Everyone has a set of goals they want to achieve for the sake of personal development. These goals define one’s perspective on life and are driven by passion, purpose, and aspirations.
However, the catch is to define and set realistic goals, ones that can be achieved.
What differentiates realistic goals from fantasy and delusion is their attainability.
Starting by setting unrealistic goals can be a real demotivation in life, which makes it essential to define a rational and pragmatic set of personal development goals.
Following are a few essential tips that can aid in making realistic personal development goals:
1. Identify goals in writing
Once you have identified the relevant goals to achieve for personal development, you must write them down on a piece of paper for continuous reference. Referring to goals on a daily basis can help with setting priorities in life. You can work toward realizing your goal and contribute to it daily, the sooner you begin, the sooner you can reap its outcome. Writing down goals gives a visual that may be reflected upon.
2. Apply the SMART technique
Another commonly used technique for goal setting is called SMART.
Goals must be specific; ambiguity in goal setting can result in an inconsistent outcome. Also, make sure that the desired personal development goals are clear, consistent and complete.
Goals must be measurable such that they should be quantifiable in some tangible form.
In addition to this, goals are to be attainable i.e. they must be realistic and worthy of procuring.
Relevance is another significant factor whereby the goals must fit into the bigger frame of one’s priorities and purpose in life.
Last but not the least, goals have to be time-bound i.e. each goal should have a time-frame, to be able to measure the progress on it within the given time period.
3. Assess commitment
Another important factor in making realistic personal development goals is an assessment of one’s commitment to achieving these goals. In case you feel yourself losing on this commitment, this is a red flag indicating that your goal might be an unrealistic one.
Moreover, you must prioritize the most important goals and then be committed to these ones first. Commitment encompasses dedicating sufficient and necessary time and effort toward achieving the desired goal(s).
4. Identify limitations – external and internal
If you are facing innumerable limitations to the achievement of personal development goals, this is yet another indicator that the set goals may be unrealistic. Jot down these limitations to have a clear picture of obstacles, either external or internal that may hinder progress onto these goals.
Lack of financial resources may be an example of an internal limitation that tends to barricade the goal achievement process. If the obstacles hinder progress, it means your goal setting was not a realistic one, hence it needs to be revised.
5. Measure progress
Lastly, in order to make realistic personal development goals, it is essential to review these on a continuous basis and measure progress on each goal. Setting aggressive goals sounds great but falling short on the progress of such goals is a matter worth considering.
For any and all aggressive natured goals, it is recommended that you assess actions rather than the progress. Evaluate goals and their progress statuses as it helps to identify whether the desired goal is a realistic one or not.
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Until next time!
Terence Young, MD
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