Someone said ‘Aim for the stars and maybe you will reach the sky’. While it is good to be ambitious one should always remain realistic. Having strech goals is fine, infact it is good to have goals which test your limits, but after giving a good thought to your goals you should feel confident about achieving them.
So how do we set goals which are realistic. In order to set realistic goals, a proper evaluation of the current situation, the desired result, the assumptions taken, the environmental constraints, all should be taken into consideration. And here is what we can do.
Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses : Figure out how you will leverage your strenghts and how you will overcome your shortcomings so that you are able to achieve your goal. Put your plans on paper and ensure they are realistic and not overly optimistic.
Evaluate the constrints : Every goal is bound by constraints of time and resources. You can only spend as much time on your goals as is permitted by your personal and work life. Your expenditure on your goal is also limited by the amount of resources you can risk on your goal. Analyse how much time your goal will need and how much time you can create for the goal. See to it that your resource needs for the goal is not more than what you generate or risk.
Watch for risks : Do a risk analysis, and prepare a list of risks which can derail your march to achieving your goal successfully. For each risk, have a mitigation plan and a contingency plan in place.
Evaluate environmental factors : Evaluate if your family, friends or society will in any way hinder your work towards your goal. If yes, then what can you do to either overcome it or somehow bypass it, so that it poses no searious threat to your achievement of the goal.
Having taken care of the above will make you feel confident about achieving your goal which is the most important thing you would need to begin working on your goal.