Setting realistic goals

The month of January is the time
for New Year’s resolutions.

How long they last is another story.

When February comes along
it is time to set realistic goals.

Remember: realistic goals are not big ideas or big dreams. But, a (realistic) goal is a dream with a deadline.

The definition of realistic is:

having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.

Why should you set goals?

  • It helps you to develop a mind-set of personal growth.
  • It teaches you to organise time and tasks.
  • It increases motivation, self-efficacy and a sense of achievement.
  • It inspires you.

There are 5 characteristics that can be used to measure whether your goals are good and realistic. In order to determine whether your goal(s) adhere(s) to the characteristic ask yourself the question and answer truthfully.

1. Specific Goals

  • Do you know exactly what you want to achieve?
  • Are your goals clear and defined? 

Tip: If your goals are too vague or unrealistic this will lead to disappointment and/or lack of perseverance.
Inspiration: A goal without a plan is just a wish.

2. Measurable Goals

  • Do you know how you will know when you have achieved your goal?
  • Will you be able to track your progress?

Tip: Depending on the goal, progress can be tracked daily, weekly, monthly or at the end of each term.
Inspiration: Set your goals high and don’t stop till you get there.

3. Attainable
/Achievable Goals

  • Do you know how your goals can be accomplished?
  • Do you know what needs to be done to accomplish your goal?

Tip: Make a list of specific tasks/steps you will need to complete to attain your goal. This is called structured goal-setting and it will help you to get to know your own abilities.
Inspiration: Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.

4. Relevant Goals

  • Why is this goal important to you?/Why did you choose this goal for 2021?
  • How does this goal add to your plans for the future?  

Tip: The goal(s) need(s) to matter to you.
If you have the same goal(s) as everyone else it means you have other people’s goals, not your own.
Inspiration: Without dreams and goals there is no living, only merely existing, and that is not why we are here.


5. Time-bound goals

  • When do you want to achieve this goal?

Tip: Time-bound goals should have a practical sense of urgency. This will create a healthy tension. This tension will ensure that you are proactive.
Inspiration: A goal without a timeline is just a dream.

Something to think about:

Have at least one goal to achieve something that is so big, so exhilarating
that it excites you and scares you at the same time.