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  • April 13, 2023 4 min read

    If we want to achieve something, setting goals is one of the first things that come to mind. It’s a great way to help ourselves create a vision of our journey towards the ultimate destination—that is, whatever it is that we’ve set out to accomplish. It keeps things clear so we know what to do and how to do them, and it also allows us to stay focused.

    Sometimes though, we can look too far ahead and set goals that may not be achievable at the moment. In the future, sure—when we have more experience or once we’ve completed certain initial steps for example—but not at the beginning of our journey where there’s still so much to do. This is why in today’s post, we want to look at five ways we can set realistic goals and why it’s important that we keep them doable.


    1. Answer the question why.

    Whenever setting goals, this is one of the most important questions we have to ask ourselves. Why do we want to do what we do? Knowing the specific reasons we have for setting particular goals can assist us in making them both realistic and meaningful. Does it align with our values and priorities? What are the steps we need to take to ensure they do? It encourages us to start where we should: the beginning.

    When we dream big, we can fast forward too quickly and end up overlooking important steps. But by simply asking why, we’re able to set the stage for our upcoming journey. We can build the foundations that hold our goals together and work our way from there, onward and forward, one step at a time. On top of that, having a why can be a powerful thing! When times get rough, we can remind ourselves of our why and that we have a good reason to keep going no matter what.


    2. Just like tasks, break down your goals into bite-sized pieces.

    There are times goals aren’t unrealistic because of what we want to achieve: it’s how big of a goal they are. It’s not that they’re entirely impossible either. They are, but it will take some work and proper detailed planning. For example: if you’re looking at joining your first marathon, setting a goal for an ultra and signing up for the next 50k race right off the bat just isn’t ideal.

    But here’s something more ideal: set up short term goals that lead to your long term ones. You’ll probably need to start with some kind of running program, especially if you’re not a runner, to improve your endurance as you prepare for your first race. Most likely, there will be various other adjustments: in your diet and nutrition-intake, the types of training you’ll need to do down the line, and of course, joining shorter races as you slowly increase your mileage.

    All throughout, you will need to track your progress, marking off short term goals as milestones as you achieve them and building a chain to your long term goal.

    3. Have a measurable system in place.

    An effective way to make sure your goals are realistic is by setting a target of some sort depending on the type of goal you have in mind. For example, you can use deadlines or numbers/measurements (weight loss/gain, mileage, workout reps, etc). Just a target alone can already give you a visual idea of what’s possible at the moment and what’s not and, with this information, you can then proceed to plan accordingly. Going back to ensuring your goals are bite-sized, the key is to set up multiple short-term goals that pave the way for your long term success.

    As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. The point of setting goals is to be able to manage all of the things you need to do to accomplish whatever goal you’ve set for yourself.


    4. Set time to evaluate and adjust.

    Aside from tracking your progress and making sure you hit important milestones on the way to your goal, make sure you dedicate time to pause and evaluate yourself. This piggybacks on the previous point: measuring your performance so you can better manage it. Instead of waiting for something to go wrong, stay ahead: do it weekly, monthly, or however frequently you think it’s needed.

    By stepping back and reviewing how you’re doing, you can determine where you need to make some adjustments or improvements. You can course-correct, save time, but more importantly, you can also take a look at what’s been going well so you can keep doing it.


    5. Celebrate every win no matter what!

    We will always advocate for this simply because we live in a world where success is only considered good success if it’s a hit—something big or grand. That’s just not the case.

    We can win each day by taking a look at our small accomplishments and remembering that it’s the little things that make up bigger things. Whatever you’ve accomplished or want to accomplish in the future, realistically, all of it starts with one small action. It’s definitely something worth noting down.

    That said, take note of every win, no matter how irrelevant you think it is. We guarantee you, when you look back and reread all the tiny notes you’ve written for yourself mentioning each one of those wins, it will make your success so much sweeter.


    It’s time to make your goals more realistic!

    We can always dream big—there’s nothing wrong with that—but if it keeps us from moving towards it, then it’s time to step back, review our goals, and make sure the path towards it is littered with actions and tasks that are doable. In this way, we can effectively set ourselves up for success.

    How else can you make setting goals realistic? What other things can you think of outside of this list? Share it with us in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!

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