Tips on how to set realistic goals

Be realistic when setting goals for yourself. Picture: Pexels Markus Winkler

Be realistic when setting goals for yourself. Picture: Pexels Markus Winkler

Published Nov 30, 2023


Whether it is achieving a career milestone, reaching a fitness target, or accomplishing personal aspirations, setting goals help us stay focused, motivated, and ultimately successful.

However, one has to be realistic about the goals we set out for ourselves.

Setting realistic goals is important because it allows you to have clear objectives that are achievable in a certain amount of time.

Here’s how you can set yourself realistic goals that will make it easier for you to achieve.

Values and priorities

Before setting any goals, it's important to understand what truly matters to you. What do you want to achieve in the long run? What brings you joy and fulfilment?

Aligning your goals with your values will ensure that you are pursuing objectives that are meaningful to you.

Be specific

Vague goals can be overwhelming and demotivating. To set realistic goals, make them specific and measurable.

For example, instead of saying, “I want to get fit,” specify a goal. Rather say: “In six months’ time I want to be able to run a 5km distance effortlessly.”

Having a clear target allows you to track progress and celebrate small victories along the way.

Be realistic and specific about what your goals are. Picture: Pexels Gustavo Fring

Break it down

Large goals can seem daunting, leading to procrastination and feelings of being overwhelmed. Break down your goals into smaller, manageable steps.

This not only makes the journey more achievable but also allows you to measure progress more effectively. Each small step taken brings you closer to the ultimate goal.

Be realistic

While it's important to dream big, it’s equally crucial to be realistic about the resources, time, and effort required to accomplish a goal.

Setting unrealistic goals may lead to frustration and disappointment. Consider your current circumstances, commitments, and limitations when setting goals.

Additionally, setting a timeline for each goal creates a sense of urgency and helps you stay accountable.

Stay flexible

Life is unpredictable, and circumstances may change along the way. It's important to remain flexible and adapt to your goals when necessary.

If you encounter obstacles or realise that a goal needs adjustment, don't be afraid to modify your plans. The ability to adapt to changes ensures that your goals remain realistic and achievable.

Celebrate milestones and learn from setbacks

As you progress towards your goals, take the time to celebrate milestones and acknowledge your achievements.

Celebrating small victories boosts motivation and helps you maintain momentum. Additionally, setbacks are inevitable, but they provide valuable learning opportunities. Use setbacks as stepping stones for growth and adjust your approach if necessary.