Goals are important. We all know this. But a lot of people don’t realize that they need to set realistic goals to achieve the success they desire. Too often, they set their sights too high, and when they don’t reach them, they end up feeling like a failure.
So why is it important to set realistic goals? Well, setting realistic goals gives you a roadmap for success and makes it more likely that you will achieve all the things you want in life. In this blog post, I will discuss why it is important to set realistic goals and teach you how to do so.
Your goals are simply what you want to achieve. They are your targets, your finish lines. People set goals to have something to strive for. Goals can be big or small, long-term or short-term. What is essential is that they are realistic.
Goal setting is an essential part of any successful plan. However, many people make the mistake of setting goals that are either too small or too large. When you set a goal that is too small, you’re not challenging yourself enough, and you’re unlikely to see any significant results. On the other hand, when you set a goal that is too large, it can seem unattainable, and you may become discouraged.
I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t believe in your own ability to do great things; the key is to find a balance – to set a goal that is challenging but still achievable.
So how do you set realistic goals? First, you need to take a step back and assess your current situation. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What resources do you have at your disposal? Once you have a good understanding of where you’re starting from, you can start setting some realistic goals. Below, I will shed more light on the topic of realistic goal-setting.
How Can You Set Realistic Goals?
Here are a few tips to help you set realistic goals:
1. Know What You Want To Achieve
First, you need to know what you want to achieve. Define your goal clearly. The more specific your goal, the easier it will be to develop a plan to achieve it. What are your personal goals? What do you want to accomplish? If you don’t know what you want, you won’t be able to set a realistic goal.
Take some time to think about your goals and what you want to achieve. Once you have a good understanding of your goals, you can start to develop a plan for how to achieve them.
If you want to lose weight, your goal might be to lose 20 pounds in the next year. If you want to get promoted at work, your goal might be to receive a positive performance review from your boss. No matter your goal, make sure that it is something you can achieve.
2. Develop A Plan For How You Want To Get There
Once you know what you want to achieve, you need to develop a plan for how to get there. What are the steps that you need to take to achieve your goal? If your goal is too vague, developing a plan won’t be easy.
When you break your goal down into smaller pieces, it will seem more manageable, and you’ll be less likely to become overwhelmed.
For example, if your goal is to “be happy,” you probably won’t be able to achieve this because it is vague. However, if your goal is to “be happy by spending more time with family and friends,” you can create an actionable plan because this is a more realistic goal.
Once you have a plan for achieving your goal, you can start setting specific and achievable milestones.
3. Set Specific And Achievable Milestones
Setting specific and achievable milestones will help you to stay on track and measure your progress. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds in the next year, you might set a monthly milestone of losing two pounds per month.
If your goal is to get promoted at work, you might set a quarterly milestone of receiving positive feedback from your boss.
Whatever your goal is, make sure that your milestones are specific and achievable. This will help you to stay on track and measure your progress.
4. Get Support From Others
Tell your friends and family about your goal and ask for their help in achieving it. Do not underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. When you have the support of others, you are more likely to stay motivated and achieve your goal.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, ask your friends and family to help you by eating nutritious meals with you or going on walks with you. Getting support from others will help you to stay motivated and on track.
SMART Goals: An Easy Way To Set Realistic Goals
It is also important to remember that Goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Accomplishing goals this way is more promising because you are less likely to get distracted and jump onto another spontaneous target or desire. Let me break this down:
Goals should be clear and well-defined. They should not be vague or open to interpretation. State clearly the action plan.
Goals should be quantifiable so that you can track your progress.
Goals should be achievable. If they are too ambitious, you will only end up disappointed.
Goals should be aligned with your overall objectives.
Goals should have a timeline attached to them so you can stay on track.
Why Is It Important To Set Realistic Goals?
There are several reasons why it is essential to set realistic goals. Some are:
1. Realistic Goals Give You A Roadmap For Success
A roadmap is a plan that shows the specific steps you need to take to achieve your goals. It includes milestones and a timeline to track your progress and stay on course. Realistic goals help you to structure your own dreams into feasible, micro goals.
If you know what you want to achieve and plan how to get there, you are more likely to achieve your goals. And when you have a clear idea of precisely what you need to do and how you can tackle it, you can curb your inner critic and lead with a sense of direction and purpose.
2. It Increases Your Self-Confidence
When you achieve your goals, it gives you a boost of self-confidence. You will feel like you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. This is a great feeling that can lead to even more success in the future.
3. They Help You Avoid Disappointment
If you set your sights too high and don’t reach your goals, you will only feel like a failure. However, if you set realistic goals, you have a better chance of achieving them, which leaves you with a sense of accomplishment and success. So, baby steps are better than no steps at all.
4. Realistic Goals Have A Physical Impact
Your brain is wired to achieve goals. When you set a goal, your brain releases dopamine, which motivates you to take action and achieve your goals. So, not only do achieving goals help you mentally, but they also have a physical impact on your brain and body.
The Effect Of Setting Unrealistic Goals
You set a goal that’s impossible to achieve. This might be something like vowing to get straight A’s in all of your classes when you’re struggling with just one or promising to lose 100 pounds in a month.
Not only are these types of goals unattainable, but they can also be dangerous. Dangerous not only to your mental and emotional health but also to your physical health. When you set unrealistic goals, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and failure.
As stated before, unattainable goals can lead to discouragement. When you set goals that are too high and out of your control, you will only become discouraged when you inevitably do not complete them. When you don’t reach a goal, it can make you feel like a failure. This can lead to negative thinking, low self-esteem, and even depression.
Unattainable goals can also be demotivating. If you’re constantly setting goals you can’t reach, you may lose interest in trying altogether. This can lead to a lack of motivation and, eventually, apathy.
4. Waste Of Resources
Setting unrealistic goals makes you likely to waste a lot of time and effort trying to reach something impossible. This time could be spent on more achievable goals or even taking a break.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution and set realistic goals you know you can achieve. Your mental and emotional health will thank you for it.
Not setting realistically achievable goals is a big reason why you might not be reaching your goals. Make a plan of action and take the steps necessary to achieve your goals. Track your progress and celebrate your success along the way. When you set well-defined goals, you increase your chances of reaching the success you deserve.
By following the above steps, you can achieve the success you deserve. So please don’t give up on your dreams; set realistic goals, and go after them with everything you’ve got! Also, don’t forget to celebrate your small wins. You can do it!
If you want to learn more about setting realistic goals regarding your health and body, sign up for Lesley Goth’s Free Mindset & Body Image Masterclass!