They will have told you a thousand times: setting goals and objectives in life is fundamental . You need to have some kind of ambition, to want to achieve something, so that you know exactly how to run your life. Because it is not the same to want to be working as a teacher in five years, for example, than to want to be the best surgeon in your country in ten. The path you must follow for each objective is totally different, and that is why it is important to be clear about where you intend to go with the path to be designed.

But what they may not have told you is that these goals and objectives must be, above all, realistic.. Let’s take an example that cat lovers will understand perfectly. Veterinarians and specialists often recommend that you do not play with a cat to chase the light of a laser; for them, that light becomes their prey, their target. But no matter how much they chase it, they will never be able to catch it because we are talking about a light, not a tangible object. They will fight, they will try to reach it, but it will end up slipping through their hands; This will cause great frustration, could become stressful and damage their character. That is why it is often recommended that, if you want to play in this way with a cat, you end up giving it some type of stuffed animal, ball or object that it considers real prey. So that you feel that you are capable of achieving your goals, feel useful and, in a way, boost your self-esteem.

It is exactly the same with human beings. If we set unattainable goals or objectives, the only thing we will get is frustration. Because we will have the feeling that we are not working hard enough, or that we are not trying hard enough, when nothing is further from the truth! We must accept that there are certain goals that are beyond our reach, and not because of our responsibility, but because of any type of external agent. Otherwise, our self-esteem will suffer as much as that of that cat who believes that it is no longer useful for hunting.

Goals are good, but when they are realistic

When setting goals, it is essential that they are realistic . This does not mean that they can be ambitious, of course they can be! But always taking into account our reality, our context, because we depend precisely on that. It is impossible for us to learn to speak perfectly a language that is unknown to us in just one month, just as it is impossible that, without having any kind of singing facility, we become musical artists overnight.

Setting ourselves this type of unattainable goals the only thing that achieves is causing us great frustration, and damaging our self-esteem. This will end up affecting our future enthusiasm when it comes to setting goals , and we may go from setting unattainable goals to getting carried away without having any kind of future plan.

That is why it is necessary to take into account the times that are needed to do certain things and, above all, the individual time that each one needs. Evaluate your skills, analyze what you are good at, what you excel at, and as a result of all this, try to set yourself viable goals. For example: are you good at writing? Make it a goal to write a book, but give yourself two or three years, not a month. Impatience is not a good friend of any project, although it may seem otherwise. Avoiding frustration is as simple as being aware of the reality that surrounds us, and the effort involved in each activity.

What to keep in mind when setting a goal

The objectives must not only be realistic, but must be set in a certain way to ensure that they can be carried out . The goals that people usually set at the beginning of each year are often impossible to meet, and it is precisely because they are unreal. If you have never played sports, how do you plan to go to the gym six days a week, or go for a run from Monday to Friday? You have to start at the beginning: do sports two or three times a week, go looking for what motivates you and gradually strengthen it.

There are some keys that can help favorably when setting goals that can really be met, with all the benefits that this has for the self-esteem of the person who sets them. And they are much simpler and easier than you might have imagined, so keep reading!

It is of little use (or nothing) to take the goals of another person, be it someone famous or a friend of yours. Because if you choose other people’s goals, you will surely fail . If you are interested in a goal that someone you know has set, of course you can make it yours, but always adapting it to your reality. Think in your context, what you really want, what you want to achieve with the path that you propose, and it will be much easier for you. In addition, it is essential that the goal is clear. Setting ambiguous goals, such as ” studying for a degree, ” is useless. What career do you like? Why? This is how you should set your goals! Always concrete, with a clear purpose .

Not only this: if the goal does not motivate you, or does not seem important enough, you will probably end up quitting . It is closely related to the fact that you must be the one to write it and choose it individually, because only then will you know if it will really motivate you until you achieve it. And finally, you must be able to measure the goal; You must be able to see if you are complying with it or if not, so that you can get more motivated little by little. For example, it is of little use to say ” I’m going to do more sports “; it is much more practical to say that you are going for a run or walk three days a week. Because this way you can see if you really meet your goals, if you are closer to your goal. And you’ll see how that eliminates frustration and boosts your self-esteem! 

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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