How to set realistic goals Setting realistic goals is essential because it provides direction and helps us focus on the right things. If we set unrealistic goals, we will feel frustrated and disappointed when we don’t meet them.
How do you reach your goals? How do you reach your fitness goals if you want to get in shape? How do you reach your financial goals if you want to save money? The answer to reaching any goal is to set realistic goals that can be achieved with the time and resources available.
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How To Set Realistic Goals
The following six steps will help you set realistic goals.
Know What You Want
When setting goals, it’s essential to think through what you actually want. For example, if you’d like to earn more money, it’s not enough to set a goal like I want more money. If that were your goal, how would you achieve it? What actions do you need to take, and when will those occur? What is preventing you from taking those actions right now? Be specific about what your goal looks like in practice.
Make sure there is an action or task associated with every goal. This makes it much easier for others to hold you accountable for achieving them. Finally, be as realistic as possible in assessing your abilities and resources when setting your goals—otherwise, they are just wishes, not goals!
Understand What Is Possible
Most goals are unrealistic because we don’t know how realistic they are. We need to first understand what is possible before setting an achievable goal.
Before setting a goal, you should ask yourself, Is it possible? Define what success means: Next, define what success means to you. Then, decide if your goal aligns with that definition of success.
Note About Resources Opportunities And Threats
Gather information about current resources, opportunities, and possible future threats
The first step to achieving any goal is to figure out what you need to make it happen. Make an inventory of your resources, and don’t forget about potential burdens.
Break Down Bigger Targets Into Smaller Ones
Take a big goal and break it down into smaller, more manageable ones. For example, if you’re trying to lose 100 pounds in a year (which is a huge goal), try setting smaller, more realistic goals: lose 20 pounds by December 31st, then 15 by January 15th, and 10 by February 1st. This gives you something to aim for that will keep you motivated and moving forward with your progress.
Evaluate Yourself Regularly
One of the best ways to set realistic goals is to check in with yourself regularly. It may sound simple, but often people only know whether or not they’ve met their goals when it’s too late.
Use The 80/20 Rule
Dr. Pareto, an Italian economist, and sociologist, also coined what is known as The 80/20 Rule: 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. You can apply The 80/20 Rule to setting realistic goals because it implies that you only need to focus on a more minor part of it to achieve a more significant result. When applying The 80/20 Rule to your goal-setting efforts, consider prioritizing and cutting out extraneous tasks.
Allow Yourself to Fail Sometimes
It’s hard to set goals when you know that you will be disappointed and maybe even blame yourself if you fall short. But without failure, there can be no success, so stop thinking of it like a big bad wolf and think of it more as part of nature’s grand plan.
Remember that every person on Earth has goals they don’t reach and dreams they don’t fulfill. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have tried—it means we all make mistakes!
So many people set goals for themselves, but few of them actually follow through with these resolutions. The best way to make sure you can reach your goal is to set a realistic time frame and provide a solid plan of action.
Overachievers often overcomplicate their plans and set unrealistic expectations for themselves, so it’s so important to keep things simple. With a little organization and positive thinking, you should be able to reach any of your goals within a realistic amount of time.
FAQs Related to How to Set Realistic Goals.
Why are Goals Important?
Goals are essential because they help you set your life in a specific direction and give you meaning.
Setting goals is a great way to ensure that you know what you want out of life and that you’re not just wandering aimlessly through it.
Related: How to set weekly goals
What is a realistic goal?
A realistic goal is any goal that is a manageable step toward an end result. Setting a realistic goal is vital because if you set your goals too high, there’s no way that you will ever achieve them.
If you set your goals too low, they won’t challenge you enough to achieve anything worthwhile. A realizable goal is not easy, but it is also not impossible. It’s within your reach, but it might take some effort and determination to get there.
Why is it important to set realistic goals?
Setting realistic goals is crucial because it helps you stay motivated and keep your head in the game. It also helps you see how far you have come in a given period and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
The most important thing to remember is that setting goals should be about personal growth, not just reaching a specific number or achieving something.
It’s unrealistic to expect to transform your body in one month or put together a million-dollar deal in one day. The act of setting goals, however, sets you up for success. Studies show that people who set goals are much more likely to succeed than those who don’t (Emmons & McCullough, 2003).
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