Each and every one of us has things that we’d like to achieve in life. Not only does setting realistic goals help you check things off your to-do list, but achieving them also builds self-esteem, happiness, and a sense of well-being!
Let’s start first with brainstorming goals:
Think About What You Wish to Achieve
Deciding what you want is the first step in setting any goal. You must be having a general sense of what you want which might be happiness, health, wealth, or a better relationship with your spouse. Then translate that into some things you’d like to actually accomplish. For instance, if you want to be happier, think about what happiness means to you, what does a happy life look like? You may have several goals at this stage, some long-term some short term, it’s better to write them down.
You have to make your goal specific before you can determine if a goal is realistic which will offer greater clarity in terms of what you actually would have to do to achieve it. Additionally, specific goals are also more motivating and achievable compared to vague ones.
Conduct research in order to determine how challenging a goal is, if you aren’t already familiar with the process. As you research, answer questions like what skills will you need to learn? How much will it cost? How long will it take?
Ways to Make Realistic Goals
Consider Personal Limitations
Not all goals will be realistic for everyone. Before setting a goal, you need to evaluate and make sure the goals you want to set are reasonable for you. Limitations come in many forms- they can be monetary, physical, or even due to time restraints. While you can overcome some of these things, others might not be as realistic. If that’s the case, you might need to revise your goal, or focus on achieving it at a time when it might be more reasonable.
When you’re setting your goals, write down what each one is, and what limitations you may face when trying to achieve it. For example, say you’re a working parent who wants to go back to school and maintain a 4.0 GPA. Between work and family, is there enough time in the day to achieve that? Will you get burnt out? Those are factors to consider, and may require reconsidering what you really want.
Determine the External Obstacles
Apart from your own limitations, most goals also involve overcoming external obstacles outside of your control, that challenge your ability to achieve your goal.
Revise or Reconsider
After careful consideration if you decide your goal isn’t realistic, you can try to revise the goal to make it more achievable, or let it go in favor of creating a new one.
Achieving Your Goals:
Develop a Plan
Create a detailed plan once you’ve settled on a realistic goal for achieving it. It’s also a great idea to develop contingency plans for the obstacles you anticipated.
Fix a Timeline
Having a specific timeline in your plan can help make your goal more achievable, it will also help you track your progress and stay accountable.
Pick a Date to Dive In
Once you’ve got a detailed plan, get to work. Putting in the necessary time and effort is the only way to achieve your goal.
Track Your Progress
Once you get started, keep track of your progress using a journal, an app, or a simple calendar. Tracking your progress not only will help keep you accountable to the deadlines you’ve set, but also will help you see he progress you’ve made as you move through the process which can help you stay motivated to keep making progress.