set goals

In every area of life, it’s important to set goals that you aim to achieve. Goals are what keep us motivated to live the life we want and become better people. They’re also proof that anything is possible with a little preparation. 

To set and achieve goals of any kind, you need to be realistic. That doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish the bigger items on your list, but that you need to stay grounded about what you can achieve and when. 

You often hear about how important goal-setting is, but no one gives you the blueprint for how to do it. That’s why you hear about people whose progress slowly falls away until their goal barely exists in the first place. 

If you want to set realistic goals in both your personal and professional life, here are four tips to get started. 

Start Small

A big reason people let go of the goals they were so eager to achieve is because they plan for the bigger picture and neglect the short-term. It’s nice to picture yourself at the end of the finish line, but if you fail to consider how you’ll get there, then giving up is inevitable.

That’s why you need to start small with your goals. That doesn’t mean you can’t aim higher, but in the beginning, the main focus should be on staying motivated and working towards it every day. You’ll easily overwhelm yourself by concentrating on the end goal instead of the progress you’re currently making.

Let’s say your long-term goal is to teach yoga classes in your local community. Instead of ruminating on how long that’s going to take and how many certifications you need, start from the beginning. What’s the first thing you need to do to become an instructor? Start with step one and continue working your way forward.

Plan Step-By-Step

To reach your goals in the time frame you set, you need to create a step-by-step plan. You can’t start in the middle and then figure your way around as you go along. This only wastes time and prevents you from reaching success sooner. 

For example, if your goal is to create a website, you wouldn’t start by writing blog content. That comes long afterward. You need to plan everything out in steps to know what comes next and see your progress unfold. 

You can write your steps out in bullet points to make it easier to map your upcoming journey. That way, if you need to switch your steps later, you can easily do so. If you have trouble creating your steps, work backward from the end goal. 

Be Specific

Most people’s goals include general blanket statements such as:

  • I want to lose weight
  • I want to grow my email list
  • I want to run a marathon

Do you notice a recurring pattern here? None of these statements tell you specifically what the person is trying to achieve. How much weight do they want to lose? How many email subscribers do they aim to have? Which marathon do they want to run and how long is it?

Anyone can say they have a goal to do something, but unless you’re specific about it, you won’t have any progress to track. Whether you’re trying to grow your business or work on your health, you need to be specific about what you want to achieve. 

Look at the goals you have in front of you and decide what results you want to see. The best way to be specific is to use numbers, so give yourself an amount and a timeframe to work with. 

Write It Down

Being able to plan for the future is a trait of successful people, and that includes writing down your goals. Even if you’ve memorized them front to back, there’s something special about putting pen to paper. It reinforces your plan and reminds you of why you’re doing it in the first place.

During your journey, you’ll have days where you aren’t motivated to achieve your goals. It might be the last thing you feel like doing some days. But writing them down and looking at them during those difficult times could be enough to push you through. Place them somewhere you’ll constantly see them so you can remind yourself to keep going regardless of the circumstances.

Your Turn

Setting realistic goals doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If anything, you should feel excited to create new goals for yourself that spice up your life and teach you something new. As long as you plan properly and work in small steps, you’ll see that achieving your goals is possible and always was. How will you set realistic goals for yourself?