Do you ever feel like you’re wandering through life without experiencing any of the growth that you hoped to see for yourself? Maybe you finally want to write that novel, or maybe you want to work hard and get that promotion you’ve been dreaming of. One of the reasons why you may not be growing in the way that you want is because you’re not setting realistic goals for yourself. 

Oftentimes, people are under the false impression that their goals should be larger-than-life and push them to extreme lengths. An example would be an inexperienced runner training for a marathon deciding to run a marathon every day to practice. This is not only wildly unhealthy and damaging, but it is also impossible. Setting unrealistic goals sets you up for failure. In the words of famous filmmaker James Cameron, “If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” Setting goals that are realistic and attainable is key to remaining encouraged and achieving those goals you’ve been dreaming of.

Today, we have compiled some of the most useful tips for setting realistic goals and measuring personal success. Keep reading to see what it means to set and reach your personal goals.

What is a Realistic Goal?

The first question that must be answered before we move on is, “What is a realistic goal?” In general, a realistic goal is a goal that you can attain in your current state. This isn’t a goal that you set for the stronger, faster, smarter version of you. This is something that can be achieved by you right now. Let’s go back to the marathon example. Instead of setting to run 26.2 miles every day, a realistic goal would be to start off running one or two miles every day for a week. 

When asked about setting realistic goals, Asker A Ahmed, the Director of iProcess said, “The great thing about setting realistic goals is that once they have been achieved, you can start working towards your next goal. Reaching a goal is a huge feat worth celebrating, and the ‘high’ you get from attaining a goal can motivate you as you start working towards your next goal.” Realistic goals that are attainable in your current state are crucial for personal success. 

Make SMART Goals

The next tip for setting realistic goals and measuring personal success is to make SMART goals. This concept was first introduced by Peter Drucker and then expanded upon by Professor Robert S. Rubin. SMART goals are goals that are: 

  • Specific 
  • Measurable 
  • Achievable 
  • Relevant 
  • Time-bound 

First, goals should be specific and clearly stated. If a goal is not specific, you will not feel focused or motivated to achieve it. Secondly, goals also must be measurable so that you can keep track of progress and know when you have reached your goals. Thirdly, as already stated, goals must be achievable in your current state, or else you will lose your motivation. Fourthly, your goal should matter to you personally, or be relevant. If the goals you set for yourself aren’t important and relevant to you, there will be no drive to work towards them. Finally, make sure your goals are time-bound or have a deadline. Without a deadline, it can be easy to procrastinate on what needs to be done. 

John Cheng who works with Baotris as their Co-Founder and CEO has realized the importance of setting SMART goals for himself. He says, “Setting SMART goals has changed the way I set goals for myself. Before learning about SMART, my goals were unattainable, and I didn’t have any deadlines for them, so I kept pushing off what I needed to do. Now that I’m setting goals that are specific and attainable, I’m growing so much and pushing myself professionally and personally.” 

John Jacob is a big proponent of setting deadlines for your goals. He works with Hoist as their CEO. “Goals absolutely have to have a deadline,” he says. “If you’ve ever had to work on a big project without a deadline, you’ll know why this is so important. When you don’t have a deadline for your work, you’ll continually push it off until basically the last minute. Goals, on the other hand, are just ignored and forgotten when we don’t tie them to a specific end date.” 

Be Effective in Your Goal-Setting

Not only do goals have to be SMART, but they should also be set effectively. This has to do with getting to the core of what the purpose of your goal is. In other words, we really need to hone in on the “S” in SMART, and then the rest of the goal-setting process will follow smoothly. 

When writing out the specifics of your goals, there are three important questions that must be asked: 

  • What do I want to achieve? 
  • How do I plan on getting there? 
  • Why do I want to reach this goal? 

If you are unable to answer these questions, your goals might not be relevant enough for you. Find a way to tweak your goals to make them more attainable and important to you. Drake Ballew, CEO of Practice Health said this about effective goal-setting: “I don’t think I can stress the importance of answering the questions of ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ when it comes to goal-setting. When I set personal goals for myself, I’ll ask myself these questions, and if I can’t answer them off the top of my head, I need to figure out what’s stumping me. Sometimes I don’t know how exactly I plan on obtaining my goals, and other times my goals aren’t specific enough. When that happens, I dedicate time to re-evaluate my goals to make them more suitable for my current abilities.” 

SMART, effective goal setting is key to being successful in reaching your goals. With the help of this advice, now the goals you never thought you’d bring yourself to attain are finally within your reach.  

Leave a Reply