Setting goals can be tricky. Whether you’re coming up with a new study plan or working towards a more general personal growth regime, coming up with targets that are both realistic and challenging is often daunting.
Speaking very generally, people naturally set goals that are a little unrealistic. Most of us tend to be hard on ourselves and are inclined to be unforgiving when setting goals. Here’s why setting attainable goals is an important strategy:
You will be able to keep expectations in check
Setting realistic goals will help to manage expectations and avoid crushing disappointments. If you’re a perfectionist, you’re probably well aware of the temptation to set ridiculously high targets that are impossible to reach. Once you realize that these goals will never quite be reached, you may be tempted to simply give up rather than to ‘fail’. Lowering the bar will help reduce the possibility of this happening.
You will be able to take things slowly
Setting goals can be a motivating and invigorating experience, and it can be easy to slip into unrealistic modes of thinking. Indeed, you may start to believe that your goals are much easier to achieve than they actually are, thereby setting yourself up for disappointment further down the line.
By taking a step back, you give yourself the opportunity to break your end goal into smaller, more manageable chunks. Whilst you should not give up on your ultimate dream, you should acknowledge the fact that success often takes time. Setting small and attainable goals within a manageable time frame will help you to tackle things methodically and give you time to revel in the small successes.
Realistic goals tend to be more specific
Setting grand and ambitious tasks often encourages us to overlook the various actions that will be needed to succeed. Setting realistic and specific targets, on the other hand, is a great way to channel your energy into something productive and eliminate that feeling of not knowing where to start with a task.
Realistic goals ensure you stay committed
Setting unrealistic goals often translates into a lack of commitment. If you are truly dedicated to succeeding, you will acknowledge that you will need to channel your energies into a number of minor tasks that require patience.