Setting Goals that are Realistic

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Setting Goals is a fundamental part of life. It’s what keeps life interesting, and gives us something to work towards.

But let’s be honest, sometimes they get overwhelming. We have these amazing goals but have no path to actually get us there. So, we put them on the back burner and often forget about them.

But you don’t have to give up your dreams because you feel stuck or overwhelmed.

I am going to share with you step by step how to analyze and set realistic steps to reach your goal. To make it easier to follow along, I am going to use one of my goals as an example, which is to release my own book of poetry.

crop unrecognizable woman writing goals for upcoming year in notepad
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Step 1: End Goal

The first thing you want to do is determine your goal. This is the end result of your goal. What does achieving this goal look like?

Example: My end goal is to have a published book of my poetry

Step 2: Where to Start

Now I need you to think about where this goal starts. What is the very first thing you need to do to get started on accomplishing this goal?

Think about the very basic things you have to do to get started. Whether that’s a skill to learn, a mindset shift, or products to buy.

And maybe you’ve already taken the first steps. It’s up to you where you choose to start this. You can start from where you are, or back track to be sure you’ve done everything right up to this point.

Example: My first step would be to actually start writing poems. Realistically I already have hundreds of poems written, but hypothetically this would be the start of this goal. I choose to include it in my plan because I like to see the whole picture.

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Step 3: Break it Down

This is the step where I kind of have to let you loose. I can’t be too specific for this section because every goal is so different.

But basically, you’re going to see where you start and where you want to end, and fill in the blanks in between. Create the steps from beginning to end.

My recommendation is to start from the beginning and slowly make steps that lead to the end. Or even work backwards if it makes more sense for you goal.

Make sure every step is realistic and achievable. Add every step no matter how obvious it may seem. When you’re looking back at the steps, seeing the little ones will be a relief and make the process seem more manageable.

Example: I would start my steps from the first step, and slowly work my way towards my end goal.

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Write poems–>Categorize poems and pick the ones for my book–>Put them in the order I want them to be in–>Put all poems into a document (Word, Google, etc)–>Create a title for my book–>Create a cover (decide if I will do it myself or pay someone)–>Look for a publisher or printer (for self-publishing)–>Factor cost of everything–>Figure out where I can sell my book–>Send my poems to the publisher/printer

Step 4: Write it Down

Now you need to write this all down somewhere. Let’s be honest, you won’t be able to remember all those steps! Write down all your steps in a notebook, in a planner, or on a piece of paper.

More info on using a notebook to set goals here.

This will make your goal feel more real and attainable. It will also serve as a reminder for you to keep taking steps and moving towards the end goal.

Step 5: Be Flexible

Remember this is only a rough draft. Always know it’s okay to change things around. As you start taking steps you might realize you need to add steps, remove steps, change steps, or even change around the order.

These steps are a great foundation to get started but can always be adjusted. Never give up on your dream because the steps you made in the beginning don’t align perfectly.

I truly hope this encourages you to write down and go after your goals. You deserve to live a passionate life chasing your dreams. And you should have a plan so you never let those dreams die.

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