How To Set Realistic Goals

We are officially in a new year and 2020 is behind us for good. While it was a difficult year, to say the least, one thing is for sure: we all learned something.

Whenever a new year arrives, we’re always dead-set on setting goals. I often find that figuring out a goal before the ball drops is a challenge. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, life is full. There is so much going on and so much to do that it seems the new year comes in the blink of an eye.

But just because you didn’t set a goal before midnight, doesn’t mean you can’t set a goal for the year after it’s already arrived. You can set goals whenever you want! And, you can change your goals at any time.

Whether you’re just setting your goal for the new year or you’re making some adjustments, these tips will help you set yourself up for success.

Set Intentions Instead of Resolutions

New Years Resolutions. The phrase is synonymous with a new year. The phrase in itself can feel like such a trap. We’re going to lose weight. We’re going to write a book. We’re going to get a promotion. All the resolutions are finite things we want to happen. We resolve to do something every year and more often than not, it doesn’t come to fruition. That makes us feel bad. Why do we want to feel that way?

It’s time to reframe our minds on setting resolutions. Instead, set intentions. Intentions are more thoughtful and more on how we can accomplish our goals instead of simply accomplishing them.

For the last two years, I’ve set an intention in the form of a word, my word of the year. For 2020, my word was Freedom. I wanted to give myself the freedom to simply write and get my words out whenever I could.

For 2021, my word is Focus. I can get very distracted creatively, so I set an intention to keep my focus and not take on anything new.

Think about intentions for yourself. Think about a word that will help get you to your goals. It takes so much of the pressure off and instead puts value on the effort as opposed to the outcome.

You Can’t Do All The Things

I am notorious for trying to do it all. Then I get frustrated when I can’t. Truth be told, I’m not setting myself up for success. I set myself up to “fail.”

You need to focus on what you want to accomplish most. When you try to do too much, it becomes overwhelming. The truth is: we can’t do it all. We’ve been fed this idea that we can and that if you can’t there’s something wrong with you. That’s simply not true.

Instead of trying to over-extend yourself, focus on goals that can feasibly be completed. Don’t try to do five things if you can barely find the time to do one.

You don’t have to do it all right now. You don’t have to have the immediacy of completing every one of your goals at once. Pinpoint a goal by choosing something that you want that can reasonably be worked towards.

I sometimes think that I’m too creative. I always get so many ideas of things I want to do and it gets to be too much. Before I headed into this year, I had a business idea that I thought would be cool to do. But in thinking about writing my book and running my printables shop, I realized that adding something else would be too much. That’s especially true since I also have a family and a full-time job.

We can’t do it all. So don’t try. That just leads to disappointment. You can control some aspects of avoiding disappointment.

Consider Your Time Constraints

When setting up a goal, you need to think about how it will fit in within the other aspects of your life.

For example, I’m a mom. I have two young children who need me. They’re 3 years old and 7 months old. At this age, they require so much of my attention and need me to help them live their life. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it is something to keep in mind as I set my goals.

Unlike my friends without kids, I can’t spend a Saturday writing for hours and hours. That’s time I could be spending with my family.

Think about your own life and the commitments and desires you have. Think about how you can accomplish your goals within the other aspects of your life. Think about what is possible and reasonable.

Take Your Time

Alright – you’ve got these guidelines to go by. Start thinking about what you want to do. Start thinking about how you’re going to work towards accomplishing your goals.

Take your time on this task. Don’t feel as though you’re on a time-crunch to choose a goal. It’s okay if you don’t have one settled by the end of the month or by the end of next month.

Thinking about what you’re going to accomplish and how you can accomplish that is a step towards achieving your goal. It’s an essential one! Don’t forget that. It’s a small part of it but an important one.

I hope 2021 can be a great year for you. I hope you can set intentions that drive you towards success. Happy New Year!

How To Set Realistic Goals