Setting goals is important, but making sure those goals are realistic is even more important. For example, if you have played basketball your entire life and can shoot a free-throw blindfolded, wanting to join the NBA is probably a realistic goal. However, deciding that you want to join the NBA when you have never played basketball may not be such a wise move. You want to make sure the goal you set is something you’re capable of doing in the time that you have. For example, if you want to lose 50 pounds in a month, you’re probably going to fail, but if you want to lose 50 pounds in a year, there’s a strong chance you will reach your goal.
Write down a goal you have set for yourself.
Think about your goal as you answer the following questions:
Does the goal explain exactly what you are going to do? For example, instead of setting a goal to improve your grades, you could set a goal to get a B in English or get a 3.0 GPA for the grading period. If you want to get a job, your goal may be to get a job mowing lawns or working at a specific store.
How will you know when you have reached your goal? If your goal is just to be nicer, to save money or to become better at a sport, there’s really no way to tell when you have reached your goal. You can always keep working towards being nicer, saving money or becoming better at a sport. You need to set a goal that has a definite end. For example, you may set a goal to be nicer by not putting anyone down for 30 days or if you want to be a better baseball player, you may set a goal to hit a set number of pitches at the batting cages without striking out.
Having a set timeframe makes it easier to track your goal and make sure you can and will reach it. If your goal is to run a mile, it could be years before you actually try to reach your goal, but if your goal is to run a mile by the end of the month, you have a set timeframe to reach your goal.
Sometimes you can become too ambitious and want to reach your goals right away. However, some goals take time. If you want to raise money to take a trip to Paris and think you will have enough raised in a week, you will probably be pretty disappointed when you do not reach your goal. Think about your goal and the time it will realistically take to complete your goal, then write your goal down with that timeframe in mind.
Look back at your goal and the answer to the questions. If you can answer yes to every question, you are ready to start trying to reach your goal. If the answer to one or more of the questions is no, you need to take a second look at your goal before you starting working towards it.