How to set realistic goals and achieve them

Many people work hard but do not seem to get anywhere. Despite daily efforts, a sense of unproductiveness ensues. Identifying and setting realistic goals could be the circuit breaker.

Have you envisaged what realistic goals you want to achieve in the next five years? What are your main objectives at work? Do you know what you want to accomplish by the end of the day? Without set goals, you would likely lack focus and direction.

Setting goals put you in the driver’s seat of your life, giving you the power to change your trajectory and set yourself on track. Don’t confuse goals with resolution. While resolution means firm decision to do or not to do something, goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Goals provide a direction to achieve desired outcome. Realistic goals involve intention setting, planning, preparing, and taking action.

Goals provide a direction to achieve desired outcome. 

Setting Realistic Goals

Your goals must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.

Specific


Suppose your objective was to lose weight, an example of a specific goal, to help you meet this objective would be: “I will lose 10 pounds in two months by running on a treadmill for half an hour, six days a week.” That is being specific – knowing what you want to accomplish and taking the steps to bring it to fruition. There is a high chance of achieving a specific goal than a generic one.

If your goal is to make more money, be specific on how much you want to make and the steps you will take to make the money. A specific goal is: “I want to make 1 million naira by the end of X month.” According to Independence University, there are five ‘W’ questions you need to ask yourself.

  • Who is involved?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • Where will this happen?
  • When will this happen?
  • Why should this happen?

Measurable


It is important for you to set a deadline for your goals; you should be able to measure your progress. Date and time should be part of your goals otherwise you run the risk of being marred by procrastination.

If your goal is to read 2 books a week, how do you measure your progress and define success? Setting measurable goals give you precision and helps you measure your success metrics.

Attainable


It is important you set goals that are within reach, and not things that are outside the realm of your influence. You will end up demoralizing yourself. Setting attainable goals helps you accomplish your them quickly, and motivates you to set more goals.

Make sure you have the resources to achieve your desire goals or, at least, have access to someone who does. However, resist the urge of setting easy goals. Goals you don’t have to work hard for might have little impact on you. Hence, why it is important to set goals that are achievable if you put in the work.

Realistic


Nothing demoralizes a person more than not being able to achieve what you set out to. The feeling of disappointment can be demotivating. Whatever goals you set, put in the work and energy; commit yourself to achieving your goals. You are the only one who knows how substantial your goal is. Thus, you can work to achieve it, given the right circumstances. Don’t set goals and go to bed, work on action steps – frequently – to help you achieve your goals.

Timely


Every goal should be guided by a reasonable time frame, set a deadline for your goals. Without a time frame, there won’t be a sense of urgency and you will be less motivated. Work on a solid plan, identify milestones, and set expected result that helps you define what success should look like.



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How to Achieve Your Goals

The trick is to find ingredients that inspire you and set goals that are personal to your development or ambition. At the base of it all, you must be proactive. Life goals are the ones you dream about happening ‘one day’ but never today. However, to bring results to life, you must start from somewhere and here are some solid pointers to get you started.

  1. Write down your goals
  2. Get an accountability partner
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  4. Monitor your progress
  5. Always aim high but realistic
  6. Draw up an action plan

Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity, not just a one-time event. Set reminders to keep you on track and make regular time-slots available to review your goals. You don’t have to wait for new year’s eve to set goals. Get to work, build yourself and start thriving purposefully. I am rooting for you!

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