12 Tips on Setting Realistic Goals

setting realistic goals

Setting realistic goals functions as a crucial step towards success.

When you set unrealistic goals, you make it difficult to measure progress and make changes when necessary. For example, if your goal is to spend less than $100 on groceries this month, but you end up spending $150, then what do you do?

You need to either change your goal or find a way to stick closer to the initial goal. So where do you even begin with all of that? Here are a few tips on how to set realistic goals.

Define Setting Realistic Goals

A realistic goal can be achieved without you having to go well beyond the limits of what’s reasonable. Remember that not every goal is realistic for you, so it’s okay if your goals aren’t achievable for everyone.

Establish SMART Goals

When setting goals, follow the SMART goal structure. This means that your goals should be:

  • Specific (What is it that you want to accomplish?)
  • Measurable (How will you know when your goal has been met?)
  • Achievable (Is it something you can actually do within the time frame given?)
  • Relevant (Does this goal help you accomplish a bigger goal?)
  • Timely (What is the deadline for your goals? When do you want to have them finalized by?)

Be Realistic About Time

You don’t have an infinite amount of hours in your day. Only so much can be accomplished in 24 hours no matter how time-efficient you are.

Plan out each day, week, and month to see where you have free time. This way, you can schedule the things that are most important so they get done.

Be Flexible About Your Goals

Life doesn’t always go according to plan. You may wake up one morning and learn that you have a medical emergency.

If this happens, then it’s perfectly okay to reschedule your goals for another day. You can’t control what happens around you, but you do have the power to change your response to it.

Appraise Your Progress Often

Don’t get discouraged! Try to figure out why something didn’t work and what can be done differently next time.

If you couldn’t stick to your diet because you had a stressful day at work and caved when someone brought in donuts, then maybe you should try and work on some stress-relieving techniques so that you can better cope with stressful situations. It might also help to plan out healthier alternatives to your favorite snacks ahead of time so that you have a backup when cravings hit.

Set Goals that are Achievable

Setting goals unachievable goals can lead to disappointment. Even if you feel like it’s something you should be able to do, if you’re not setting aside enough time or resources for it then your goal might be unrealistic.

Work Backwards for a Better Outlook

If you want to save $500 this month, what does that mean for your budget? Probably cutting out eating out and going shopping. This can help keep you accountable as well as give a clear picture of the steps needed to achieve your goals!

Write Down Smaller Milestones

One way around making realistic goals is by setting smaller milestones along the way. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds in a year, maybe your goal should be to lose one pound per month instead. If this is too big of a jump for you, then break it down even further – losing two pounds every other month or ten pounds during winter are both great goals that are easier to achieve.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Long Term

While it’s great to have shorter goals, don’t shy away from longer-term ones as well! If you want to make a career change in the next five years, then go ahead and set that goal for yourself without feeling too overwhelmed by all those months or years you still have to achieve it.

Focus On the Process, Not Just the Result

When you focus too much on an outcome or time frame, your mind can easily wander and set unrealistic goals in that way. For example, instead of saying “I want to be debt-free by next year” try saying “I want to pay off my student loans by next year.” The goal remains sizable, but it’s something that you can do step-by-step.

Set Daily or Weekly Goals

Instead of setting monthly or yearly milestones, set smaller ones for yourself each day and week! If you have a big idea of what you want to accomplish, break it down into smaller steps so that they’re achievable.

Readjust Goals as Needed

Life happens and things don’t always go according to plan! When this does happen, just reevaluate your goals and see if there is anything else you can do in the meantime until the time comes when you need to start working towards the original goal again.

Remember Your Sense of Self

You’ll make plenty of mistakes and miss the mark in the beginning. That’s normal, so don’t beat yourself up over it. Often, we can be a little too hard on ourselves about our capabilities. My book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, provides advice on how to change our self-talk to be more encouraging and uplifting.

Give it a read and let me know what you think!

5 Signs You’ve Been in Your Job Too Long

been in your job too long

You feel burned out, and you’ve probably been in your job too long.

Have you been in your job for 5 years or more? If so, it might be time to move on. Of course, no one should quit their job without a plan. However, if you feel like stagnation has set in, then this article is for you!

Is It Possible to Have Been In Your Job Too Long?

Many people stay with jobs simply because it’s a source of income. They can separate their job completely from their personal life, no matter how demanding the job is.

Others need a more cohesive balance between their job and the universe outside of it. Without that balance, they can become burned out, leading to stress and potential health problems. Everyone has different needs and expectations, and everyone has a limit. Your “stopping” point may look different from everyone else’s but it usually involves one of several factors.

There’s a Lack of Recognition

You’re rarely recognized for your work. You’re not demanding a promotion every year, but at least a thank you would be nice, right? If you feel like there’s no room to grow in your current company and see a lack of advancement opportunities, then perhaps it’s time to move on! You don’t want to stagnate in a career that doesn’t value your efforts.

Lack of Personal Development Opportunities

There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re working just for the sake of keeping busy and surviving. If there are no new opportunities on the horizon, then it might be time to move along. You don’t have anything else to offer the company unless you continue to develop yourself.

Lack of Engagement with Coworkers or Clients

If your colleagues are difficult to interact with, then perhaps it’s time for new people! When there’s no camaraderie among co-workers and clients, it can feel like you’re just another number on a spreadsheet. That’s a red flag.

No Room for Advancement

In addition to looking out for the factors that limit your professional development, you should also look at what opportunities are available outside of your current job description. If there’s nothing on the horizon and no room to grow in the company, then it might be time to move along!

You’ve Been Burned Out for a While

Do you feel like your job is taking a toll on your mental and physical health? The signs of burnout can be easy to spot if you know what to look for. If you’ve become lethargic, irritable, and forgetful over the past few months, then it might be time to wrap up your work life and move on.

You don’t want to lose yourself in a job that slowly erodes all of the good feelings that come with being an employee. Burnout can be hard to avoid when you feel like the only thing keeping your company alive is you!

Is It Time to Leave?

If one or more of these factors ring true, it might be time to move on. While you shouldn’t leave your job without a plan, sometimes there’s nothing better than starting something new! If any of the above apply to you, then get ready to start looking for something that’s a better match.

With the right attitude, you’ll find something in no time!

Signs of Burnout: How to Identify and Deal with It

Signs of Burnout

Address burnout before it addresses you.

Burnout is a mental and physical state that occurs when someone is pushed to their limits. It can happen in any profession, but it’s most common among people who work too hard without taking time off from the daily grind.

The signs of burnout often go unrecognized until they have already begun to take a toll on your life and productivity. This makes them difficult to deal with once you’re experiencing them. Let’s work to identify the signs of burnout so that you can avoid or reduce its effects!

Why Do We Get Burned Out?

We often don’t realize we’re burned out until we start to feel the negative effects of being overworked, but burnout usually starts much earlier than that.

The constant feeling of rushing from one task to another can be exhausting and stressful for an individual, causing them to become overwhelmed by their workload whether it’s real or imagined.

The feeling of being overworked can be exacerbated by difficult coworkers or bosses who make you feel like they don’t value your time. This makes it even more likely that the individual will work longer hours with little recognition for it.

This is especially true for people working in service-based industries where their interactions with customers are often draining and stressful because no one is satisfied with the response they receive.

Burnout also happens if your work doesn’t have a clear direction or meaning to it. You may not feel like what you do has an impact or makes a difference.

It may sound counterintuitive but less pressure often leads to lower stress levels and a more fulfilling experience for employees who are allowed to do their job at a more reasonable pace.

What Are the Signs of Burnout?

Being overworked is one of the most common causes of burnout, but there are several other signs to watch for that can indicate you’re on track toward mental and physical exhaustion.

  • You may start making uncharacteristic mistakes in your work, or the mistakes might be more serious than usual.
  • Meeting deadlines will become a problem as you have too many tasks that need to be addressed.
  • You might experience physical symptoms like sleep problems or stomach aches, both of which can be caused by stress and anxiety at work.
  • Your body may feel like it’s “off” due to its natural rhythm being disrupted. This is normally due to your body producing the stress hormone cortisol, which gives you an energy spike but leaves you feeling drained and out of balance.

Exhaustion can be difficult to notice at first because it’s often accompanied by feelings of apathy and disinterest. This can make you feel like you’re in a rut or that your work no longer holds any meaning to it.

How Can You Deal With Burnout?

Once burnout has set in, the best thing to do is take some time off work. This won’t be easy for most people. However, more employers are starting to understand the importance of a healthy work/life balance. Talk to your managers and explain your situation to see about getting additional time off.

Consider These Tips

  • Take a vacation! Research shows that even two weeks away from work can have positive effects on someone suffering from burnout.
  • Exercise! Commit to working out as frequently as possible. This will get you away from your work for a little while so that you can decompress and release stress.
  • Switch it up! For example, take a walk a night to clear your mind instead of heading home and watching TV.
  • Get more sleep! Set aside some time each evening before bedtime to wind down rather than continuing with your routine.
  • Take more breaks! Go for a walk on your breaks and emphasize removing yourself from the workspace.
  • Ask for help! Try to reduce the amount of stress in your life by delegating tasks rather than taking on everything yourself.
  • Show appreciation! Try writing a note or email thanking someone each day, even if it’s just something small like saying thanks after receiving an important report from your co-worker.

Chances are you’re not the only one experiencing burnout. Others wrestle with stress and fatigue just like you do, so remember to be kind, patient, and gracious.

Remember to Uplift Yourself

When stressed, it’s easy to develop a negative self-image. We can feel like we’re failing at life, performing our jobs poorly, or unworthy of our achievements. I wrote a book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, filled with many tools to combat a negative self-image.

Check it out, and let me know what you think!