Most people have goals in life, but whether a goal is achievable depends on whether it’s rational. You don’t have to be an irrational person to set an irrational goal. You can simply want something that you can’t really have, at least not soon. The goal can simply be too far ahead in the future and require more of your time than you can invest in it. Often, this is the case why many people don’t achieve their goals. So, use these 8 helpful tips for setting rational goals that will keep you moving forward:
1. Think about the desired results and find what motivates you.
What is it that you want to achieve, how important it is to you, and are you willing and able to put the time it takes to get there? This is one of the most important tips for setting rational goals. When you think about the desired results, do you feel motivated enough to dedicate enough of your time and energy to achieving your goal? If you don’t care enough about the outcome you aren’t likely to do what it takes to get to that outcome. Think about the goals that you truly care about achieving. If there are more of them, create a top-five list and prioritize them based on urgency and importance.
2. Set specific and significant goals.
To follow through with something, you have to have a direction. If your goals are vague you are less likely to achieve them, so think of specific goals that are significant to you. What are you required to do to reach your desired results? Try to clearly define your goals, as well as the steps that you’ll need to take to achieve them.
3. Set measurable and meaningful goals.
One of the helpful tips for setting rational goals is to set realistic deadlines and add other measurable details. Adding numbers such as specific amounts and dates makes your goal more specific and, therefore, more rational. For instance, instead of setting a goal to lose weight, set a goal to lose 20 pounds in 3 months. Don’t forget to be specific about the way you’re going to achieve your goal too. For instance, your goal could be to lose 20 pounds in 3 months by exercising for 1 hour at the gym every other day. The more measurable your goal gets, the easier it is to visualize the finish line and it turns into a plan.
4. Set attainable and action-oriented goals.
To set realistic goals you have to be honest with yourself. While “increasing sales by 50 percent in 2 months” sounds like a great result, it’s not very likely to happen. Increasing sales by 5 percent in a month sounds more realistic. So, set attainable goals that you have the resources to achieve. Always consider the actions that your goal requires you to take and whether you could take those actions. Create an action plan once you have set attainable goals, and you’ll have a plan that can really work.
5. Set relevant and rewarding goals.
Do your goals align with the direction that you want to take in life? Set short-term and long-term goals that align with each other and your desired direction in your personal life or career. Make sure that the goals are also rewarding, otherwise, you aren’t going to feel as motivated to achieve them.
6. Set time-bound and trackable goals.
A goal without a deadline is just a wish. You need to know the date that you’ll celebrate accomplishing your goal, otherwise, you won’t have a clear direction and finish line. It’s also important that your goals are trackable so that you’d know how close you are to the finish line. Open-ended goals lack a sense of urgency, which can serve as extra motivation. Try not to make your goals too big. With small goals, it will be easier to make progress, and if you’re not making progress you’re likely to give up on the big goal.
7. Base the goals on your personal performance, not the outcome.
A lot of things that are out of your control can become obstacles to achieving your goals. So, base your goals on personal performance, not the outcome. The outcome doesn’t depend only on you. Things out of your control like the weather, luck, government policy, and many others can stand in your way. However, if your goal is to give the best you got, you’re the one who decides whether you’ll give your best or not. Stay in control by setting performance goals.
8. Write down the goals, be precise, and prioritize.
Finally, one of the helpful tips for setting rational goals is to write them down. When you do this, be precise and use times, amounts, and dates. This will help you measure your progress and achievement. Prioritize your goals if you have many of them. Keep in mind that you don’t have to, and can’t, achieve them all at once. Give yourself time to focus on one goal at a time, and every time you reach a goal you’ll be more motivated to keep achieving them.