“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them.
Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to fulfilling your dreams.”
– Og Mandino
It has taken me a long time to learn how to effectively set realistic goals. As I made mistakes and figured out what worked for me, I thought I was unusual – I thought everyone easily set goals except for me. Over the years as I’ve worked with and mentored people, however, I’ve learned my situation was not that unusual – in fact, it’s far more common than we think.
We’ve all been told that we should set goals, and we assume that we can – but most of us have never been taught how to set goals effectively so they are realistic and achievable.
One of the most sobering goal setting statistics I learned in my research on setting New Year’s resolutions was that 25% of resolutions were broken in the first week. And the odds didn’t get much better for the first couple months – among gym goers, 80% drop out within eight weeks.
I think a large part of this is due to not having realistic goals – without something to shoot towards, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up. It’s hard enough to make changes in our life and accomplish what we desire – if your goal is unrealistic, or not well defined, then you’re starting out with an immediate handicap.
So, what can you do to keep your goals on track? Here are seven keys for setting realistic goals.