The concept of hope and setting goals go hand-in-hand.
Our level of hope impacts the type of goals we set and how many goals we are working toward.
Likewise, the accomplishment of goals tends to increase hopeful feelings.
Think of a time when things were going well and you had achieved some important goals.
How did you feel about your future? The sky was probably the limit.
On the other hand, if you have ever felt hopeless, I’m sure your view of the future looked a little bleak, and you probably weren’t looking to achieve important goals.
When we achieve goals it offers a feeling of hope for the future. We feel in control and ready to tackle our next task. It offers us energy and confidence to do what needs to be done.
So what is hope anyway?
Hope is a future oriented emotion related to our belief in positive outcomes for future events.
If things aren’t going well a hopeful person will believe things can get better. They will have the motivation and drive to find a way to solve the problem.
The Hope Theory of goal-setting was developed by the late C.R. Snyder Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. According to Snyder, hope consists of the belief that one can find pathways or the means to achieve a desired goal, as well as having the belief and motivation to use those pathways successfully.
In other words, people need what is termed “waypower” and “willpower” to feel hopeful about a particular event. In simple terms, we must really want something and believe we will be able to get it.
A crucial part of achieving goals is having the resources or pathway to get where we want to go. When considering pathways, the more options the better. The more different routes we have to achieve our goals the better off we’ll be when running into obstacles.
High hope people tend to have more pathways and can often find numerous ways to achieve their goals.
Agency is the term used to describe willpower. We must believe we can achieve the goal, and have the intention to do so. If you don’t have internal motivation and drive, you probably aren’t heading in the right direction.
How to increase Hope?
To increase hope, it is important to begin achieving goals, and see progress.
Set yourself up for goals you can achieve and slowly push past boundaries. If this means starting small then do so. Make an action plan with steps you know you can accomplish that lead to your long-term goal.
Instead of taking a grand leap toward your goals, break your huge project into smaller tasks that will be manageable and reasonable to achieve, in order to prevent feelings of hopelessness.
Building on the success of each step will prevent discouragement and improve confidence and self-trust.
As well, engage in activities you feel good about, know you will feel competent doing, and that bolster a positive self-image. By setting goals in a manner where successful completion is more likely, you will begin to have more trust in your capabilities and hope for the future.
Don’t lose hope. When things aren’t going as planned, be willing to look at other ways to solve the problem and start taking small steps to see progress.