Why Is It Important to Set Realistic Goals? (20 Reasons)

Setting realistic goals is an essential part of getting ahead in life. It helps you focus your efforts on what is actually achievable and gives you a roadmap for success that can be adjusted as circumstances change.

When you know why realistic goals are important, you can strongly align your actions and behaviors for long-term success. It also gives us insight into which goals will give us the most benefit in terms of effort and reward.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the concept of setting realistic goals and the importance of doing so. Are you ready to set yourself on the path to success? Let’s dive in!

Realistic Goals Are Achievable

Realistic goals are achievable, and that’s why we should focus on these types of goals. When we set realistic goals, we can create attainable goals that lead to success instead of setting ourselves up for inevitable failure. When setting goals, it’s important to be realistic with ourselves and set achievable targets.

For example, let’s say your goal is to lose weight. It’s important to be realistic about how much weight you can reasonably lose in a given time frame. Setting a goal to lose 20 pounds in a week is probably not realistic, and if you don’t reach that goal, it can be disheartening.

Instead, try setting a goal of losing 1-2 pounds per week. This goal is much easier to achieve, and the weight will increase over time. If you set realistic goals, you’re more likely to stay on track and reach your ultimate goal.

Most experts agree that a SMART goal is the best path to success. When creating SMART goals, each of these criteria must be met to increase the chances of achieving them.

  • Specific: A specific goal is clear and well-defined. It should answer the question, “What do I want to accomplish?”
  • Measurable: A measurable goal should be quantifiable so that you can track your progress and determine whether or not you have achieved the goal.
  • Achievable: An achievable goal is realistic and feasible, given your current resources and constraints.
  • Relevant: A relevant goal is consistent with your values, capabilities, and long-term vision.
  • Timely: A timely goal has a specific time frame so you have a sense of urgency and stay motivated to achieve it.

You Will Not Get Discouraged

One of the main benefits of realistic goals is that you won’t get discouraged. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration, disappointment, and ultimately a lack of motivation. On the other hand, attainable goals can lead to positive feelings of satisfaction, pride, and joy. Of course, if you don’t quite reach your goal, then there will be some disappointment but not as bad as if you had set an unrealistic goal and failed completely.

An important factor in setting realistic goals is to make sure they’re challenging enough and fit our individual abilities and resources. If a goal isn’t challenging enough, it won’t provide sufficient motivation because there won’t be sufficient incentive to succeed.

However, if a goal is too difficult, it may be too much of a deterrent for us to even begin working on it. Therefore, we must find a balance between the difficulty level of our goals so that we remain engaged and motivated along the way without feeling overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations.

Finally, an effective technique for setting realistic goals is to reward ourselves along the way. This could be something small like taking a break, doing something pleasant after reaching a milestone, or simply feeling proud of the progress you’ve made so far.

You Will Build Confidence

Setting realistic goals is critical to building self-confidence because it allows you to focus on achievable tasks instead of being overwhelmed by unrealistic expectations. Also, you will have the opportunity to celebrate small victories, which can boost your confidence and motivation to keep working toward your goals.

On the other hand, when you set unrealistic goals, you can become frustrated or discouraged when you can not achieve them. This can affect your self-esteem and make you feel that you are not capable of achieving success.

For example, let us say you want to become a successful entrepreneur. It may be tempting to set a goal of becoming a millionaire in a year, but that may not be realistic, especially if you are just starting. Instead, you could set smaller goals, such as launching a product within the next six months or establishing a solid customer base within a year. Working toward these smaller goals will allow you to see your progress and take pride in your accomplishments, which will help you build confidence in your abilities.

In addition to setting realistic goals, it’s also important to be patient and give yourself time to grow and learn. It takes time to develop new skills and achieve success, and it’s important to recognize that progress is often gradual. By being patient and giving yourself time to learn and grow, you can build confidence in your abilities and stay motivated to keep working toward your goals.

You Will Be More Productive

One of the benefits of setting realistic goals is that you can increase your productivity. This is because you can allocate your time and resources more efficiently when you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish. When you have a plan and know what steps you need to take to achieve your goal, you are less likely to get distracted or waste time on activities that are not relevant.

In addition, setting realistic goals can improve productivity by achieving milestones. This gives you a sense of accomplishment and motivates you to keep going. When you can see that you are making progress toward your goal, it gives you the drive to keep working hard to achieve it.

One practical example of setting realistic goals can be found in the workplace. Let’s say you have a project with a deadline of one week. If you set a goal to complete the entire project in one day, that’s probably unrealistic and unachievable. Instead, break down the project into smaller, more manageable tasks and set a goal for each day. This way, you can work more efficiently and productively toward your big goal.

You Can Adjust Your Approach as Needed

Realistic goals also give us an opportunity to track our progress over time and make adjustments as needed. As we try new things or face new challenges, we may run into unexpected obstacles that require some tweaking to achieve our desired outcome. Realistic goals give us feedback and direction throughout our journey so we can make adjustments as needed to achieve our target destination.

For instance, let us say you want to start a business selling handmade crafts. It would be unrealistic to expect to make a significant profit in the first few months, especially if you are just starting. A more realistic goal would be to focus on building a customer base and creating a strong online presence. As you gain more customers and experience, you can set more ambitious goals for your business.

Another important aspect of setting realistic goals is to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. This helps you stay focused and motivated because you can track your progress and see how you are doing.

For example, instead of setting a goal to double your company’s revenue in a year, you could set a goal to increase revenue by 10% each quarter. This gives you concrete, achievable goals to work toward, and you can adjust your approach as needed.

It’s important to keep in mind that goal setting is a process, not a one-time event. As you work toward your goals, you may encounter challenges or setbacks. By setting realistic goals, you can stay focused and motivated and make any necessary adjustments along the way.

Realistic Goals Help to Keep You Motivated

Setting realistic goals will keep you motivated in more ways than one. For one, it helps you stay focused and avoid becoming overwhelmed. If you set goals that are attainable and within your reach, you are more likely to feel motivated to work toward them.

Another reason why setting realistic goals helps with motivation is that it allows you to see progress. If you set goals that are too ambitious, it may take a long time before you see progress.

In contrast, if you set realistic goals, you are more likely to see progress along the way, which can be incredibly motivating. Seeing progress helps to keep you stay motivated and on track to achieve your goals.

Some ways to set realistic goals include:

  • Break your goal down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
  • Plan for setbacks and know they are part of the journey to your goal.
  • Seek advice from others who have achieved a similar goal.
  • Set a timeline and create a plan to work toward your goal.
  • Set achievable and measurable goals along the way to track your progress.
  • Evaluate your progress regularly and adjust your goals as needed.
  • Be realistic about your skills and resources.
  • Be flexible and open to adjusting your goals as needed.

Realistic Goals Help You Stay Focused and Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed

Realistic goals help you stay focused and not overwhelm yourself. A goal that is too big can seem daunting, while one that is too small may not challenge you enough. To set a realistic goal, it’s important to find the right balance between difficulty and achievability.

For example, if your goal is to save money, a realistic goal would be to set aside and save a certain amount each month. This way, you will not be discouraged by a large goal, but you will challenge yourself to save more than you normally would. If your goal is to get in shape, a realistic goal would be to set a workout schedule and stick to it. That way, you will not be overwhelmed trying to do too much at once, but you’ll also be challenging yourself to get in better shape.

Another way to set realistic goals is to start by identifying your long-term goals. These may be professional or personal goals, but they may also be goals related to your education or other areas of your life.

Once you have established your long-term goals, you can break them down into smaller, more achievable goals that you can work toward on a daily or weekly basis. This can help you stay focused and motivated as you make progress toward your ultimate goals.

You’ll Be More Likely to Stick with It

Setting realistic goals is an essential part of any journey to success. When you set attainable goals, you’re more likely to stay motivated and stay on track. Realistic goals allow you to focus on the results you can achieve right now and those that will take a little more work or time.

If you want to improve your fitness level, a realistic goal might be to walk 25 minutes a day for the next two weeks and increase that time to 35 minutes in the following two weeks. Break this goal down into small, achievable steps, and make sure it’s measurable so you can monitor your progress. That way, you can track how far you’ve come and celebrate those small milestones once they’re achieved. And if you associate what you’ve achieved with rewards (like a new pair of running shoes), that’s extra motivation! 

Finally, don’t put too much pressure on yourself and stay flexible if something unexpected happens – life happens and that’s okay! The important thing is to focus on what’s within reach and don’t get overwhelmed by long-term goals or unrealistic expectations.

You Will Feel a Sense of Pride and Accomplishment

Achieving realistic goals can be incredibly rewarding and provide us with a great sense of pride and accomplishment. Not only do we experience the satisfaction that comes from knowing we have achieved something we set out to do, but we can also enjoy the journey to get there. 

Achievable goals can help you stay motivated on your journey toward success. If you set your expectations at an attainable level, you won’t be overwhelmed and you’ll have the confidence to overcome any challenge that comes your way. Plus, it’s a great feeling when you finally achieve those goals, no matter how small they may be! You’ll feel proud that you worked hard and accomplished what you set out to do.

When setting goals for yourself or others, it’s important to strike a balance between ambition and attainability. While it’s important to push yourself to make progress and grow, setting unrealistic goals can be harmful because it puts unnecessary pressure on yourself, which can lead to burnout or worse, apathy if you don’t get it right.

In comparison, setting smaller, achievable goals can help break down large tasks into manageable chunks so that each step furthers your progress without weighing you down too much. That way, when you’ve accomplished all the individual goals, you’ve accomplished something much more significant than just one big goal!

You Won’t Get Burned Out

Trying to achieve an impossible goal can lead to mental and physical burnout. When we push ourselves too hard without seeing results, it can take a toll on other areas of our lives as well. Our mental health may suffer from negative emotions such as stress and disappointment, while our physical health can be affected by exhaustion or fatigue.

In order to prevent this from happening, it’s important to set realistic goals that are achievable and maintainable. This doesn’t mean that goals should be easy. Instead, they should provide sufficient challenge for growth and progress, yet be something that can realistically be achieved within a reasonable time frame.

For example, if someone has a goal of becoming a full-time blogger within six months, but doesn’t yet have an established social media following or blogging experience, this would be an unrealistic goal given the time available. Instead, by breaking the goal into smaller, measurable steps.

Setting up a blog before the end of a month and building a following over the next three months – people increase their chances of success and spread their efforts over manageable units. That way, they can make meaningful progress toward their goal while staying motivated and avoiding burnout.

Setting realistic goals also means not over-committing or taking on more than our capabilities allow at any given time. We must know our own limits and capacities to work toward those goals without becoming too exhausted or drained. Taking regular breaks to rest and recharge when needed is just as important as the steps we take to achieve our goals to ensure we’re performing at our best throughout the journey.

Realistic Goals Will Help You Save Time and Resources

By setting realistic goals, you can create an action plan that will bring you one step closer to achieving your larger vision. This is important because it allows you to focus on the things that are relevant and achievable. This saves time and resources by preventing you from spending energy exploring options that may not be realistic or possible.

For example, let us say you want to become an expert in the field of marketing. Rather than trying to learn every single aspect of marketing at once, which would be impossible and overwhelming in a short amount of time, break your goal into smaller components that are easier to master and achieve. Start by learning the basics like terminology and industry trends, and then move on to more advanced topics like SEO or digital advertising. As you progress through these smaller goals, you’ll gradually build your knowledge until you finally reach your big goal of becoming a marketing expert.

If you proceed in this way, rather than overwhelming yourself by trying to learn too much at once, your journey to mastery will be much smoother and less stressful. You are also much more likely to succeed because you are setting attainable goals within a reasonable time frame. When you set realistic goals, you have a roadmap to guide you, so you do not feel overwhelmed or stuck in limbo.

You Can Better Gauge Your Progress

When you plan to reach your goals, it’s important to be realistic about the amount of work it will take to do so. Establishing realistic goals gives you a better sense of whether or not you are making progress.

Realistic goal setting requires an honest assessment of your skills and abilities before you set the goals. Ask yourself what resources, time frame, and energy level you have available, and base your plans on those.

For example, you want to become a skilled yoga practitioner, but you only have 30 minutes a day to practice. The goal of attending two-hour classes four days a week is probably not realistic. Aiming for a more manageable goal such as attending one class a week or practicing for thirty minutes five days a week would be more practical.

Although ambitious objectives can be motivating in themselves, it is important not to overreach yourself with unrealistic expectations otherwise, any progress made will go unrecognized and the motivation to continue striving for success will quickly fade.

Small successes along the way help maintain enthusiasm while working toward larger goals in the long run. Understanding that progress is achieved through commitment, not shortcuts, is important to stay focused on the journey ahead without becoming overwhelmed by large commitments or losing hope because there are no immediate results.

Realistic Goals Help You Plan and Prioritize Your Time Effectively

Setting realistic goals is an important part of effective time management. By setting achievable goals, you can ensure that you use your time wisely and do not get disappointed.

A practical example of setting realistic goals is work or school. Let us say you have a project to complete in two weeks, and you want to do it to the best of your ability. Instead of setting a goal to finish the entire project in one day, it would be more realistic to break the project into smaller, achievable tasks and complete a certain number of tasks each day before the deadline. This will not only help you stay on track but also help you prioritize by focusing on the most important tasks first.

Realistic Goals Allow You to Celebrate Small Wins

When we set realistic goals, it’s easier to measure our success and stay motivated for continued improvement. When we break down long-term goals into smaller, achievable milestones, we can celebrate each step in the journey, which boosts our motivation and self-confidence.

Celebrating small wins is an effective way to stay motivated because it reinforces positive behaviors that encourage further improvement and growth. It serves as a reminder of how far we have come since we started pursuing our ambitions and dreams, and allows us to acknowledge all of our hard work.

Realistic Goals Help You Identify Areas of Improvement

Realistic goals are essential for personal and professional success. They provide a structure for achievement and can help you focus on the goals that matter most. Moreover, setting realistic goals helps you identify opportunities for improvement and gives you the ability to work on them effectively.

For instance, if your goal is to improve a particular skill set, you might set a realistic goal of learning three new techniques by the end of the month. This will give you a clear indication of what you need to do to achieve that goal. Also, an achievable goal can motivate and inspire you to keep striving toward improvement.

Achieving realistic goals also provides an opportunity for reflective learning, which is essential for any type of development. Reflective learning means being mindful of your progress and noting down any areas where improvement is necessary. Therefore, reflection should take place after each goal is achieved so that future targets may be established while taking into account any weaknesses or shortcomings identified in the last attempt.

Realistic Goals Help You Develop New Skills and Experiences

Realistic goals play an important role in developing new skills and experiences. When set properly, realistic goals can be an effective tool for personal growth and development. They provide the structure and focus necessary to move toward the desired end state. When you set realistic goals, you have something tangible to work toward, allowing you to learn new skills and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

To benefit from setting realistic goals, they must be specific and challenging. A goal should be realistic enough not to overwhelm a person, but also difficult enough to ensure that a person will have to work hard to achieve it.

For example, if someone wants to learn a new language, the goal of completing all lessons within a week would not be achievable, while the goal of completing one lesson per day is much easier to achieve. This way, individuals can learn at their own pace and still acquire new experiences and skill sets.

Finally, as individuals continue on their path, reaching milestones along the way, they acquire valuable knowledge that they can use later in life or even pass on to others by acting as a mentor or teachers. Experiences like this allow people to not only grow but also contribute to their community by passing on what they have learned on this journey.

Realistic Goals Allow You to Set and Achieve Goals

When you set realistic goals, you can break down larger goals into smaller, easier-to-achieve tasks. Not only does this make the goal more manageable, but it also helps you track your progress and stay motivated as you work toward your end goal.

Additionally, setting realistic goals also allows you to prioritize and focus on the most important tasks, rather than overwhelming yourself by trying to tackle too much at once. When you set realistic goals, you can manage your time and resources effectively and achieve your goals more efficiently.

For example, you could set a goal of writing 500 words per day or 3,500 words per week. This goal is achievable and can help you make progress toward your larger objective of writing a novel. Staying focused and consistent with this smaller goal will keep you motivated and on track to completing your novel.

Another realistic goal might be to set a deadline for completing the first draft of your novel. This could be a specific date or a number of weeks or months in the future. By setting this deadline and working toward it, you can ensure that you are making progress and staying on track toward completing your novel.

Realistic Goals Help You Build Momentum and Create Positive Habits

Setting realistic goals can be an incredibly powerful tool for achieving your goals. When you set goals that are attainable and achievable, you build momentum and create positive habits that can propel you on your path to success.

One of the most important benefits of realistic goals is that they help keep you motivated and focused. If you set goals that are too ambitious or unrealistic, you may find it difficult to stay motivated and you may get discouraged easily. In contrast, if you set goals that are achievable for you, you’re more likely to stay engaged and committed to achieving them.

For example, in the first week, you might set a goal to wake up at 6:45 AM. The second week, you might aim for 6:30 AM, and so on. By setting small, achievable goals each week, you can build momentum and make getting up earlier a habit without feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.

In addition to setting specific goals, you can do other things to make this process easier. For example, you could try going to bed earlier, setting an alarm clock, or using an app to monitor your sleep patterns and create a relaxing bedtime routine to help you fall asleep. With these strategies, you’ll be well on your way to developing a positive habit of waking up earlier each day.

Realistic Goals Help You Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Setting realistic goals can be a key factor in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It’s important to remember that you can’t do everything at once and that it’s okay to take breaks and prioritize self-care.

If you set achievable goals, you’re less likely to overwork and burn out. That way, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something and still have time for other important aspects of your life, such as spending time with loved ones and engaging in hobbies and recreational activities. So take the time to set realistic goals for yourself and watch your work-life balance improve.

A practical example of a healthy work-life balance is setting specific times for work and leisure activities. For example, you might schedule your work hours from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, with a lunch break at noon. After 5:00 PM, you could consciously disconnect from work and spend time with loved ones, engage in hobbies, or simply relax and recharge your batteries.

You could also set boundaries for yourself, such as not checking work emails after a certain time in the evening or not taking work home on the weekend. Setting these clear boundaries and sticking to a schedule will help you balance the demands of work with the importance of self-care and personal time.

Realistic Goals Help You Set and Achieve Long-Term Goals

Realistic goals are a great way to set yourself on the path to success when it comes to long-term goals. By breaking them down into smaller, easier-to-achieve steps, you can build momentum and stay motivated along the way. Not only does this give you the opportunity to celebrate each step of progress, but it also takes away the pressure associated with big projects.

Let’s take the example of someone who wants to write a book. Such a task can easily be divided into manageable sections, such as researching the topic, outlining the main themes, writing individual chapters, and then revising. This way, it’s much easier to stay focused and make steady progress. Of course, certain skills are required to successfully plan such a project, such as organization and time management, but these are all skills that can be learned over time.

Realistic goals also create clarity so that we know exactly what needs to be done. Clear goals make decision-making much easier because they narrow our focus so we can direct our energy to the right areas without getting distracted by unrelated tasks or ideas. It gives us a sense of purpose that motivates and spurs us on in our work, so we don’t lose sight of the outcome we’re striving for.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Know if My Goal Is Realistic?

In answering the question of whether or not your goal is realistic, you need to consider a few factors.

• Timeframe: Are you giving yourself enough time to achieve the goal reasonably? If not, you should rethink the timeline and make sure it is achievable.

• Resources: Do you have skills or knowledge in that particular area? Do you have access to people who could offer advice and support?

• Feasibility: Are there any external constraints or limitations that might prevent you from achieving the desired result? 

When assessing whether your goal is realistic, it is important to look at both short-term and long-term outcomes. Consider what steps are required to achieve the end goal.

Do not forget to consider any unexpected challenges that may arise along the way. It is also advisable to set several smaller goals that lead toward the larger goal – this will give you manageable milestones and make it easier to track progress.

How Can I Set Realistic Goals?

Setting realistic goals is an important part of any successful journey, whether it is personal or professional. Here are some steps you can follow to set realistic goals:

• Determine what you want to accomplish: Clearly define your goals and make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

• Assess your current situation: Take an honest look at your current resources, skills, and knowledge to determine what is possible.

• Set realistic deadlines: Make sure you give yourself enough time to achieve your goals, but also consider any external factors that might affect your progress.

• Break down your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks: This will make it easier to track your progress and stay motivated.

• Seek support: Share your goals with others and get support from friends, family, or a coach to help you stay on track.
Stay flexible: Be willing to adjust your goals or tactics as needed, but also be accountable for making progress.

What Is The Difference between Unrealistic and Realistic Goals? 

The difference between unrealistic and realistic goals is the extent to which a goal can realistically be achieved. Unrealistic goals are usually too challenging or far-reaching for an individual, or the necessary resources are not available to achieve them. Realistic goals, on the other hand, should be achievable with an individual’s skills, time, energy, and resources.

Unrealistic goals often overwhelm a person’s abilities or resources, making them unrealistic to achieve. They may also be about achieving something in a very short time or trying to do something that has never been done before. If a goal is too difficult to achieve, it can lead to feelings of inadequacy and failure if it does not occur as expected.

Realistic goals provide an achievable outcome within certain parameters, but also allow for growth and progress within those constraints. These types of goals do not overwhelm individuals with expectations beyond their capabilities. Instead, they provide motivation and direction by setting measurable goals that can be achieved with effort and dedication.

Such goals promote problem-solving skills and offer the opportunity to develop by learning new methods and experiences to achieve the goals. With realistic goals, there is a greater chance of success because they often represent incremental progress toward larger goals in personal development and professional life.

How Do I Stay Motivated When Working Towards My Goals?

Staying motivated when working towards your goals can be a challenge, but some strategies can help you stay focused and motivated. Here are a few ideas:

• Set clear, specific, and achievable goals: Having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish will keep you motivated to work toward your goal. Make sure your goals are specific and achievable, as this will give you a sense of accomplishment and progress as you work toward them.

• Track your progress: Seeing the progress you have made toward your goals can be a powerful motivator. Use a goal-tracking planner or app to track your progress.

• Find an accountability partner: Having someone to hold you accountable for your goals can be a great way to stay motivated. Find a friend or colleague who has similar goals, and share ideas regularly to stay on track.

• Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks and recover so you do not burn out. Taking regular breaks can help keep you motivated and focused in the long run.

• Reward yourself: Celebrate your successes and reward yourself for reaching milestones. This can help you stay motivated and keep working toward your goals.

• Stay positive: A positive attitude can make a big difference in your motivation. Focus on the progress you have made and the benefits you’ll reap from reaching your goals, rather than dwelling on setbacks or challenges.


In conclusion, setting realistic goals is critical to the success of any endeavor. Unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment, frustration, and even giving up on your venture altogether.

Realistic goals, on the other hand, allow individuals to focus their efforts and stay motivated because they can see progress toward their objectives. Realistic goals also allow individuals to better allocate their resources and prioritize their tasks, resulting in the more efficient and effective use of their time and energy. Overall, taking the time to carefully think about and set realistic goals is an important step toward success and realizing one’s potential.

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