It is thrilling to be realistic and know you can achieve what you want. For the past several weeks, we have written articles about having SMART goals, which means we have goals that are:
Be realistic with smart plans.
This week’s article is about making our goals realistic. As usual, let’s take a look at two different goals to make it easy to visualize the point.
1. I want to exercise 5 hours per day at the gym, work 9 am to 5 pm each day and still spend time with my husband and children at home each day and get to bed by 11 pm each night.
2. I want to exercise for one hour each morning at home before going to work from 9 am to 5 pm so that I can spend time with my husband and children in the evenings and get to bed by 11 pm each night.
Goal number one is just crazy. It is not realistic that a person can meet that schedule for a sustained period. There are just not enough hours in the day to make this possible. Goal number two is realistic. In order to get in that one hour of working out each morning, the person just needs to get up a little earlier. With a little work, this can be done.
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When making goals, you must look at what can actually be done. It is not realistic to make a goal requiring you to spend $500 per week if you only earn $600 per week, because you still need money to live. When we dream, we can dream of impossible or hard-to-do things. However, when we are setting goals, we need to be realistic. When setting goals, we need to plan step by step, piece by piece the steps necessary to achieve the impossible. Air flight was once impossible, but step by step, piece by piece, plan by plan, the Wright Brothers made it happen.
In fiction, we can dream and use hope alone to make things real. This happened in the story, “The Velveteen Rabbit.” In that story, a stuffed animal was told by other toys that it would become real if it was loved enough. This is a cute idea, but it is not factual. Love alone does not make your dreams come true. If you want your dreams to come true, be realistic and do some work.
Be realistic and remember that you live in a real world.
In the real world, we have to put in the work to make things happen. We have to go out on a limb, to put the work in, to plan realistically.
Goal setting is not where we go to dream. Goal setting is where we sit down to work, plan to get something done, and do it one step at a time. So we need to be serious about our thinking and our plans. Each piece of the plan must be something that is based on reality, not on a dream. When we are realistic in our planning we take into account all our resources: time, money, personnel, ability. Being realistic means we divide things into steps that can be accomplished one at a time. When our goals are realistic, we can have confidence in them, and then we can make our dreams come true.
In a future article, we will talk about how to make sure our goals are time-bound. So, the question for you on this thrilling day is how are you setting up your goals so that they are realistic?