Goal Setting: Realistic Expectations

Aim Far But Not Too High

The purpose of setting goals is of course to keep us motivated and engaged. It is therefore natural that we all try to set distant goals, goals that push us to raise the bar of our competences and knowledge. In the S.M.A.R.T method on setting goals, the Achievable criteria is a reminder for us not to pursue overly lofty or grand goals.

Sure setting a challenging goal can be morale boosting, but the continuum of failing to achieve them will damper our willpower to pursue new goals in the long run.

I'm not suggesting that we cheat by pursuing easily accomplished tasks. Rather, I will try to spend time to assess the goals that inspire me and run through a reality check test. With my present work schedule, do I have the time to accomplish the goal within my decided time-frame? How about resources and competences needed to perform the task needed? Is support from friends, colleagues, and family available to enable me to complete my tasks on time? 

Running through these questions with ourselves allow us to adjust our expectations on goals we wish to pursue. We may not have to abandon it, but we can break the goal down into several smaller milestone goals according to the answers we obtain from our reality check.  

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