On social media, you may have lost track of how many friends you’ve had who share the famous Norman Vincent Peale quote.
“Shoot to the moon. Even if it fails, you will land among the stars.
Also, set high goals and aim high. Even if you don’t reach your goal, you will be well on your way. Setting ambitious goals in all aspects of your life is a great idea. Norman Vincent Peale may not agree with me in framing these goals in a way that talks about the possibility that they might not be met or that it might prove impossible.
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Goal Must Be Both Ambitious And Realistic
Goals setting and, most importantly, goal-getting can have a positive impact on every aspect of your professional and personal life, regardless of what you do in your career.
Let’s take a look at the reasons why realistic goals are important and what benefits realistic goal setting can bring.
1. Importance Of Self Confidence
There is a serious crisis in self-confidence. A 2021 study found that 62% of women and 50% of men don’t believe they are intelligent. Surprisingly, more than 60% of us don’t believe we are good at our jobs. Low self-esteem can also be associated with depression, anxiety, suicide, and other mental health issues.
What Does This All Have To Do The Goal Setting Process?
George Wilson’s “Value-Centered Approach to Goal-Setting and Action Planning” study showed clear correlations between goal setting and increased self-confidence. This means that setting clear goals can lead to higher self-esteem, even if they are not yet achieved, but you are making progress towards them.
2. Set Realistic Goals
It is also important to set realistic goals because it motivates us.
Motivation is a struggle for many people right now. Even the most passionate person can struggle to stay motivated after a year of uncertainty and turbulence. However, more than half of those surveyed said setting goals keeps them motivated.
Having goals to work towards, especially in difficult times, can help you stay motivated and focused in work and personal life.
3. Break It Down
Baz Luhrmann said that this tip is “no basis more reliable than my own wandering experience ,”–well in my personal experience and the experiences of others I have shared anecdotally.”
Over the past year, I have been on a mission to lose weight. To be more specific, I set out to lose 56 pounds. This is not my first attempt at this mission. I failed to reach the goal on three previous attempts. Self-destruct mode, hello!
I did it differently this time. Instead of setting myself a goal of “I want 56lbs of weight loss”, I have broken it down into smaller goals that are more achievable over a shorter time period.
- Goal 1: 14lbs
- Goal 2: 28 Pounds
- Goal 3: 35lbs
- Goal 4: 42 Pounds
- Goal 5: 49 Pounds
- Goal 6: 56lbs
I just passed goal 4, and I am now on my way to goal 5.
So, What’s The Difference?
4 goals have been achieved and I feel motivated. I felt frustrated when I reached my last goal of 25lbs. By setting smaller goals that help me reach my larger goal, I am able to celebrate more wins. It increases my determination and commitment.
4. Micro Goals Give Us A Feeling Of Reward
Dopamine is sometimes called the “pleasure chemicals” because it’s what we release when we are happy.
Bad habits can lead to happiness, while good habits can bring it about. They can interfere with the body’s dopamine systems, making them addictive.
As it turns out micro goals can give us a feeling of reward. It is a great way to keep motivated and to achieve smaller goals along the way to bigger ones.
5. Realistic Goals Give Positive Effect On Our Bodies
A 2017 study by Granot Stern and Balcetis revealed a remarkable result: setting goals increases our systolic pressure which makes us more ready to take action. The findings go even further.
The results showed that SBP increased when goals were “difficulty to achieve” (or, in other words, realistic). This was in contrast to cases in which the goal felt too difficult.
This means that setting realistic goals can have a positive effect on our bodies and give us the energy we need to get it.
6. Realistic Goals And The Goldilocks Rule
By their very nature, goals are things we desire and require us to take action in order to achieve them. Only when we are consistent with the actions we take to achieve our goals can we reach them.
Motivation is key to achieving any goal, no matter how small, such as a diet, a promise to write 500 words per day, a running program, or a goal of reaching a certain number of sales.
James Clear discusses the Goldilocks Rule in an article. The Goldilocks Rule states that people are only motivated when the task is at its absolute most difficult.
Clear states that if something seems too simple, you will get bored. The bottom line is that if you set a goal too easy, your motivation will die because you don’t feel challenged enough.
On the other side, if the task seems too difficult or impossible, then you may become discouraged and believe that you will never be able achieve the goal no matter what. Imagine playing chess against a
Grandmaster as an amateur. You will eventually give up after being obliterated repeatedly.
Clear believes that the “Goldilocks zone” for a goal can be described as the space that is difficult, challenging and still achievable. This is where people are most motivated to take the steps necessary to reach their goals.
Keep in mind, however, that your next goal setting session should be challenging, but not impossible.
7. You Can Change Your Life By Setting Goals
We know that micro goals and realistic goals can help us stay motivated as we work towards bigger goals.
This is the key to life-changing results.
I have had many goals as an adult. When I was in my 20s, I set out to achieve an income goal. I then broke it into micro-goals. Each time I reached one of these micro-goals I would reward myself with an experience.
Usually, this was a trip somewhere. My end goal is still far away, so I keep trying.
Recently, I have set weight goals. I am well on my path using realistic micro-goals. These small, more achievable goals add up. For me, they’ll add up to being healthy and financially comfortable–life-changing things.
You might find something completely different. However, I believe in setting large, life-changing goals and breaking them down into smaller goals that are more achievable.
What are you looking for? What is your goal? Do you want to work in a specific company or be able run at a particular speed? These 7 benefits of setting realistic goals will help you see why it is important to have realistic goals.
Only you can imagine your life-changing goals. Here’s something you can do:
Note down your end goal and the time it will take.
Reduce it into smaller goals that can realistically be achieved in a shorter time frame.
Write down your first micro goal.
Go get it.