Realistic Goal Setting

The importance of setting realistic goals...

I recently embarked on an ambitious personal project. However only a couple of weeks into the 2 month project, I realized that the plan I'd laid out just wasn't realistic. So where did I go wrong and how will I be more realistic about setting goals next time?

To start off with, I'd broken the project down into manageable pieces - tasks if you like. Each of the tasks was less than half of one day in duration. I then set out the tasks in logical order and estimated the total time it would take based on the time I had available to me. And based on these estimates, it was a 2 month project.

As I said before, after 2 weeks, I'd fallen well behind the schedule. I decided to take the time to work out what had gone wrong with my planning. When I went back through my completed tasks I confirmed that I was completing them in approximately the time I'd estimated. So why was I falling behind?

The answer turned out to be simple enough. I'd overestimated the amount of time I had available to work on my project each week. I'd been way too optimistic. This is natural enough. Some might say it's human nature. But the reality is that we all have family and friends that need our attention. And the best laid plans are easily derailed by unexpected events. There wasn't one single thing that ate into my available time but rather a whole raft of smaller things which collectively were enough to derail my project.

The danger now is that I could become discouraged and give up. This is what could happen if you set unrealistic goals for yourself. So what steps have I taken in my efforts in re-planning? Well there are 2 main things.

First of all, I have been a lot more realistic about how much time I have available. By being conservative, I'm hoping that I can remain on schedule and therefore stay motivated through to completion. Regardless of the strength of my time management skills, I just can't manufacture the extra hours I need out of thin air. And there is only so much sleep deprivation one can manage.

The other thing I've done is to schedule "catch up days". In fact one day each week has become a catch up day. The idea of this day is to tidy up any loose ends - any tasks which aren't quite complete or which didn't have a level of quality which I was happy with. This will help me to deal with anything unexpected which crops up during the week and should ensure a higher overall quality at the end.

Hopefully these steps will do the trick. With my new plan, built around some more realistic goal setting, I should be able to stay on track this time.


FitVerse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FitVerse said...

I have been there too. This was good advice.

Erick said...

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality.

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Arthur Wang said...

Setting realistic goals so that we can achieve it and be motivated to see it through. Good point noted.

RestructuringYou said...

I've recently had plenty of problems keeping myself motivated and on the path towards my own goals. Luckily I really enjoy writing my blog at so that helps a bit.

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