Why is it important to set realistic goals: 7 Powerful Aspects

why is it important to set realistic goals, realistic goals, target setting

Did you know goal setters who note down their goals have 20% increased chances of accomplishing the goals than their peers who don’t!

But then again the challenge is in setting realistic goals. If you’re wondering why is it important to set realistic goals, let me tell you until and unless you set realistic goals you will not be able to take action.

Many people believe that setting lofty goals is the best way to achieve their dreams, but it’s far better to set realistic goals.

How can you possibly have too many goals?  

However, having too many goals is just as bad (or even worse) than having few or no goals.

You see, having too many goals will keep you perpetually frustrated and never able to reach any of them. 

But, setting realistic goals or future goals helps you reach them more easily and quickly with the right goals management — and keeps you from getting overwhelmed by the process.

As humans, we all need future goals, we need target setting. 

However, most often, when you do not know what is your goal in life, or set unrealistic future goals you end up accomplishing less than you could have because you become distracted and stressed by the goal itself instead of the task at hand. 

In this post, I reveal several aspects of why is it important to set realistic goals, how to work towards the achievement of goals, steps in goal setting, and why should plans have goals. 

What is your goal in life?

why is it important to set realistic goals, what is your goal in life, what is the most likely consequence of setting unrealistic goals

Don’t be overwhelmed if you encounter the question, say for instance, in a job interview; “what is your goal in life” or for that matter, you’re contemplating it anyway.

See; if it’s answering it for an interview purpose, be sure to –

  • Align your life goals with the organization’s values.
  • Let the management know, how do you plan to help the company grow.

Avoid mentioning your personal life goals like traveling the world, switching to a larger corporation, or starting your business. No organization will appreciate this, as it will make them look like you think of them as a money-minting machine to meet your bills or just a stepping stone.

On a personal note, your future goals can vary from getting that dream job, traveling, starting a business, writing a book, donating to a charity, or even getting six-pack abs.

All of your life goals or future goals are the things you wish to accomplish. Your life goals are often highly important to you and can have a long-term impact on your life. They can be massive and comparatively difficult ambitions, or they can be smaller and more personal targets.

Life goals must be meaningful and subjective by definition. 

As per Kasser and Ryan (2001), there are 2 broad categories of life goals, each of which has a different impact on our well-being:

Intrinsic goals – Emotional closeness, self-development, and assisting others are all intrinsic aspirations. As per Maslow (1943) they’re said to be in tune with our human desires, reflecting our innate need for self-awareness and more rewarding relationships.

Extrinsic goals –  It includes things like our physical beauty, standing in society, status, and riches, which are less about our essence as human beings.

Also Read: 101 On Powerful Benefits Of Emotional Intelligence For A Higher Emotional Quotient (Updated 2022)

What are realistic goals?

Your goal/goals should be realistic, in the sense that it should be something you can achieve given your current mindset, motivation level, timeframe, skills, and abilities. A realistic goal helps you identify what you want and what you can achieve.

Be realistic about what you expect to accomplish, and then break down the steps to help you reach your goal. Determine what you need to do, and then set your sights on the big picture. You may need to adjust your expectations, but once you know what you want, you can figure out how to get there.

In other words: will your efforts result in success?

Also Read: How Optimism Affects Happiness: Learn 6 Secrets Today (2022)

What is the most likely consequence of setting unrealistic goals?

If you’re wondering why is it necessary to set your goals realistic, know that when you set overly ambitious goals, you’re much more likely to suffer from feelings of failure and inadequacy. These negative emotions can lead to lower self-esteem and even depression.

Setting unrealistic goals is most likely to trap you in a loop and keep you stuck in a never-ending cycle of failure.

At this time, the goal that you have decided to pursue is not realistic in your life! That isn’t to say it won’t happen; it just means a little more planning and achieving smaller goals first will give you the much-needed boost!

Also Read: Why Is Gratitude Important In Life: Discover the 5 Secrets

Steps In Goal Setting / Target Setting

The following approach is based on the psychological capital intervention (PCI), and it consists of three phases: goal ideation/design, path formulation, and obstacle-clearing (Luthans et al., 2006).

Goal Ideation/Design

The first stage is to devise a strategy for achieving our objectives. We must recall the basic concept of goal-setting theory when creating goals: they are intents that drive our conduct. Goals should be clear, detailed, approach-based, can be broken down to short term goals/ smaller goals, and measurable.

Path Formulation

Now that you know your life goals, you need to brainstorm how to reach there. Which potential paths can help you achieve the goals? Ask your friends, mentors, parents, to help you brainstorm and find ideas on how to pursue your goals. 

The crucial piece in pathway creation is to decide what resources will you need to take the routes that you’ve come up with after brainstorming.  Essentially, we can refine our prospective paths by carefully considering what we may reasonably expect and thus decide.

Obstacle-Clearing

It’s beneficial to think about potential roadblocks when defining life goals. Contemplation on the prospective paths as well as the tactics we might employ to deal with them can help you. (Luthans et al., 2006). You can do this alone or with the group you have like you did in the path creation step, and the goal is to prepare ourselves for an unexpected event

If you work on questions like – “What might keep me from attaining my goal?” or, “How could I get through a certain possible potential situation?”, you will be in a better position to make things work.

Also Read: Top 5 Powerful Aspects Of What Is Resilience In Psychology

Importance of goal setting

One of the most common questions we often hear is – what is the importance of goal setting?

Well, to find success on your journey, goal setting is one of the basic steps. If you’re not sure of your goals, the importance they have, how can you work on your goals!

Here are some reasons, why it is important to set goals –

  • Gives you focus – Without a goal, you can’t make progress. It helps you focus on what matters most by zeroing in on each day’s tasks with laser precision. Weeding out wasted effort and idle movement.
  • Easier to measure progress –  Having a goal to strive for is essential to success. Progress is very rewarding, and it helps you maintain focus, keep your head held high and your energy up. It will also keep you from getting down. It can be easy to get discouraged when you’re not quite where you want to be in your business. Just keep moving forward and you will eventually reach your goal. This is a great method for working on your personal development. It’s easy to see your progress as you move closer to your goals.
  • Helps you to stay inspired – There is always a goal on the line, and it’s easy to put off work until tomorrow when there is no goal on the line. For example, if you’re preparing for the NFL, you’ll be working out each and every day. You may not feel good, you may be sore, you may be tired, but because you have a goal. Goal-setting is the best way to motivate yourself.
  • Beats Procrastination – Set goals in life, and make sure they’re SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound). It’s the only way to keep yourself on track. You are still not on the path to your goal. You must be more consistent.
  • You know what you want – Goals force you to look at what you truly want out of life. You’re on the right path. You’ve got what it takes to reach your goal. You can make your dream life a reality if you stick to the plan and are willing to work hard. Your goals should always have a time frame. It’s important to start setting and achieving goals as soon as possible, but it’s also important to keep your long-term goals in sight.

Also Read: How Do You Stop Overthinking Like A Pro – 7 Powerful Secrets

Goals Management

The Goal Management component is in charge of updating and processing the objectives in the system’s goal pool, which is a collection of current goals. It, like the other management components, monitors the status of the objects in its pool on a regular basis, conducting management tasks as needed and responding to problems as they arise.

When new goals are put into the Decision Engine, the Goal Management component accepts them and keeps track of the plans connected with them. Because the criteria for deciding which plan to act on can change depending on current priorities and/or external conditions, the ability to have numerous plans for the same goal provides greater robustness.

Qualitative or quantitative statements about the future that describe what the company wants to accomplish. For example, “Our business goal is to increase our market share by 10% within the next 3 years.

An effective project manager is a person who is able to understand the project goals, assign tasks, and then delegate tasks to team members.

An effective project manager can ensure that projects are completed successfully. He or she can ensure that the goals of the project are met and that the scope of the project is managed effectively.

A milestone is an important part of a project. It can mark the completion of a specific set of tasks, a phase, or a high-level event. For example, the milestone might be a completion, an endorsement, a document, or a high-level review.

Goal Alignment

You can’t have alignment without visibility.

Alignment also provides the employees’ insights as to how their efforts benefit the organization.

For example, if your goal is to increase operational efficiency by 5%, a call center employee might have a goal of resolving 80% of first-level support calls within 5 minutes.

An alignment with a project means that your effort directly contributes to the completion of that project. In other words, the project cannot be considered 100% complete until your goal is 100% complete.

Achievement of goals

While setting and achieving targets, the outcome or end result that we desire to achieve is called goal achievement.

A proven 7-step formula for the achievement of goals –

  • Set defined, realistically achievable, and quantifiable targets.
  • When setting goals, be sure they have a deadline by which they must be completed.
  • Make certain the objective is exciting.
  • Draw up a list of your goals.
  • Believe in yourself and your ability to attain your objectives.
  • Be dedicated to achieving your goals.
  • Measure your accomplishments boost your confidence.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should plans have goals?

Every plan should have specific ambitious goals. A plan without a goal is akin to living a life without a purpose. A plan provides the means to meet proposed targets, goals are the end targets, and achieving them guarantees that plans succeed.

What are some good goals?

Goals depend on individual choices and priorities. However, some common goals people always have are –

Harmony in family and relationships.
Satisfaction in career.
Better mental and physical health.
Improved financial condition.

Why having a goal is important?

Setting goals boosts new habits, the direction of your focus, and momentum in life. Goals can also help you focus and feel more in control of your life. Goal setting can enhance your mental health as well as personal and workplace success.

Take-Away Reflections

Having a goal is so vital in life, as you feel focused and in control of your actions. However, make sure whenever you set future goals or working on target setting, remember to keep measurable and realistic goals.

Good Luck!

P.S. Get back to me in the comment section if you need any help in goal setting or goals management.

P.S 2: This piece of content is for educational and informational purposes and is not a replacement for professional consultation.

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6 thoughts on “Why is it important to set realistic goals: 7 Powerful Aspects”

  1. This is as comprehensive as it can get. You’ve covered the topic exhaustively. From my experience, I have realised that goal setting is more effective when you set up a process to achieve it. Small steps that are acted upon on a daily basis have a better chance of getting you closer to your goal, than mere plans.

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