Realistic Goals: How to Set Them and Ultimately Achieve Them

realistic goalsHow many times have you set reasonable, realistic goals and couldn’t follow through? After all, goals are often set, but expectations aren’t always met.

Many of us either struggled, or continue to struggle, with executing goals. From personal experience and talking with others, meeting goals is as tough as time management.

Setting even realistic goals won’t do you much good if you don’t have a specific plan of attack.

I learned a few things during my years that I’d argue will give many a competitive edge. Here’s how to not only set realistic goals, but also to achieve them.

Set Realistic Goals and Stick to Them

Entrepreneurs naturally think big. There’s no doubting this, and it’s healthy for success. When setting goals, keep the big picture in mind, but make the goals realistic. First, separate the wants from the needs (you’ll be shocked at how many goals are not urgent) and ask a lot of questions. For example, you may want to launch an updated product or service within a month, but do you truly have the bandwidth to complete the task? Consider your time and resources as well as those of everybody involved in the project. How many other projects do they have, and what do those timelines look like?

Once you reassess, you might find that your project will take longer than you anticipated. Factor in extra time to allow for unforeseeable circumstances.  This will not only allow the process to run cleaner and smoother but will calm your nerves, allowing you to make more sound decisions.

Don’t Go Crazy – Choose Only 3-5 Goals to Chase

Now you have realistic goals. But, how many should be in play at the same time? From experience, five to seven goals work well — with a bulk of those being short-term (say, within a quarter). During the initial stages of Wakanow, I was trying to achieve too much too soon. I juggled building areas of the website that assisted visitors with simple hotel arrangements and setting up affiliates with multiple companies at once. Once I learned to slow down the rate at which I tried to achieve my goals, I was able to dedicate more time to each one, and things happened quicker – much quicker. It’s easier to focus when you don’t have other ideas weighing you down.

Track Progress and Write a To-Do List

Just as solid reporting is an absolute must for correctly analyzing the financial situation of your business, it’s equally important for tracking the progress of goals. Use an excel sheet if you’re the analytical type, or write a simple, daily “to-do” list.

I set an hour every morning to plan my day, blocking off time for each project or meeting. I also schedule a half hour to track the progress of my goals – both short- and long-term. This technique can help minimize the stress of actually executing each goal.

Think how important and how hard entrepreneurs work toward perfecting their time management skills. Those who take these steps are usually the most successful. Learn how to set realistic goals and execute them in the most non-stressful and time-efficient ways. These tips are the first step to optimally achieving your realistic goals.

Start perfecting the process now by making these tips your first goal of the new week.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Business Collective!


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