example,” continues DiCello, “ I could focus on the possibly biased panel that may not choose me and be worried I won’t win the entire time that I am competing, probably resulting in a loss. On the other hand, I can focus on preparing myself for the competition so when I walk onstage I know that I have done everything in my power to be the best I can possibly be. Attitude is everything. Focus on the things you have control over.”

Miss Blossomtime 2018 Riley Ellis. Photo Don Campbell

The connection between goals and winning over the judges

Setting goals in pageantry is so valuable because they not only are the main thing that you can control, but they are one of the keys to demonstrating to the judges that you actually have accomplished something substantial. When you are able to show the judges that you are not only a goal setter, but a goal getter, you are giving them the proof that they need to see in order to consider you a potential candidate for the crown.

The judges must not only view you as trustworthy but also as someone who is capable of setting goals and who is also able to work hard to achieve them. When you are a person who can do all of that and actually accomplish an end result, you start to look like queen material. It is so crucial that the judges see those qualities in you because they need their queen to have those same qualities.

We all dread the interview question, “Why should you be the next titleholder?”  Well, hate it no more because Brittany Crews DiCello is about to give you a trick to help you sparkle right through that question.

“Speak to this question in terms of goals that you have accomplished,” asserts DiCello. “Not only will that outline to the judges your past accomplishments, but it will also show them that you are a goal setter and that you get results. A person who is able to get results is what any pageant would want from their titleholder!"

Miss Texas Teen USA 2019 Kennedy Edwards. Photo Select Studios

Set goals, set your alarm and set your mindset to positive

We hope that you have a better understanding of what goals are with regard to pageants and why they are so important to your overall success, not just in pageantry, but in life. Pageants can be so wonderful and so exciting. For the time that we are on stage, we are the center of attention, the star of the show. That is both exhilarating and frightening at the same time. We do our very best to show the judges and everyone there, who we truly are and hopefully our best self is able to shine through. But when it is all over with, a choice has been made. It may be that we were not the one chosen. That outcome can be disappointing or devastating.

When you have spent months or even years preparing for a pageant, that final decision of who wins can be pretty painful. It’s normal to feel disappointed when you have worked so hard. You’ve restricted your calories and your carbs, increased your heart rate and your time in the gym. You’ve spent so much time researching, learning and preparing yourself for every possible question that you could have imagined from the judges. You walked for miles in crazy high heels that most sane women would not even consider putting on their feet. You’ve sacrificed time with your friends and your family, missed out on social opportunities and engagements that you’ll never get back. You’ve attended countless events, made hundreds of appearances and donated untold hours of your time to your platform and to causes that you deeply care about.

Sometimes at the end of the pageant, we ask ourselves if it was worth it. We hope that it was but, only you can make that assessment. You should never look to someone else to define who you are. You should never depend on someone else’s opinion to determine your success. It can be so hard to not be affected by what a judge’s decision means to you. Ultimately, you have to be able to walk away from any pageant with your self esteem, self respect and personal power intact. Setting smart, inspiring and attainable goals for your pageant can do so much for you. The results of those goals can have such a powerful impact on how you feel once the pageant is over. We would like to encourage you that, for your next competition, you spend more time on personal growth and development than you do at the mall shopping for your pageant wardrobe.

A pageant is not just a weekend event that comes and goes. A pageant is your time and your life. Make sure that the next time that you do a pageant; you give everything you’ve got and make sure that you do it your way and on your own terms. Make amazing memories with those incredible girls that you get the opportunity to get to know. Look for ways to contribute to the good of others and make a positive difference in the lives of the people around you, whether they are the director, a judge, a fellow contestant or the maid that cleans your hotel room.

Think carefully about the goals that you want to achieve. Honor yourself and your success when you are on that stage. Don’t go out there trying to prove anything to anyone. Don’t go out there trying to get anyone to love you. Go out there and show them why you are so lovable. Go out there to celebrate the person that you are and all that you have accomplished throughout your pageant journey.

Miss Bridgman 2019 Krystin Buist being crowned. Photo David Johnson
 

Some sample goals for pageants and for life

Sample goals for a pageant

Many people might ask why you need to have a goal in a pageant because isn’t winning the crown the goal? That is being short sighted. There are so many other goals that you can choose besides just winning the crown. In fact, if you are new to pageants or competing in your first pageant, then you definitely want to select some achievable goals that you can focus on either during your competition or during your pageant prep time before the actual pageant.

  • Being yourself in a pageant, going through the journey and being totally you, for better or worse

  • Approaching your pageant as learning experience - Deciding to be open and learning as much as you can, being a sponge

  • Improving your placement in your next pageant – Setting a goal of making it into the Top 10 or the Top 5

  • Your platform or cause – Setting a goal of raising money or awareness for your platform

  • Doing more community service or spending a specific number of hours volunteering each month

  • Fitness  - setting a goal of working out a certain number of days, losing a specific amount of weight or achieving a fitness goal of some kind like running a 5k

  • Working on your onstage presence, your posing skills and walking confidently and gracefully

  • Honing your pageant interview skills by practicing questions and answers

  • Overcoming fear of public speaking or just speaking to strangers

Reaching the finish line. Photo Cathy Yeulet

Sample goals for life

In addition to all of the various goals that you can choose to work on with regard to your pageant, there are endless goals that we all strive towards in life. As long as you are alive, you have the ability to learn, grow and affect change in yourself, other people and in the world around you. If you are actively setting goals for your life, you will always be a fascinating person to be around and you will no doubt be a happier person because your life will be a continual journey of excitement and discovery.

  • Career

  • Education and school

  • Relationships – romantic, family, friendships

  • Professional goals, entrepreneurial goals, networking, improving a skill set or ability

  • Saving money, either for the sake of saving a nest egg or for a worthy goal

  • Fitness or health, running a marathon, competing in an Iron Man or Tough Mudder    competition or just being able to do a pull-up

  • Hobby – taking a class, creating a blog, learning to sing

  • Personal issue, emotional challenge, learning to deal with anger or frustration in a healthy way

  • Interpersonal goal like like learning how to identify your boundaries and be assertive with others

  • Time management

  • Intellectual goal – reading a book or novel or undertaking a research project

  • Finishing something that you’ve put off, completing a project or small task

Why are goals important?

Contribution by Allie J Hoffman

“I realized long ago that the only goal I’ll never reach, is the one I never set!”

- Elizabeth Hunt 2018-2019 Young Miss International Spokesmodel

What keeps us motivated from one obstacle to the next? What makes us achieve greater academics, more prestigious placements in our careers and our next pageant title? What can change our body, mind and physical experience? The answer to all of these questions is goals. Goals are essential to moving our life forward. Goals not only challenge us but have the power to move any part of our lives. Without goals, without something to look forward to, we may also miss what it is that we want to achieve in our lives.

2018 Young Miss International SpokesmodeL Elizabeth Hunt. Photo: Stephanie Quakes

Goals, in short, are like measurements of time. Goals are somewhat like a calendar, without a calendar we are unable to see what lies in front of us. Without knowing what’s in front of us, we are unable to plan for the future. Goals are like a calendar for your life! They are necessary to move forward. What you do with your goals and what type of goals you set is all up to you! You can move mountains with goals, pushing yourself father in every area of your life. 2018 Young Miss International Spokesmodel, Elizabeth Hunt has a firm understanding of how important goals. 

“I set goals for myself in every aspect of my life," Hunt says. "This allows me to be in control of my own destiny.”

2018 International Junior Miss Lone Star State Pre-Teen Brianna Hearon. Photo: Kathy Whittaker

Goals can apply to every part of your life. In academia, goals are important to prepare yourself for your future career and academics. Just ask 2018 International Junior Miss Lone Star State pre-teen, Brianna Hearon.

“I make goals for myself, like making all A’s in pre-AP classes,” Hearon says. “Now that I have finally achieved my goal, it feels like a win, which makes it that much sweeter.”

Having stellar grades has opened many doors for her including earning scholarships and an invitation to join the Loma Alta Middle School UIL teams for math and calculus. Being apart of the UIL teams had been a goal for her for a long time. Even at the young age of 13, Brianna is setting up goals to have a greater chance at a brighter future. 

With fitness goals you can achieve your best body. Believe it or not, fitness goals are crucial to pageantry at every level!

“Overall look starts with overall health," LVN and pageant fan, Ariel Loveday explains. "Confidence and high personal morale starts from the inside, and can show your peers what they can become from the outside. Being physically fit and living a healthy lifestyle are as rooted in pageantry as ‘Giving World Peace’!” 

Fitness goals can mean different things for all people. For some, it may mean a particular weight, for others, a muscle grouping they need to work on. In pageantry, fitness goals can help with the way you walk, your posture and of course, your aesthetic appeal. Afterall, how can queens be role models for potential queens if we aren’t the best versions of ourselves? Setting and achieving physical goals for ourselves is just as important as honing our public speaking and talent skills.

Dawn Alioto, founder of Role Models International and 2018 Young American Miss International Supreme Friends. Photo: Dawn Alioto

With pageantry, your goals can surpass winning your title and roll into pushing your platform, motivating others and even personal goals. Without knowing what your end game is, and how to get there with goal setting we will never achieve our personal best self! Pageants and goal setting helped Dawn Alioto with her personal goals. Dawn is the President and founder of Role Models International and 2018 Young American Miss International Supreme Friends.

“Pageants changed my life in so many ways," Alioto says. "When I was a child, I was painfully shy. In pageants, I had to learn interview skills and it boosted my self confidence.”

Her love for dance and acting lead her into her first pageant, despite how shy she was in speaking. Her goal for her first pageant was simply to get through the interview process. After the pageant, she re-evaluated her process and saw what she needed to work on for her next pageant. She learned what kind of questions they were going to ask and each time she set new goals for the next pageant.

“Before you knew it, I was actually getting good at interviewing...one day, I actually had someone say to me, that my interview was the best they had ever experienced," Alioto said. "Wow! I was actually good at it!”

That process helped Dawn coach one of her own daughter’s through three national pageants, achieve a second career at age 40 and become the founder of Role Models International.

2018 Royal International Miss Pre-Teen Lonestar State Aaliyah Steffan. Photo: Tannya Steffan.

We all know how important charities, community service and our platform is when competing. Royal International Miss Pre-Teen Lonestar State Aaliyah Steffan has overcame obstacles by placing importance on goals. Her community service project Bears for the Boys in the Blue, original goal was to collect enough stuffed animals to donate to her local police department. She went above her goals by collecting enough for six locations.

“Setting and achieving goals is important," Steffan said "It helps to build character, determination and resilience.And in pageantry, those are some of the great qualities that make a queen.”

How frequently should you set goals?

Contribution by Allie J Hoffman

Photo: Pinterest

 

“I set some small goals to keep my morale boosted and then larger long term goals to drive my ambition forward,” said Young Miss International Spokesmodel 2018-2019 Elizabeth Hunt.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”? I have often thought about this saying and it applies so well into goal setting. Goals have the ability to change our very trajectory of life with just a nugget of thought. Although we have to process and work to achieve that goal, the initial concept is just a mere idea. A mere idea today that may change the rest of your life. You may not realize this, but every single day of your life you are goal setting.

Some goals may seem mundane to us, like finishing a crossword puzzle or getting all of your homework or work completed. Other goals like raising a certain amount of money for charity or completing your higher education can be set daily but take much more than a day to achieve. Regardless of how often we set goals, the amount of time it takes to achieve them will depend on the goal itself. So how do you know how often to set them? It is important to define your goals and have a timeline of how to achieve them, so that you don’t lose track. Read on to learn what goals are appropriate for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly timelines.

Daily Goals

“Write down goals every month and read them everyday.” Co-founder of Evercoach, Ajit Nawalkha recalls of a tip he heard in a seminar. “These goals were not year long goals. Some of these were five year-ten year goals.”

Even though he is reviewing goals daily, they aren’t necessarily daily goals. So in a way, his daily goal is to review his long terms goals. Why, you may ask, is it beneficial to write and review goals daily if they aren’t daily goals? Think back to elementary school. Once a week we are given a list of spelling words to be reviewed daily and tested on a few days later. Now if we have those spelling words in our folder and never took them back out, the chances of correctly placing the letters days later are small. You have a higher chance of acing your spelling bee by taking them out everyday and reading them out loud, re-writing them and letting them sink into our memory.  

For more tips on achieving personal growth check out Ajit and many more life coaches on the Mindvalley Youtube channel here. For a cute ‘goal journal’ to log your objectives, I suggest this little cutie pictured below available on Wearlively.com.

Photo: www.wearlively.com

With all that we have going on in our lives; pageant prep and everyday life tasks, how can we possibly find time to work toward a long term goal let alone review a possibly long and sky-high list of goals? Brian Tracy has an approach on this that may ease your daily stress, he says in part to establish a morning ritual that will be uplifting and positive.  He refers to this as “The Golden Hour.” Check out more life coaching tips from Brian.

While his method is take 30 minutes to an hour each day to do something pro-active, my suggestion is to build in 30 minutes every morning to review your goals, manage your goals and plan. Can you imagine yourself sipping from your Pageant Planet coffee cup, reading Pageant Daily while going through a goal journal every morning? That sounds like a calm and amazing ritual to start off each day. To begin your morning ritual, head on over to the Pageant Planet shop for an assortment of coffee or tea mugs here.

The perfect mug for the pageant girl in your life. Photo: Pageant Planet

With all that we want to accomplish in our lives from academics, pageantry, fitness, finances and so much more, how to we determine what goals are appropriate to complete in just one day? Once you set your long term goals then you can break down your goal into smaller sections. For example, if your long term goal is to obtain a four year degree then a daily goal could be contacting schools you are interested in. Perhaps you’d like to be debt free in five years, a daily goal could then be to evaluate all of your debts, list them and break them down by how much you will need to pay yearly or month. I know this sounds backwards, set your long term plans first to achieve them daily. By setting a proper structure of smaller goals you then, in return, achieve your long turn target.

Weekly

A weekly goal may be a bit tricky to define. Weekly goals aren’t as immediate as daily goals but aren’t as long term and monthly or yearly goals. Your weekly ambition may be harder to plan will have a bigger result than a daily goal. A weekly goal can be useful when logging finance and fitness goals. We all know the feeling of trying to shed weight weeks before a pageant. Since weight can fluctuate from day to day, measuring weight by week will be most beneficial. Weekly finance goals are also very fulfilling to set and achieve as well! If you have a goal of paying off debt and cutting out extra spending on things like fast food and outings, weekly budgets are more appropriate than daily.

The guideline below shows another way of organizing your goals into a neat timeline. Instead of listing out your goals, use your journal to reflect an overall picture of your goals by starting with what you can do right now! If you are using this method, your weekly goal will be based on what your monthly goal is. What is one thing you can do this week to meet your monthly goal? This guideline also using the ‘backward’ method of concentrating your efforts on long term goals by breaking them down into smaller goals.

Photo: Pat Flynn Pinterest

Monthly

Monthly aspirations are best kept track of with a calendar. I find using different colored pencils or pens work fabulously when I’m truly working hard toward any monthly or long term goal. Plan out your month a few days before and be firm. We absolutely want you to reach for the stars with your goals, but be realistic about how much you can achieve in a small timeline like a week or month.

While working toward bigger, long term goals, you should take a moment to re-evaluate each month. Take into consideration what worked to achieve your goals daily and weekly within the month. Ask yourself if you’ve used your ‘Golden Hour’ appropriately or if you need to find a different time or way to memorize your goals. Change up your timeline if you feel you are more focused on one goal than another. Always celebrate what you have accomplished the month before, reward included!

When reaching for a pageant goal, you may want to go over your achievements throughout the month. How much community service work should you do monthly to reach the title so you rightfully want? How many coaching sessions a month are appropriate in a month’s time to prepare for your next event? Of course, what budget can you work with each month to afford to buy one outfit or two new accessories for competition? By setting monthly pageant goals, within a year you will be more than prepared with no stress at all come pageant day.

Photo: Pinterest

Yearly and beyond

Yearly goals are my favorite to plan. That’s because the pride you feel after completing a year of work toward a goal is like no other! They tend to be larger goals like moving into a different home, getting a promotion at work or preparing for a large pageant. Going on your dream vacation, paying off a student loan and buying a new car are also very important yearly goals. For some of these, my examples may take a year or more to achieve, it will all depend on where you start off and how eager you are to achieve them.

Since a year's time (or more) can be a bit overwhelming, creating a visionary board of your dreams and ambitions can get a wonderful year-round motivator (and a lot of fun too!). Bust out your markers, printer and poster board to create a bright, focused image of what you want your world to look like at the end of the year. Your visionary board can include anything from positive words, the purse of your dreams to that fancy car you’ve always wanted or that girls trip you so deserve to an island paradise.

When creating a visionary board, try to stick to your goals list in your journal. Structure is so important when maintaining and trying to reach goals. If we develop new goals, we can always add them in. Remember what you started with though. Positive captions are always great to paste onto your dream board, because they may just give you inspiration on a somber day.

Photo: Pinterest

How to set realistic goals

Contribution by Devon Knightner

You’re so excited. You just can’t hide it. You’re about to set your goals and you know you like it! You just watched Miss Philippines crowned Miss Universe. The crown is yours... the rest of the world just doesn’t know it yet. You know it’s gonna happen and you’ll be ready in three months. You’ve decided and you’re going in full throttle. Wait... how do you accomplish all of that in three months?

Miss Universe 2018, Catriona Gray. Photo: Raymond Saldana

You can achieve whatever dream you desire. In order to turn that dream into a waking reality, hard work, realistic planning and goal setting are must-haves. Nothing worth having is easy to attain. It doesn’t have to be difficult either. By setting realistic goals and having patience, it’s possible to make anything happen. Fall in love with the process.

In the 1960s, Edwin Locke put forward the goal-setting theory of motivation. Locke’s theory says that goal setting is equivalent to task performance. He states that specific and challenging goals along with appropriate feedback contribute to higher and better task performance. In order for this theory to be true, you must set realistic goals.

Vanessa Van Edwards, the Science of People human behavior research lab lead investigator, has vetted a science to setting successful goals and New Year’s resolution ideas, and it’s not what you would think. In this post, I want to talk about how to set your goals effectively and then proactively achieve them. According to multiple media outlets, “Her unique work has been featured on NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Today Show and USA Today. She has written for CNN, Fast Company and Forbes.” If you’re wondering why some of your goals have failed, take a look at Goal Setting: 5 Science-Backed Steps to Setting and Achieving Your Goals. Find your “emotional temperature” when goal setting by clicking here

Check out Van Edwards' free goal-setting workshop.

Now that you’ve determined how you go about determining and achieving your goals you’ll need to do some editing. Out of all the goals set, which are attainable and which are unrealistic? There is no such thing as an unrealistic or unattainable goal; if you stick to your goal, eventually you will achieve it. Just remember to work smart and healthy, not hard!  Let’s take “smart” to a new level in our goal success.

SMART goals

You have to set proper goals geared towards the subject in mind. Having SMART goal-setting can ensure success. To make goal-setting S.M.A.R.T., it needs to reflect the following criteria: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

What do you want to accomplish or achieve? This isn’t a detailed list of how you’re going to achieve but asking yourself these questions will include that answer. Smart Sheet expounds upon the acronym. It reads as follows:

SMART Goals. Photo: Bryan Tracy

Let's dive into what S.M.A.R.T. stands for!

S – Specific

When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to accomplish. Think about this as the mission statement for your goal. This isn’t a detailed list of how you’re going to meet a goal, but it should include an answer to the popular ‘w’ questions:

  • Who – Consider who needs to be involved to achieve the goal (this is especially important when you’re working on a group project).
  • What – Think about exactly what you are trying to accomplish and don’t be afraid to get very detailed.
  • When – You’ll get more specific about this question under the “time-bound” section of defining S.M.A.R.T. goals, but you should at least set a time frame.
  • Where – This question may not always apply, especially if you’re setting personal goals, but if there’s a location or relevant event, identify it here.
  • Which – Determine any related obstacles or requirements. This question can be beneficial in deciding if your goal is realistic. For example, if the goal is to open a baking business, but you’ve never baked anything before, that might be an issue. As a result, you may refine the specifics of the goal to be “Learn how to bake in order to open a baking business."
  • Why – What is the reason for the goal? When it comes to using this method for employees, the answer will likely be along the lines of company advancement or career development.

M – Measurable

What metrics are you going to use to determine if you meet the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress. If it’s a project, that’s going to take a few months to complete, then set some milestones by considering specific tasks to accomplish.

A – Achievable

This focuses on how important a goal is to you and what you can do to make it attainable. It may require developing new skills and changing attitudes. The goal is meant to inspire motivation, not discouragement. Think about how to accomplish the goal and if you have the tools/skills needed. If you don’t currently possess those tools/skills, consider what it would take to attain them.

R – Relevant

Relevance refers to focusing on something that makes sense with the broader business goals. For example, if the goal is to launch a new product, it should be something that’s in alignment with the overall business objectives. Your team may be able to launch a new consumer product, but if your company is a B2B that is not expanding into the consumer market, then the goal wouldn’t be relevant.

T – Time-Bound

Anyone can set goals, but if it lacks realistic timing, chances are you’re not going to succeed. Providing a target date for deliverables is imperative. Ask specific questions about the goal deadline and what can be accomplished within that time period. If the goal will take three months to complete, it’s useful to define what should be achieved halfway through the process. Providing time constraints also creates a sense of urgency.

If you write out your goals or S.M.A.R.T. your goals, having a clear understanding of your purpose can help you achieve ultimate success and minimize failure. There are some great resources to utilize when thinking about and setting your goals.

10 Amazing books to help reach your goals PHOTO: Jody Robbins

 

Why is accountability important?

Contribution by Devon Knightner

We all love getting the rush of adrenaline when someone is cheering on our positivity. It’s our human nature to thrive off it. An inspiring motivational speech with a commanding call-to-action can make the most anxious of participants feel the need to take action. When we’re persistent in our endeavors and receive motivation, what got us to achieve our goals? Was it motivation, persistence or both? Is there a difference between the two words or can we achieve our goals without the other? Are we holding ourselves accountable?

Accountability simply means responsibility. It is so incredibly important in setting goals, especially long-term goals. When we start working towards a big goal, our motivation is often enough to carry us through the first couple weeks, but eventually the motivation wears down and it becomes difficult to keep pursuing our goals. We see little, if any, progress and we want to give up. This is where accountability comes into play. You won't acheive your goals without it. Charlie Johnson talks about the importance of accountability in a TEDxTalk, check it out:

When motivation wears off

There is a fine line but a huge difference between motivation and persistence. Motivation is the general desire or willingness of someone to do something well or achievable.  Persistence is a firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition; the continued or prolonged existence of something. Motivation is the medicine that we need to keep most persistent in attaining our goals. We need motivation from ourselves as well as others.

Accountability can help cultivate motivation towards reaching your goals. Think about it. If you aren't seeing progress as fast as you'd like to, how easy is it to give up and say the goal was "too hard" or unrealistic? At the beginning of working towards a goal, you have momentum. Towards the end of working towards a goal, you can see the goal in sight and it keeps you moving forward. What can you do to keep moving towards the goal when you've lost your start up energy and the end is nowhere near? Accountability. 

Tiffany Mason contributing author at LifeHack has created an article on easy ways to track your progress. Four ways to track your progress toward your goals:

  • Look at the big picture. This is the foundation of keeping track of your progress and also accomplishing your goals. This is about setting goals that make sense with your life currently, where you want to be and your priorities going forward. 
  • Plan and Organize. When it comes to tracking your progress toward your goals, planning and organizing your time is key to accomplishing your goals.This step is where you break down daily, weekly and monthly goals to acheive success.
  • Accountability. Find ways to keep yourself motivated towards your goals, even when you aren't seeing the progress you'd like or you're becoming so busy that you forget about your goals.
  • Celebrate. Reward yourself for small wins and finally reaching those goals.

Without a doubt, accountability is one of the most important steps in acheiving your goals.

"Share your goals with your spouse or a good friend," Mason writes. "It’s important to have another person ask you about your progress. When there is someone else other than yourself holding you accountable, you are more likely to get your tasks completed throughout the week. You will be motivated by both the desire to avoid letting them down as well as the support and encouragement that they offer when you do accomplish your goals."

(Left to Right) Maria Newlon, Makenna Remenaric, Reilly Dittemore, Imani Bush (Queen), Yasmine Agyekum, Emerson Cowles Photo: profootballhoffestival.com

What accountability measures can you put in place?

Contribution by Devon Knightner

Accountability is the paradigm in achieving your goal successfully. Being focused and self-discipline is crucial when achieving any goal. Our willpower can get the best of us at times. Team sports have coaches just like pageants have coaches. Your pageant coach is holding you accountable and setting the industry standard. Where would you be without your coach? Would you be able to hold yourself accountable? What accountability measures can you put in place?

Accountability measures are designed to identify produce the greatest positive impact on our goals for improvement and keep us motivated even when our willpower gives out. When our goals are at the forefront of measuring accountability, you can track your success. Remember the purpose of accountability is to achieve your goals successfully. 

Miss World 2018 Vanessa Ponce de Leon. Photo: AFP

Accountability apps

In this beautiful technology age that we live in, there are so many fabulous tools at our fingertips. There are a few ways to measure your accountability. You can use Apps, have accountability partners and make a journal to track your success and failures. “Apps” are handy little applications that can be accessed through both the web and through a smartphone application. The main purpose is all about helping people to set and stick to SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals.

A great example to think of is when you have a goal to lose weight. Sometimes having a personal trainer coach is costly. So there are particular goal-oriented apps to assist you along the way. They actually work and can send you notifications on your devices keep motivated.

Fitness apps

MyFitnessPal is a smartphone app and website that tracks diet and exercise to determine optimal caloric intake and nutrients for the users' goals and uses gamification elements to motivate users. It’s a free online calorie counter and diet plan. Lose weight by tracking your caloric intake quickly and easily. Find nutrition facts for over 2,000,000 foods.

Habit trackers

There are a ton of great habit tracking apps out there. These apps allow you to check in with yourself daily to make sure you're making progress towards your goals each and every day. One of the best habit trackers is Productive - Habit Tracker. It allows you to log tasks, exercises and other habits while showing you how much you've progressed over a period of time. 

Another top-rated habit tracking app is Simple Habit Tracker. This app allows you to challenge yourself with 21 day streaks, comes loaded with over 200 habits and allows you to build your ideal morning ritual. 

Productivity apps

These productivity apps can come in handy if you find yourself in rut. From note-taking apps that keep you organized, like EverNote, to board and group-based organization apps, like Trello, there are so many productivity apps out there for you to take advantage of. 

Journaling

If technology totally isn't your thing, no worries. You can track your habits the good ol' fashioned way, on paper. A lot of people use a technique called bullet journaling to keep them organized and accountable. The idea behind bullet journalling is simple, one place to keep track of your life. This can include your schedule, your goals, your habits, whether you're spending or saving money, just about anything really! 

A habit tracker can be simple and effective. It could even look something like this:

Photo: Pinterest

Journaling each day is an effective way to check in with yourself on your actual progress towards acheiving your goals. An added bonus is that you can personlize your tracker anyway you'd like!

Accountability partners

Another great way to keep yourself accountable is to have an accountability partner. An accountability partner is someone who checks in with you on your progess and gives you a little push when needed. This person can be just about anyone who is willing to listen to your journey towards your goals and remind you to keep going when you need it. It can be just one person, like a friend or even a coach, or a group of people, like a fitness group or your sister queens. Having someone who is aware of your goals will help you to stay motivated to acheive them.

Pageant Planet

You can’t forget about Pageant Planet to keep you accountable along the way of your pageant. Set up your profile. Enter in the date of your pageant and we’ll send you a helpful timeline guide to keep you accountable. You can find pageants to compete in or coaches and trainers to help you acheive your goals. Get started here.

You can even sign up for the Pageant Box, which is a monthly subscription box designed to help you acheive your pageant goals based on the time until your next pageant. Each month's box will focus on a different aspect of preparation you'll need to capture the crown. And because it's shipped directly to you, there's little you need to worry about while preparing for your pageant. Sign up for the Pageant Box here.

Another great resource we offer for you is Pageant Daily, a daily pageant newsletter containing coaching tips, podcasts, news and potential interview questions. This is sent directly to your inbox each morning and is perfect for quick pageant prep. In five minutes, it teaches you something you need to know to be successful in pageantry, summarizes news stories that could come up in interview, gives you four to five practice interview questions and even a podcast that helps you be successful in your chosen pageant. Pretty cool, right? You can check that out here.

At the beginning of each Pageant, job interview or whatever your heart’s desire, goals are set. Pacts are made. The enthusiasm and motivation are at an all-time high and you don’t even think about accountability. And you just know that you’re going to achieve your goal no matter what. It’s a brief buzz now back to reality. You must have accountability measures in place in order to be successful in achieving your goals. It’s unrealistic to believe that you cannot be held accountable and remember to achieve the small details. Set everything up in the beginning. Make life easier on yourself so you can achieve your crowning success.

How do you measure whether you met your goals?

Contribution by Allie J Hoffman

You’ve made the lists, you’ve checked them every day. You’ve gone out of your way to reach your goals. Then it happens, you reach your goal. You can check an item off of your goal list! You have achieved the impossible, worked your tail off and it paid off. Now you have the promotion you wanted, the grades you worked for or the financial freedom so you deserve. But it isn’t all that simple. If there is one thing we haven’t touched on yet, it is this; that the journey it took to meet your target, gave you more than just your goal. The measure of if you met your goals or not, should not just be simply meeting the goal. It should include how meeting your goal improved or changed you!

Often times, as with anything in life, our story is so much better than just the ending. Sure, you now have an amazing title to reign with or a brand new car, but what did you learn in the process? Who did you meet? What did you give up? What story are you going to take away from your path aside from your achievement? The person you become through reaching your goals, is usually the point that we don’t see until after reaching our goal. What did winning your pageant do for you? If you don’t take away something other than your objective, then did it really improve you?

Photo: www.noblequotes.com

”Goals can have the potential value only if they help you develop and improve yourself,” Macie Dawkins Young American Teen Miss International commented. 

You see, goal-setting is not just about achieving your goal, it’s about obtaining something that enhances your life. If it were simply just about meeting your target, then any time we purchased something, be it completely mundane like groceries, we would consider that reaching a goal. But you can get or buy anything, achieving and working toward something is quite different entirely.

“Once being crowned a queen, it is an opportunity for a young woman to be a role model to community and most importantly to younger girls and women," Dawkins continued. "Pageants give all of the contestants a chance to learn about themselves and to branch out of their comfort zones to better themselves.”

In a sense, reaching your goal should be the beginning of another goal. In pageantry, if your goal is simply too grab that title, then you haven’t clearly defined your goal. What comes after the actual pageant becoming a role model, pushing your platform, raising awareness for your charities, being the icon for that particular system goes so far beyond the crown.

Macie Dawkins Young American Teen Miss International. Photo: Ant Bagshaw

Macie has been able to work and raise awareness for the Ronald McDonald House charities through her title. Through her title, she created the Gowns and Crowns walk which raised enough money to add an additional floor onto the Ronald McDonald’s House in Cardiff, Wales.

“I am able to see the impact in which my event has had on the charity and am happy to announce this will now become an annual event.” Macie continues about the impact of her charity work, “I do charity work because giving isn’t just about making a donation. It’s about making a difference. I hope that with my title I will inspire more pageant girls to do the same.”

You may find while working toward your goals that your goals change, your priorities change or that maybe where you are in life isn’t the ideal place to meet your target. No matter what is going on in your life, don’t give up on your goals. Always remember that achievements are to set yourself up for a better future. No matter the goal, you should adjust your life and adjust your plan to meet your potential. You only get one life, and what you make of it is completely up to you!

Don’t let life change your goals, because achieving your goals can change your life.

What should you do if you don’t meet your goals?

Contribution by Julia Stone


Strength and determination on the inside and out. Photo: Body by Craig

It is so imperative to understand what is happening or what is getting in the way of your results if you are working towards a goal and things are not going the way that you envisioned that they should. Maybe you are preparing for a pageant and you are shocked and dismayed to discover that you are having such a hard time. Maybe you thought that this would all be so much easier.

We’re going to tell you the truth. Fighting for something and working diligently for something that is important to you is very, very hard. But, the good news is that you are not unique and you are not alone. There are a few reasons why reaching a goal is so difficult. Some of those reasons involve our personal habits, our human nature and for some of us, it is difficult because of our immaturity. Obtaining a major goal requires consistency and dedicated effort over a long period of time. We have to continually take action towards our objective, whether we feel inspired to do so or not. We have to get up when our alarm clock goes off, even though we are tired and just want to go back to bed. We have to show up for that class and do the work even if we don’t like the instructor or we just don’t “feel like it.”

For many of us, that is a big challenge. We are impatient and we want it now! Unfortunately, our impatience is often rewarded because we live in an “instant gratification, order it and get it tomorrow, have it delivered to your house, I want it all and I want it now, self-centered, I’m a great big baby and it’s all about me” world. We are rewarded with a microwaved meal in five minutes and we can get a million search results from Google in a nanosecond. We have forgotten the value of working hard for something that is worth working for and waiting patiently for something that is worth waiting for.

Maybe you are not impatient, but you are still having difficulty reaching your goal and you don’t understand why you are so frustrated. This may come as a shock, but even though you may be passionate about a goal or feel like this is what you were put on the Earth to do, it does not mean that it’s going to be a breeze getting to the finish line. This is actually, in fact, the biggest misconception about goals.

The majority of people who set out to accomplish something significant think that because they are super motivated and because they have created a thorough plan, that the process of obtaining their goal should be pretty smooth and uneventful. They may even feel that they were meant to do something and therefore, they assume that because they perceive that their goal is their destiny or even possibly a spiritual calling, that all of the doors on the way will be open or that there will no resistance whatsoever from anywhere or anyone, least of all themselves. This attitude, although really sincere, is somewhat naïve.

If you have ever achieved something really monumental in your life or obtained an objective that was truly worthwhile and one that you sincerely cherish, then you know full well that the journey to that goal was nothing short of agonizing at times. You have earned the hard won wisdom of someone who has fought their own resistance, fear or personal challenges. You have learned the lessons that only someone who has walked through the fire and come out the other side, can know. Accomplishing a major life goal, especially one that involves consistent hard work, personal change, persistence faith or a huge investment of time, is one of the most challenging experiences that a human being can go through.

But, if you do not know that because you do not have the benefit of having been down that road a number of times and actually have achieved some hard won goals, then you may make the fatal mistake of quitting before that miracle happens.

For those of us who have been involved in the world of pageants for some time and have experienced the journey of preparing and competing for a pageant, understand that goals and pageantry go hand in hand. Pageants are a beautiful and glamorous world of jaw dropping fashion, dazzling talent and mesmerizing passion, topped off with an abundance of rhinestones and an array of sparkly crowns. Those are the things that brought us into pageantry. The things that keep us coming back however, are ultimately the journey of personal growth and development and the priceless rewards that we experience as a result of that growth. All of that personal growth comes from being able to set reasonable goals and creating a strategy for obtaining them. It sounds simple, but it certainly is not easy.

This section on goals is directed at those of us who are new to goal-setting as well as the people who have some experience with working towards their personal goals, but are not meeting them for some reason. It is so easy to get off track along the way or to get frustrated and impatient with yourself and the process if you are not getting the results that you think you should be getting. 

We’re going to explore why going after your goals is so hard and what you should do if you find yourself at a crossroads. We’ll examine the pros and cons of whether you should start over or keep pursuing. We will try to determine whether you should reevaluate your approach, change your priorities or lower the bar. Hopefully by the end of this journey, you will have better clarity of what you should do in your situation.

The difference between dreams and goals

Craig Hughes is a highly successful and sought after fitness coach who has helped countless titleholders and contestants reach not only their fitness goals but their pageant dreams. In fact, he has coached four Miss Virginia USA’s and two First Runner-ups! But, his expertise goes far beyond the rigorous training sessions that he takes his clients' bodies through in his gym. What Craig specializes in is the connection between what you think in your head and heart and the actions that you take in the real world. This is the key to the incredible results that his clients have come to expect with their physiques and their lives.

“At Body by Craig we coach clients to make a distinction between dreams and goals,” states Hughes. “Dreams are the “big picture” items that you visualize and strive for. Goals are the milestones you set and attain along the way to achieving those dreams. Without goals, dreams are just that: dreams. They’re out of your reach. Goals make dreams possible because the goals are always in your hands. For example, in pageantry, a dream would be to win a state Miss USA crown. A goal would be defined as putting together a complete performance plan, across the board and then allowing the outcome to take care of itself. By turning in your best performance ever, that ends up meeting your goal because it’s 100% in your hands, whereas the outcome of the pageant is not.”

What Craig Hughes is describing is an extremely powerful and effective way to view pageantry in general as well as how you prepare for your pageant experience. He’s talking about switching your focus from the outcome of the pageant to focusing on all of the specific actions that you can take that will lead to that outcome.

For instance, instead of focusing on the goal of winning the crown, focus on all of the actions that it will take to win the crown. Don’t make your goal to win, make your goal to work out consistently and intensely 4 to 5 days a week and eat clean every day. Make your goal to practice walking in your heels and working on posing and stage presence several times a week. Make your goal that you will study current events, read the paper and watch the news every evening. Make your goal that you will volunteer your time and support your platform every weekend.

When it comes down to it, winning the crown is based on being a well rounded competitor who is the “total package.” You must have top scores across the board in interview, talent, swimsuit, evening gown and any other competition categories. The irony is that when your goal is developing all of those pageant skills, you actually increase your chances of winning.

“Dreams provide the incentive and motivation to train hard for something big, push past your limits, and get to the next level,” encourages Hughes. “Without that inner passion there is no commitment to accomplishing tough goals along the way. When you dream, dream big. Dreams are a critical part of pageantry. They’re an extension of your inner passion. This is where it all begins!”


Craig Hughes and Miss Virginia USA 2019 Courtney Smits. Photo Body by Craig

 

Start over

A wise person knows when to quit and when they should readjust and begin again. One of the most frustrating points in life is when you are on a clear path and all of a sudden, something out of your control happens and just totally blindsides you. One day you are cruising towards your goal, feeling positive and looking forward to the future, and wham, you are sent spiraling out of control because of an incident that you did not see coming.

For example, maybe you entered a pageant and then you got laid off from your job without any warning, or you come to the realization that you just cannot keep up with your classes and you are running the risk of failing out of school. Perhaps there is nothing dramatic that is happening, but for whatever reason, it’s become clear to you that you just cannot handle all of the responsibilities that you have on your plate at this time, and you are suddenly hit with feelings of being overwhelmed. These kinds of events happen to all of us, and most of the time, they happen at the worst possible time and they involve a lot of things that you do not have any control over. When life happens like this, then you really need to step back and ask yourself if this is really the best time to be involved in a pageant.

Maybe you need to withdraw this year, focus on becoming employed and getting a new job that you love. Maybe you need to reassess your class load and focus on your education and then come back next year when you can really give it your all. Perhaps this life event is really just about timing and as painful as it may be to quit your pageant and start over next year, the benefit of doing so is that you will get your peace of mind back. Besides, if you go into a pageant and you are already feeling emotionally or mentally overwhelmed because your life is out of balance, that pageant experience is going to be extremely stressful and unpleasant for you.

At the same time, we get that making these kind of life altering decisions can be really heartbreaking and it can make you feel like you are a failure or that there is something wrong with you. We live in a society that values an overachiever mentality. The world and the people around us often push us to pursue achievements just for the sake of achievements. We find ourselves being constantly busy, focused entirely on accomplishments, rather than being focused on mental and emotional balance, and on our internal peace. There is nothing wrong with having a healthy, balanced life and there is nothing wrong with you if you decide to take a breather, change your course and start over again.

If you find yourself at a crossroads where life has intervened and interrupted the path that you were on, and you are now pondering whether or not you should quit and just start over, then you might benefit from some simple exercises. No, we’re not talking about pushups and crunches, although a little huffing and puffing would certainly help blow off some steam and minimize your stress level! What we’re referring to are some writing and meditation exercises that can be very helpful in sorting out all of your conflicting feelings about this decision.

Do a pros and cons list

First of all, doing a thorough pros and cons list can get all of your thoughts down on paper, so that you can get them out of your head and literally see them in black and white. If you have never done a pros and cons list, you may be surprised and how much this exercise can clear your thoughts in a very short time.

The benefit of doing this is that you gain objectivity over your thoughts, feelings and entire situation. When we are just thinking about something for a long time, we tend to get more stressed out because our feelings become more magnified. Getting all of that down on paper can release all of that tension and give you a new, fresh perspective on your problem. The beauty of this exercise is that it is very simple and straightforward. It’s kind of like the mental equivalent of cleaning out your closet. Instead of decluttering your dresses and staggering shoe collection, you are decluttering your mind from the mass of thoughts that have had you going around in circles.

All that you do is take a piece of paper and write the words, “pros” and “cons” up at the top in separate columns. Then, without pondering it all too much, you begin writing every single thing that you can think of that you consider to be a positive or a negative aspect of your potential decision. After you are done and have written as much as you can think of to write, then just go away and take a break for a few minutes. Take a few deep breaths, let yourself just space out for a bit and allow the process to work itself out.

After, you’ve had a break, go back to your list and take a good look at what you’ve written. You should have a much clearer idea of what the potential results would be if you chose one decision over the other. Just remember that only you can make this decision for yourself. This is your life and you have the right to make your own choices. You are the one, after all , who has to live with every decision that you make.

And, then what?

A powerful mental exercise that you can do is the, “And, then what” exercise. The benefit of this experience is that you will be able to disconnect yourself from the emotional turmoil that you have been feeling about whether or not to start over with regard to your goal.

Often times, it is not the decision about starting over that is causing us so much trouble. It is all of the worry, fear and anxiety that we have just free floating around in our minds that is causing us to be so tense. All of that comes from the thoughts that we have been indulging in and it can be so helpful to just withdraw from all of that and get to the nitty gritty of the problem.

What you do is go to a quiet place where you can be totally alone and sit down and relax. Then you want to clear your mind as much as you can and put yourself in a peaceful, receptive state. When you are feeling peaceful and calm, you want to turn your attention to the decision that you are contemplating, such as quitting the pageant and starting over next year.

You simply ask yourself the question, “What if I quit the pageant?  What is the worst thing that could happen?” And listen to what comes up. It might go something like this:

“What if I quit the pageant?  What is the worst thing that could happen?”

“I will feel really bad. I will feel like a failure, like I let myself and my family and friends down. Everyone will look at me like I’m a loser. And, besides, my Mom spent a fortune on my evening gown.”

“And, then what?”

“Well, my friends and family love me and they would want me to do what I need to do and take care of myself. Anybody who loves me won’t think that I’m a loser. Pageants are a lot of work! My Mom wants to support me and would not care about the money. And, I can wear the gown next year. But, I will still beat myself up for a long time, probably. I will have to explain to everyone why I quit and that will be humiliating.”

“And, then what?”

“I guess, I need to love and support myself as much as my friends and family do. I need to forgive myself for just being human and the fact that I am not perfect. It will be embarrassing to have to tell people that I quit, but the reality is that I just cannot do the pageant now. Anyone who cares about me will understand and lots of people have been in this situation too. I have to do what’s right for me and my life.”

This is a very simplistic example of the thought process that you might experience if you do this exercise, but you get the general idea. You just keep asking yourself the question until you get to a place of peace. If you are not at peace, then you need to keep going and get to the bottom of what is causing you discomfort with this decision.

Listen to your gut

Another really powerful thing to do is just to listen to your gut or your intuition. We all have the ability to hear our inner truth if we listen closely enough. It’s just that when we are in the midst of a painful situation and we are faced with making a difficult decision that we just do not want to make, it can be hard to hear our true feelings. Getting to the heart of the matter and discovering what the real issues are can help you to get a bigger picture view of your situation. When your perspective is not so personal and affected by your conflicting thoughts, you will then be able to hear a clear answer.

Do the same exact thing that you did in the previous exercise and get in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed and relax and get comfortable. Take a few deep breaths and let all your thoughts just go. Ask yourself this question and listen closely for the answer;

“If you decided to quit, knowing that everything would turn out just fine, and you could come back again at a another time and start over when it was best for you, what would you do now?”

This kind of, “get to the heart of the matter” questioning can cause all of the nonsense to fade away and can get you to the answer that you need rather quickly. You see, the biggest issue that we often have with the idea of quitting something and starting over is that we are afraid. It is our fear that causes all of those crazy, overwhelming and immobilizing thoughts and feelings to keep us stuck in a place of non-decision. We are afraid that we will lose something. We are afraid of what people will think of us. We are afraid of how we will feel about ourselves and that those feelings are going to affect us negatively.

If we can change our attitude about making the decision, and get past the fear, we will take our power back. And, when we find our power again, and choose to be open minded and positive, we will be able to make the right decision for us, one that we can live with.

Miss International 2018 Top 5. Photo: Miss International

Keep pursuing

Sometimes we need to quit and sometimes we need to quit making excuses. Ouch, right? Hey, it’s the truth. And, we tell you the truth because we care about you and we don’t want to see you throw your dream away or give up on yourself because you made one of the biggest mistakes there is. Now, it’s time for some tough love, pretty pageant girl. 

The toughest thing in life is to keep on going when the going gets tough. If you are a pageant competitor and you’re trying to reach a goal in your next pageant, whether that goal is to get fit or to win the crown, things are going to get tough. And, then… things are going to get tougher! But, the reality is that, “nothing good comes easy and nothing easy shows how good you are.” (That’s from an old Olympics commercial) Then there is; “If something is worth having, it is worth fighting for.” You’ve probably hear that one too. Okay - those are just two inspirational sayings that I thought I’d throw out there to try to prove a point.

The point is that positive, uplifting sayings like that can only do so much. They are very cool and can get you fired up when you’re a bit frustrated or having a discouraging day. But, when you are working towards a goal and totally stall out or you hit the wall hard, and you feel like throwing in the towel. What do you do? When you have been pushing yourself day after grueling day and giving it all you’ve got until you’ve got nothing left to give, and then suddenly you hit a major obstacle, an inspirational saying just isn’t gonna cut it. We know that. And, we’re not going to tell you to just buck up and keep pursuing. We’re going to have you take a look at what might be getting in your way as you are working towards your goals.

Anyone who has ever achieved anything of significance in their life has endured hardships that they never imagined that they would face. Anyone who has ever achieved anything great has come up against something that they thought would be the end of them. And, the truth that is so shocking is that that thing often comes from within us, not from outside of us.

All of us have self-limiting beliefs that we have to deal with from time to time. These might be negative ideas that we acquired in childhood, or as a result of a traumatic event. Sometimes those self limiting beliefs are things that we’re not even consciously aware of. Those unconscious beliefs can cause us to give up too easily when we’re fighting for something. They can convince us that we cannot have or don’t deserve the goals and the dreams that we are working towards. When you come up against those kinds of destructive, self limiting beliefs, you need help from people who have been there and have dealt with similar issues. You need to know that it is possible to get past these kinds of setbacks, and that you can reach your goals, regardless of how hopeless or clueless you feel.

Fears

Every single person on the face of the Earth deals with fear. It is the reality of being human and not being a perfect being. The hardest thing about dealing with fear is that we often run from it and we just don’t even want to take a look at whatever is causing the fear. The nature of fear is of course to frighten us. We get uncomfortable and we don’t want to know the truth. Most of the time, the reason we don’t want to examine our fear is because we simply think that we cannot handle it.

If you are going to be the kind of person who goes after what you want in life, then you’re going to have to deal with your fear. If you are going to have the things you long for and achieve the dreams and goals that you desire, you are going to have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. A lot of times when we are setting goals for ourselves, we start out strong because we are motivated. After awhile, we may start to feel less motivated and for reasons we don’t understand, we begin to make excuses, we stop doing the things we did in the beginning and our progress slows.

If this is happening to you and you don’t know why, it just may be that you are suffering from some kind of fear and you have not wanted to take a look at it. Or, maybe you don’t even realize that you are afraid. Maybe you just feel stuck and don’t understand why you are not doing the things that you know you are supposed to. 

There are many, many different types of fear that can paralyze us and cause us to give up too soon on our goals and dreams. If you are open-minded about this idea, you may be able to identify your fear right away. Fear of failure, fear of success and fear of loss are just three of the most common fears that can get in our way when we are working towards a goal. If you feel like you may be suffering from any of those fears, then you really need to work on those areas, or else they can seriously interfere with your long term success.

Hire a professional pageant coach, confide in a close friend who you can be transparent with or even have a talk with your pastor, priest or a trained counselor. It is so worth dealing with fears at this level because they can wreak havoc, not only on your pageant experience, but also on your life in general. Take care of yourself and know that you are not alone. Everybody has to deal with intense fears that hold them back in some way. So many people are so afraid of their fears that they try to ignore them, push them away or deny that they even exist. The end result is that they end up running from something that they cannot outrun. Eventually, that fear will manifest in some way, and in most cases, it’s going to be more painful than it would have been if you’d just been willing to be honest with yourself.

Change your priorities

Maybe your problem is the fact that your priorities are all messed up. Are you compromising on things because you aren’t putting the most important things first with regard to your goals? Are you staying out late with friends instead of getting to bed early and getting the rest that you need?  Are you working out at the gym but then blowing your diet because you are eating junk food in private?

If you are ever going to reach the goals that you’ve set for yourself, you are going to have to make some tough decisions about what is most important to you. That may come down to making some hard choices and giving up some of the things you like so that you can reach the goal that you love. Sometimes we have difficulty with our priorities because we feel a number of conflicting feelings and instead of just making a decision and following through on it; we get all caught up in our feelings, and those feelings cause us to stay stuck.

Laziness or passivity

If you are lazy, you probably know it. Every person has had to deal with feeling lazy at times and it can be a really frustrating issue to fight. But, if you look closely at your feelings of laziness, you may discover that your problem isn’t really laziness, it’s more likely boredom. Maybe your goal is not inspiring enough and you need to challenge yourself. Maybe your priorities are off and that feeling of laziness is just you not being stimulated enough to work towards what you think you want.

If your goal is a good goal, it should energize you and make you want to get things done. A good goal is one that motivates you to jump out of bed in the morning. But, if you aren’t feeling that sense of urgency and excitement as you are working towards a goal, then something is wrong. It may be time to take a look at what you’re doing and see if you need to reevaluate your priorities.

Ambivalence

Ambivalence can look a lot like laziness, but you probably feel some sadness in addition to boredom. Ambivalence is tricky because we usually feel this way because we are trying to distract ourselves from a harsher reality that we don’t want to look at. You are going to have to be rigorously honest with yourself if you are feeling ambivalence. Ambivalence is most often a cover for something else. 

Is it possible that you are feeling ambivalence because you don’t really know if you want this goal or not? Is it possible that you are feeling ambivalence because you are doing this for someone else, and not yourself?  And because you aren’t trying to reach your goal for yourself, you just don’t care about it? Who are you trying to achieve this goal for honestly? Are you doing this for your parents?  Are you doing this for your friends? Are you doing this out of revenge for the people that you want to prove wrong? Is it possible that this is an old goal that you just don’t care about anymore but you’ve never stopped to question whether or not you still want to do it because you’ve been on automatic pilot for so long?

If you know that you are compromising on things because your priorities aren’t right, then you need to stop and think about this. Don’t just stay in denial and keep going. Take the time to figure out what is driving you to sabotage yourself. If you’re being honest, you will see that that is what your behavior is all about. For some reason, your priorities are messed up because you are not happy about something. Be loving and kind to yourself so that you can find the cause and be back on the road to your goal.  

Miss America 2019 Nia Franklin. Photo: Miss America Organization

Re-evaluate your approach

Some of us can’t relate to any of the above situations at all because we’re in a totally different place with our goals. We feel like we’re doing everything we know to do. We’re open to getting advice and direction but nothing that we’ve tried seems to be working. Our attitude is positive and we’re very inspired to do our best, but for whatever reason, it’s just not happening. Maybe you don’t need to stop and start over and maybe you don’t need to just do it, and push through. Maybe your goal is just fine, and your motivation is where it needs to be, but your approach is all wrong.

This usually happens when we get all fired up about something and we take a giant leap into the unknown. If you started down a path rather impulsively, without really examining what you were getting in to, you could simply need to fine tune things a bit. Or, if you don’t have a lot of experience with goal setting you may also fall into this category. 

If any of this describes you and your current situation, you may just need to reevaluate your approach to your goal. And, if that is the case, the best thing to do is just stop and regroup. It’s time to take a timeout, go back to the drawing board and learn some new skills. You might just benefit from learning about the various theories of goal setting so that you can get a new perspective. Taking the time to research what other successful people have done to reach their goals can benefit you greatly.

There are so many helpful materials available for a person who needs some direction in the area of goal setting. Many entrepreneurs and business coaches have developed powerfully innovative techniques that they decided to share with the world, and those resources are very easy to locate on the internet. There are also many groundbreaking books about this subject that you can read for yourself, and they would also give you incredible insight into what you may be doing wrong in your particular situation.

Lower the bar

If you have been working relentlessly towards your goal, and you are feeling burnt out, exhausted and overwhelmed, you may need to reassess your priorities. Sometimes you need to lower the bar because your goal is too aggressive for where you are at right now. This is usually the last thing that people want to do because they look at it as a form of failure. But, it actually is extremely wise to lower your expectations or what you’re shooting for if you have realized that you set your sights too high to begin with.

Often times when we set a goal, we are so jazzed up about it and so pumped to get the ball rolling, that we dream big…maybe a little too big. There is nothing wrong at all with aiming high or even overshooting and setting a really aggressive goal. But, if along the way, you discover that you are just not capable of achieving what you want in the time frame that you’ve set, or that you don’t know enough, or whatever the issue is, then you must stop and reassess your entire situation. This is such a major factor in being successful in pageants, that many pageant coaches make a point of discussing this problem frequently with their clients. 

Pageant coach, Valerie Hayes says that refusing to lower the bar on your expectations of yourself can lead to pageant burn out.

“Pushing yourself to be absolutely perfect in every way is an unrealistic expectation that can lead to frustration, and suddenly you’re just not motivated to work on your pageant skills,” explains Hayes. “If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your own expectations, it might be time to adjust the bar. Instead of focusing on a goal that is difficult to achieve, identify a goal that you think will be relatively easy to achieve. And then as soon as you hit that mark, set another goal that’s slightly beyond the goal you just achieved.”

The technique of setting a series of smaller goals that leads to a bigger goal is called incremental goal setting. This habit can be applied to so many areas of your life and might just totally change your approach to how you get things done. When you break down your overall goal into smaller action steps, you’ll have goals that are so much easier to achieve. When you tackle those smaller goals, you begin to build a track record of success and then your motivation and self-confidence will return.

Once you start to have a little momentum, it begins to build and build and before you know it, you are cruising along without all that stress and self doubt that was weighing you down before. The technique of incremental goal setting is especially helpful if your goal is a long term goal like losing a large amount of weight, or if your goal involves something brand new that you really have no real life experience with. 

For instance, if you entered your first pageant and you didn’t even make the Top 10, it might be totally unrealistic to set a goal of winning the pageant the following year. When you are new to pageants, you do not realize the effort that goes into winning. You have no idea that the person who won had been working towards that goal for a long time. She doubtlessly had to achieve a series of significantly smaller goals over a period of time before she was able to be at the place where she could win. 

A lot of times, right after we do a pageant, we feel one of two things. Either, we are totally down and discouraged, and we’re convinced that we never want to see another rhinestone ever again, much less compete in another pageant or we feel incredibly motivated to jump right back into pageant preparations, vow to give up carbs forever and proclaim that we’re going to come back next year and win the crown! We’ve all been there!  Both of those feelings are normal but, irrational, extreme reactions to the highly charged, emotionally exhausting and stressful experience that we just had. You can’t allow yourself to get carried away by those kind of emotions and then set some incredibly unrealistic goal for yourself that is just going to end up becoming a self defeating situation.

Knowing when to lower the bar is seriously one of the wisest things that you can do for yourself in the area of goal setting. It can be kind of threatening because, as mentioned earlier, it can feel like a form of failure, or that you have let yourself down. But, it really is a wise, mature way to not only take care of yourself, but to manage your life in a way that works. Knowing when to break down your overall goal into smaller action steps, will ultimately result in having a goal that is so much easier to achieve. And, that will result in tremendous success for you in the end!

Just because you didn’t win, it does not mean that you lost.

“Every pageant competition has a crown winner but that doesn’t mean everyone else is a “loser”, insists Hughes. “Winning and losing are a function of whether the goals you set were met because you based them on a realistic assessment of where you are in your training progression. For all competitors the ultimate goal is to be better this pageant than the last. For all competitors regardless of level, while it may sting to lose, you can’t really be devastated or heartbroken because you’ve met your realistic goal of making tangible visible progress toward your ultimate dream. You were better this year than you were last year and with a few adjustments in your prep and training you’ll be even better next year. That puts you one giant step closer to hitting the mark and who knows you just might hit that bullseye next time out!”

 

A real life example of how setting goals can help you become successful

Contribution by Julia Stone

Why your why is so important

Focusing on the emotional reasons, not only the intellectual reasons that you want to pursue a goal or a dream, is a crucial part of the goal obtaining process. In the world of pageantry, it is called, your “why.” Your “why” is the deepest motivation behind what you want. It is the thing that drives you and inspires you to even begin pursuing your dream in the first place. When you spend some time really getting to the bottom of why you want to go after your dream, you will find something very personal that may only make sense to you.

When you are trying to determine what your “why” is, you want to try to get as honest with yourself as possible. You may already know your reason for why you desire this goal.  Or, your reason may not be entirely clear to you. Take some time to really dig deep and get down to the main reasons that you have this dream and what it truly means to you on an emotional level. Whatever this dream means to your heart is an incredibly important thing that you have got to know. You may have to ask yourself a number of questions to get to your deepest motivation, so be patient with yourself. In some cases, you may not always like the reasons that you discover but don’t let that stop you from finding the truth.

Sometimes we want things because we feel that they will make us more loveable or bring us happiness or fill a void. Sometimes we have experienced something negative in our past and as a result, we start dreaming a dream that we believe will make up for that. For instance, you may realize that you want to win a title to feel more worthy or to show those that may have criticized you, that you really are a winner, and that crown is the proof.

When we try to uncover the reasons that we are going after a dream, we may learn things about our motivation that bother us, but we need to be kind and gentle with ourselves. If we have experienced a situation where people did not believe in us, it is very normal and understandable that we would want to prove them wrong. If you are embarrassed or bothered by your initial motivation for your dream, try to get to the point of accepting it and accepting yourself. Lots of people begin pursuing a dream for reasons that are shallow or because they are trying to repair a pain from the past.

But, the good news is that you do not have to stay there. You may have wanted a dream in the beginning just to prove to others that you could have it. But, the reality is that you do really desire that dream for yourself. The problem is that your motivation got mixed up with other people. Now that you know the truth, you can move beyond your confused motivation and go get your dream because you deserve it for you, and you alone. 

“Your why” is the most important piece to you being able to reach your goal because it will be the one thing that you will always go back to when things get difficult along your journey. If you have a goal of losing weight, starting a business or winning a crown, your “why” will be the thing that will save you when you are wanting to give up. One of the most powerful things that you can do is to write down all of those reasons that you believe that you want this goal. Then go through that list and select the top three to five reasons that really get you pumped up about it. Find those things that mean the most and put them at the top of your list.

Then you want to keep that written list in front of you as much as you can. When you hit a difficult or challenging time as you are going after that goal, pull out that list and meditate on those top three to five reasons that you want it. Using this tool can keep you on track when things get tough and you want to give up. This is such an incredible practice to use in the process of going after a goal, and you will discover that it may be the thing that keeps you inspired day after day until you reach the finish line.

Steven Roddy, the creator and founder of Pageant Planet knows a thing or two about goal setting and the journey of ultimately reaching one’s dreams. The wisdom that he possesses now was not something that he learned overnight, nor is it something that he takes for granted. He has a natural love of learning and a drive for self actualization, and that curiosity and desire for knowledge became a foundational reason for his success in business and in life.

Steven Roddy, Pageant Planet Founder and CEO

It’s hard to imagine now that the online pageant resource company that thousands of readers adore and visit on a daily basis, was once just a radical idea in the mind of a guy with a dream to help others. Early on there were definitely those who did not understand or support his dream of creating Pageant Planet, but because he values personal growth and development, it turns out that the world of pageantry was really a perfect fit for him. Obviously, we could not talk about goals and goal setting with him without discussing what led up to him having the desire to start an online business like Pageant Planet. What we discover is one of the first rules of a successful goal, to be clear about your vision.

Roddy describes how he made an unexpected discovery and because he is a natural problem solver and has a desire to help others, an idea was born.

“I’ve always had a desire to be a successful business person,” Roddy reveals. “After my first business failed, I learned that I wanted more than financial success. I also wanted freedom. I wanted to work, travel and vacation on my terms. I saw the trend of the Internet and social media and knew that this was going to be the next big wave of marketing. As I was looking for problems to solve I went to my very first pageant and was amazed at how enthusiastic the fans were. After the pageant I asked my girlfriend at the time how contestants went about finding pageant coaches. I was also curious about how girls even learned how to compete in pageants. Her only reply was that they ask other people.”

“After doing some research I realized that there was nothing online that was solving this problem," he went on. "Therefore, I decided to create it. I saw an opportunity to create an online portal that would solve the problem of girls finding coaches and pageants to compete in. My hope was to get enough visitors coming to the site that I could sell advertising and live off of that income.”

You must believe in yourself and your dream

Unfortunately, Roddy soon learned that not everyone was as enthusiastic about his idea and his desire to help. This is a common thing that happens to many of us when we first excitedly reveal our goal or our dream to those around us. Many times when we begin discussing our goals and ambitions with people, we can get a lot of resistance for different reasons. At this point, a lot of people will get discouraged and simply give up on their goals because they aren’t receiving the support from their friends and family that they yearn for.

The thing that you have to learn if you are going to be successful in reaching your dream, is that you must ultimately believe in yourself and what you want. Your dream will never be as important to anyone else, as it is to you. In order for your dream to become a reality, you will have to be the one to breathe life into it and be committed to go after it. Roddy experienced resistance from his friends and family right away, but he didn’t allow that negative feedback to discourage him. He reveals another key element of his success. He focused on the people who encouraged him, and he made the decision to be positive about his goal.  

“My girlfriend said it wouldn’t work. In her words she said, 'the industry doesn’t work like that. You have to go to a coach to get coached. People won’t go online.' My mom even made fun of me! At the time Pageant Planet was making about $6 per month in revenue - that’s not an exaggeration either. But, there were people who supported me and believed in me. My dad, cousin, mentor, best friend and ME! Those were the people that I focused on. Those were the people who got me through the tough years.”

Focus on the small victories

It is so important when you do experience criticism or lack of support, that you stay centered and confident enough in your own dream and abilities and not let those negative forces bother you. It is a guarantee that if you are going after a goal, especially a big goal, that you will encounter negativity and setbacks. Sometimes you will be criticized by other people who either don’t understand your goal or perhaps just want to protect you, like your family.

Other times you will simply be tempted to get discouraged because you aren’t reaching your goals fast enough or you’re not seeing progress the way that you want to. It’s all very normal when you are taking a risk or are dreaming a big dream. When this happens, try to focus on the small victories because those small victories add up over time.

“I focused on small wins,” says Roddy. “I didn’t make any money for the first four years so I had to focus on other things. I focused on our traffic increasing, social media numbers increasing, invites to pageants and mentions by titleholders.”

Life is a learn as you go sport

Your goal may be something that is familiar to you that you have some experience with or it may be something totally foreign. You may have to learn a lot of new skills and develop new abilities along the way. But there is so much information available to you that you should never be discouraged just because you don’t know something or don’t have the answers right away. Find a mentor or someone who can teach you what you need to know. If you cannot find someone to help you, then be committed to learning on your own. Roddy recalls how he reminded himself of his past victories and remained patient while he waited for his dream to come true.

“When I was 23 I bought an arena football team," he said. "In 4 months I went from waiting tables at the Cheesecake Factory to being the youngest person to ever own an Arena Football team. My parents were entrepreneurs and I had the “itch” but never had my own company. Instead, I read a lot of books. I was too broke for things like a TV or a personal life so I stayed home and read personal development books and saved up my money for personal development conferences. Life is a learn as you go sport. That’s what I did when I started and that’s what I’m still doing today.”

Never downsize your vision

Sometimes you may find that you have to change or adjust the steps of what you want to do, but Roddy says that you mustn’t lose sight of your original vision. You may find yourself taking a detour along the way, but you can still end up at the right destination if you keep your eye on the prize.

“My vision of being the largest pageant resource on the planet hasn’t changed but the steps (i.e. minor goals) to get there are always evolving. Never downsize your vision. Regardless of what happens. You can expand your vision but NEVER downsize it. Your vision is where you ultimately want your company or life to become. Goals are how you get your vision to become a reality.”

Be stubbornly patient

Anything worth having is worth working for. Many times we honestly did not know just how hard we would have to work to achieve our goal. This can come as such a shock, and for some it can mean defeat. For the people who refuse to give up, the hard work and the belief in the impossible pays off in a big way. You must accept the reality that you are going to encounter numerous setbacks or resistance along the way, but you can absolutely move past the roadblocks if you do not quit. Sometimes the only thing that stands between you and your dream is plain stubbornness!

“When I started Pageant Planet I was bankrupt and waiting tables," Roddy said. "I started Pageant Planet with $20.00. I had 2 contacts in the pageant industry and zero organic knowledge about makeup, pageants, Internet Marketing, Social Media Marketing or Website Design / Programming. I created my first website by watching YouTube videos of how to do it. I bought ThePageantPlanet.com for $7 and paid HostGator $10 for hosting. I worked on Pageant Planet weekly at a Starbucks by dragging my whole desktop computer in there for a day to watch videos and figure out how to create a website. Sure people laughed at me for not bringing in a laptop but I couldn’t afford a laptop or wifi so I went to Starbucks.”

“It took me a month to figure out how to build the first version of Pageant Planet," he continued. "Then I had to figure out what to write about. I committed to writing 3 blogs per day, every day, regardless of what happened. I can remember being in between apartments, sleeping on my friend’s floor and waking up with ants all in my sleeping bag. I still wrote 3 blogs that day. I hated my life, but I still wrote 3 blogs that day. I didn’t know anything about beauty pageants but I still found a way to write 3 blogs a day. I didn’t have any contacts but I still wrote 3 blogs per day. My mom described me as being “stubbornly patient.” I believe that is what you have to have if you want to achieve any massive goal.”

Success is usually just a short step away when you feel like quitting If you ask any successful person if there was ever a time that they wanted to give up on their dream, they will tell you that they absolutely did. And, it will happen to you too. That is one thing that you can count on. So, what will you do when it happens?  What will you tell yourself to keep going? Steven Roddy had a revelation about success when it happened to him.

“I did want to give up around the end of 2012," he admitted. "After 3 years of working 40 hours per week I had made $6,905.95 and spent $9,824.89. So I had paid Pageant Planet about $3,000 so that I could have the privilege of working on it for a total of 6,000 hours! In short, I was burnt out. So, I told my dad that I was going to quit. My dad said, 'I don’t think that you should. I think that you have something special going on there.' His encouragement came at a perfect time. In truth, I didn’t want to quit. I also didn’t want to experience the pain of beating my head against the wall. I still wanted my vision to come true I was just exhausted and didn’t know how it was going to happen. But, success is usually just a short step away when you feel like quitting. It’s like the universal price you have to pay in order to be a success. In 2013, Pageant Planet hit its growth spurt…..one that has continued until the day of this interview.”

The value of goal setting techniques

Reaching your goal does not happen by accident. There are actually extremely valuable techniques that you can utilize to help you along the way. Throughout this guide we discuss numerous techniques and theories that you might find helpful in your process, but it’s important to do what works for you.

“Goal setting should be done based on your personality,” insists Roddy. “There is no ultimate “right way” to set a goal but there are wrong ways to do goal setting.”

The three biggest mistakes people make when setting goals are:

  • Creating goals that are vague. (i.e. I want to be successful)
  • Making goals they do not believe they can achieve
  • Never set a date of when they want to achieve the goal

“At the beginning of each year I make goals around what I can believe for. For example, in 2014 I made a goal that I wanted to meet my wife. Most told me that is impossible. One cannot make a goal to meet their life partner. Challenge accepted.”

Steven and Renata Roddy

“The Bible says, “Faith without works is dead.” Meaning if you have a goal (i.e. Faith) but do not have a corresponding action (i.e. works) then that goal is NEVER going to happen. So, in 2014, I made a list of what I was looking for in a wife. Then I looked at the list and said, 'What on this list am I not.' After reviewing the list again I found that there were 10 things that I wanted in a wife that I was not. So I made a commitment that I was going to work on a different attribute every month so that by the end of October I would be my list.”

“This would give me 2 months to find my wife. As you can see I created a specific goal (i.e. to meet my wife) and I went into action (i.e. I took action to become my list). On October 26, 2014 I started dating Renata Roddy, who became my wife in 2016 and she was everything on my list. You attract who you are.”

What you think is most important

When it comes to goal setting, some people will tell you that your goal is unrealistic. If you believe that your goal is realistic but your friends and family are telling you that it’s not, how do you stick to your convictions? Roddy has some very wise advice on this subject.

“There is no such thing as an unrealistic goal,” he asserts. “Only unrealistic time frames. If you want to win Miss Universe ask yourself do you believe you can win this year? Next year? Five years from now? Keep expanding the time frame until you can believe it. Then take daily / weekly action that will affirm your belief. Also, don’t tell others right away. I only tell specific people my goals. I don’t need their belief. I only need my own. Most people look for validation in others, which is why they share their goals. If this is you then realize that if you rely on people to validate you then you also give them the power to invalidate you. What you think about yourself is most important.”

How Pageant Planet can help you reach your goal

Pageant Planet is committed to the goal of helping anyone reach their own personal pageant goals. We offer endless free resources in the form of helpful articles, pageant interview questions, daily pageant emails and links to pageant vendors that sell everything that you might possibly require for your next pageant. If you have a big goal that requires a long timeline or series of events, like preparing for a pageant, you might be feeling overwhelmed and wondering how to go about prioritizing what to do.

Pageant Planet has the perfect answer. For a pageant that’s easy! Sign up for our Pageant Box. We tell you exactly what you should be preparing for each month based on the date of your pageant. Literally, all you need to do is open the box we mail to you and make sure all the items on your paper “to do” list are checked. The Pageant Box is a perfect way to prepare for your next pageant and is an excellent gift idea for the titleholder in your life! Discover the “Pageant Box” that will help you win your next pageant.

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Titleholder of the Day

Title Holder Of the Day

Denise Williams

Ideal Ms. Angelic Queen of America 2018-19

Her tip is: "Remember to take a few minutes to be kind to yourself."

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