This week on the blog we are going to ask ourselves a vital question: are our goals realistic or are they overly ambitious? Do we have an executable plan or are we building castles in the sky? I have shared often about the importance of setting goals but it’s important that the goals we’re setting are designed to help us succeed and not set ourselves up for failure.
Research has shown that a reasonable guide to setting goals is using the SMART principle. What does this mean?
- Specific: A goal must be specific meaning it is clear what you want to achieve, for example, you cannot say your goal is to be healthy, while it’s a goal it’s not smart because it is not specific, a specific goal is I am going to lose 20kg.
- Measurable: You’ve heard the saying, “what gets measured is what gets done”? same thing applies to goals. You need to put your goals into metrics that can be measured for success and help determine if the goal has been reached. Saying you want to lose 20kg is measurable as you can measure your progress.
- Achievable: You must also ensure that your goal can actually be achieved. Your goal to lose 20kg can’t have a timeline of 1 week, it’s not achievable.
- Realistic: This is the focus of today. Your goal should be realistic, meaning that bearing in mind all you know about yourself and your circumstance, is this goal realistic? Can you really lose 20kg in a week? Does your body have the capacity for the training and the lifestyle?
- Time: Lastly a good goal must be time-bound. A goal without a deadline is a wish…your goals have to be bound within a time constraint.
This week we’re focusing on checking our goals and making sure they are realistic. Here are 3 things you need to do to ensure your goals are realistic:
- Make sure the goal challenges you: Don’t set goals that are too easy or too hard. If it’s too easy you won’t apply yourself and if it’s too hard, you may demoralize yourself. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you hit the balance you need.
- Make sure the goal is relevant: How does this goal help you become tomorrow’s version of you? Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life to take. By keeping your goal in line with your life’s big picture, you’re helping yourself align with and focus on what you need to get ahead.
- Layout the action plan: Write it down!!! This is the most important step to any goal you set, break down your goal into the action steps you need to achieve it. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as you complete it, you’ll realize that you are making progress towards your ultimate goal.
As we fast round up the year, take another look at your goals for the next 90 days and make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.