Why & How to Set Realistic Goals


Learn why and how to set realistic goals in order to effectively plan your future and make the most of your opportunities

Setting goals is essential to success, but it’s important to set realistic goals so that you’re encouraged to progress and grow.

In order to set realistic goals, it is important to understand what goals are and what they are not.

A goal is a desired outcome that you want to achieve. It’s not a dream or a fantasy; it’s something that you can see yourself achieving. When setting your goals, it is important to be realistic.

Why Set Realistic Goals?

Setting goals motivates you. Setting and achieving realistic goals also helps boost your self-esteem.

It’s important that you set realistic goals, because the goal should be something that is attainable.

By setting and achieving goals, you can achieve a sense of accomplishment. When you achieve your goal, it’s like a release. You feel good about yourself, and this makes you want to do even more to achieve another goal.

Goal setting is important because it helps you to focus on what you want to achieve.

Define your goals with this free worksheet!

Know exactly what you're aiming towards.

Considerations for Setting Realistic Goals

When setting a realistic goal, think about your current mindset, time frame, skills, and abilities. A realistic goal is one that you can achieve in the time frame and the amount of work necessary to get there.

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge your limitations. If you’ve never run a marathon, don’t set a goal to run one in three months. Be realistic about your abilities and what you can achieve. 

It should not be something that’s too hard to reach or impossible to attain, but it should also be something you’re willing to work towards. Very often, unrealistic goals are set by people who find it difficult to create a plan for achieving those goals.

You want the goal to be challenging but doable.

Create a Realistic Goal by Setting a SMART Goal

The process of achieving your realistic goal begins by clearly defining the goal.

That’s why you should set a SMART goal. Setting a SMART goal helps you to fully understand what you’re pursuing.

Additionally, the realistic aspect of goal setting is one of the characteristics of a SMART goal. It’s synonymous with the ‘A’ standing for “achievable”.

SMART goals are “specific”, “measurable”, “achievable”, “relevant”, and “time-bound”.

To set a realistic goal, you need to be able to measure your progress and evaluate if you have been successful or not. To do that, you need to know exactly what it is that you want to achieve.

For example, “I want to be fit” is not a specific goal, but “I want to lose 10 pounds” is. 

You need to know what you are aiming for without any ambiguity.  It’s like the old adage “If you do not know where you want to go, how will you know when you get there?”

It’s a great idea to define the end result you’re hoping to achieve. This will allow you to work towards that goal in a step-by-step manner. You can then break down the process of achieving your goal into more manageable steps, so that you don’t lose sight of what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

Create an Action Plan for Your Goals

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