I bet you have been through it. The first time when you came across the idea of setting goals, you were so excited to set a big goal that stretches you out of your comfort zone. You have also heard that people often told you to set big goals that excite and drive you. Guess what happens in the end – you’re disappointed by the unrealistic goals you have set, and you failed to achieve them.
Now, when we talk about setting unrealistic goals, there is one thing you need to understand is that it is not so much about whether a goal is unrealistic or within your reach, it is about your ability.
Here are a few examples of unrealistic goals:
- Financial goal – to earn a million dollars in a year.
- Weight loss goal – to quickly burn the fat through exercise
- Business goal – to build a multi-million-dollar business in a year
- Sports goal – to run faster than Usain Bolt or to play in the NBA
All of the above goals can be realistic or unrealistic, depending on your circumstances and ability.
For example, do you think setting a goal to make a million dollars a year is something unrealistic or is it something realistic?
The answer is subjective. If you’re Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world at the point of this writing, earning a million dollars in a year is piece of cake. It is something very possible because you already have the capability and the ability to do so.
However, if you are someone who is broke and deeply in debt, and have no skills and knowledge in running a business, earning a million dollars a year can be something unrealistic to you.
Whether your goal is realistic or unrealistic, it depends on you
Now, what if you’re just 5 feet tall and you have the dream of joining the NBA? This may really seem like an unrealistic goal. The average height of an NBA player is 6’7”, which is about 200cm.
I’m not saying that this is totally impossible. Unless you have very unique or superior skills, being a 5 feet tall basketball player makes it NEAR to impossible to join the NBA.
The same goes for building a blog. I have seen many bloggers set big goals that are almost impossible to achieve. They want each of their post to receive 500 comments when they are just starting.
Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to get 500 comments on a post if it goes viral. But you have to consider your ability to write a great blog post that attracts thousands of eyeballs.
Not only that, but you need to also consider your own creativity. Do you have the necessary knowledge and skills to make a blog post goes viral? Do you have what it takes to make the article viral?
It is not so much about the goal, it is more about your capability and how creative you are. It is about your strategy and your ability.
Like what I have mentioned in my previous article, Setting Realistic VS Unrealistic Goals: What You Need to Know, I said that no matter what goals you set, your strategy matters.
How to know if your goals are realistic or unrealistic?
So, how can you tell if the goal you set is realistic or unrealistic? Well, just answer these few questions below:
- Do you have what it takes to achieve the goal?
- Are you willing to do whatever it takes to produce the results you want?
- Do you know someone who has accomplished the goal and can he or she be your mentor or coach?
- Are you willing to do the difficult things and challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone and do what is necessary?
- Do you have the creativity to think out of the box and achieve the goal?
- Do you have a plan or the right strategy to reach your goal?
- If you continue to do what you do now, will you achieve your goal?
After going through the questions above and really ponder about your goals, I bet you will have a clear idea of whether your goal is realistic or unrealistic to you.
Remember, it is not about whether your goal is realistic or unrealistic, instead, it is about you, whether you are being realistic or unrealistic.
If you don’t want to put in the work, yet, you want to achieve the goal, you’re being unrealistic.
If you want to save a million dollars in a year but you are not willing to start a business and your only income is your fix salary of $3,000 a month, you’re being unrealistic.
If you want to build a successful business but you’re not willing to put in the effort and time, you prefer to spend time playing computer games, then you’re being unrealistic.
If you want to stay fit and build a 6-pack ab but you don’t follow your diet plan and you don’t workout, you’re being unrealistic.
By now you should have understood whether your goal is within your reach or whether it is not.
You just need to be honest and ask the questions above.
Can you achieve unrealistic goals?
So, what if you are being unrealistic but you want to achieve your goals? What can you do to achieve the results you want?
Basically, there are only 2 things you can do, and they are…
- Either you lower your expectations, or
- You upgrade yourself.
Yes, these are the only 2 ways to achieve your goal, regardless of whether it is realistic or not.
If you are not willing to put in the extra effort, to spend more time, to be more creative, or to do whatever it takes, you will have to lower your expectations.
Of course, I won’t suggest you lower your goals, instead, I will suggest you increase your ability and upgrade yourself.
This picture below says a lot about upgrading yourself:
You see, it is about the size of you, not the size of your goals.
When you train, practice, improve and upgrade your skills to a higher level, you can achieve any goal you set.
Think about it, making $10,000 a month is a big goal for someone who is currently earning $3,000 a month. But if the same person is already earning $9,000, making an additional $1,000 will be realistic and very possible to achieve.
Do you get that?
What you need to do to achieve an unrealistic goal is to upgrade yourself. When your level, your experience, your capability, and ability have increased, your unrealistic goals can become realistic.
Again, if you want to achieve a really big goal that seems unrealistic, work on improving yourself and get yourself a set of proven strategies. Read my previous post here to understand more.
Here’s a quote I like from Harv Eker:
“The size of the problem is never the issue, what matters is the size of you.”
Don’t become unrealistic by setting a goal where you’re not willing to work on to achieve.
If you want to learn more about setting and achieving your goals, I suggest you take the Goal Setting Formula course. In the course, I have shared a step-by-step approach of how you can your goals, design a plan, and what to do to achieve them.
I hope you will find this article interesting. Let me know what you think in the comment section below. Cheers.