“How to set realistic goals” is a guest post by Carola Romero. Carola is the author of Meraki Flow, a blog on self-improvement, growth, and self-development. In this post, she writes about why you should only set goals that are realistic and the questions to ask yourself before setting them. Make sure to visit her blog and check out other articles!
Why do we set goals
Setting goals is a way of guiding ourselves to what we really want in life. We tend to set finite goals like for example, you may say I want to have 10,000 dollars saved in my bank account by the end of the year or I want to lose 15 pounds. We set these types of goals because we only wish to see the end result, we picture ourselves there and that is what we wish to obtain. We set goals so that through the year or a limited amount of time we don’t forget what we want to achieve.
But do you know what we forget is, to do things to accomplish these goals. One thing it might be a manifestation and the other setting objectives, but we forget that for both we have to take action. If we set goals because we want them, we also have to think if they are actually achievable with the way we are leading our lifestyle right now. We need to learn to set realistic goals.
Why is it important to have realistic goals
Having realistic goals is really important because it allows your brain to picture something and actually see it as achievable. Not only thinking that you can achieve it because you believe that you can do anything but actually being capable of doing it logistically in the time you have set for yourself. It is important to set goals to be realistic because this way you avoid major disappointment when you don’t accomplish a difficult goal that wasn’t even possible to do with the way you are living your life.
These disappointments sometimes lead to a sense of incompetence that can bring you down further and affect your other goals. Apart from setting realistic goals, it is important to set systems on how to accomplish them because you need to have a path to follow that leads you to this goal. Wording and setting your goals in a manner that is viable for you can ultimately lead to awesome results.
Three questions to ask yourself before setting goals
1. What is the real reason I want this?
To set a proper goal we need to make sure that the motive with which you are going in to set the goal is the correct one. We don’t want to set a goal with an intention that is for someone else. For example, if we want to lose weight we need to really think about our reasons behind it because if it is less of a genuine reason we are less likely to accomplish it. In this example let’s say that your significant other told you that you are fat and now you want to lose weight because you want their approval and because of your fear of abandonment. This is not a genuine intention and if you were to accomplish this goal it wouldn’t feel as good as you would expect it because you didn’t do it for yourself.
Also while you are in the path of accomplishing your goal for someone else, you are reinforcing your fear of abandonment and your want for approval from your partner which will eventually lead to a worse relationship. This example can be applied to any one of your goals and that is why you need to truly find your reason for setting a goal and if it is not a genuine reason then you should change it and every time you are working towards that goal remind yourself of why you are doing it.
2. Will this benefit me in the long run or affect me internally?
What I mean by this is that you are also not deceiving yourself with your intentions. Taking the previous example we can modify it to say that you are the one telling yourself that you look bad constantly. You may mask your intention by saying that you want to be healthy but in reality, you are doing it because you are not comfortable with your body. This is reinforcing the fact that you don’t like yourself. I didn’t mean for this post to turn into a self-love comment but we need to love ourselves unconditionally first.
3. Do I have the time, energy, and commitment to do this, with all my other goals?
We need to set the importance of our goals. Even if we wish to accomplish everything to better ourselves at once it is physically and mentally impossible. Believe me, I have tried it and it becomes mentally draining. Start with what is most important to you and when you have that handled continue with the rest. We have to remember that setting goals are not about fixing every single aspect of ourselves but to learn to live with what is not fixable. Also, make your goals not contradict each other, you can’t say that you want to eat out often and another one of your goals is to save a big amount of money. It is possible but you are making it harder for yourself.
Finally, I would like to remind you that the goals you accomplish and the ones you don’t accomplish do not determine your worth or your capability to do stuff. Setting realistic goals will make it easier to achieve them and will bring about better satisfaction when you do because you do it for yourself. Remember that if you really set yourself for something and you put in the effort you will achieve it.
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