A felt board with letters on it.

A Simple Way To Tell If Your Goals Are Unrealistic | Do This

Test it.

It’s quite easy to tell if a goal you set for yourself is unrealistic. The bigger problem, however, lies at the root of goal setting itself. Most goals look something like this:

  • Lose 20 pounds by November
  • Make $1,000 from freelancing within 90 days

It’s the common structure that people generally follow when it comes to goal setting; choose an end result out of the air, throw a date on it, and see what happens. And it’s that format that causes most people to miss their goals.

There’s a better way to do things.

*Note: Achieve your goals with my goal success course here.


Start with this

I’ve already spent a great deal of time covering the aspects of proper goal setting. Of which, you can review here:

I highly encourage you to review that material before proceeding (especially where I talk about setting goals within your control). Because once your goals are actually set up effectively, your concern over whether or not your aims are unrealistic is incredibly easy to figure out.



How to tell if your goals are unrealistic

Once your goals are set up the right way, it’s simple. If you’re concerned that one of your goals is unrealistic, all you have to do is test it out. For instance, let’s say your goal is to run five miles a day, five days a week.

You’re concerned though that five miles a day is too much to start with.

What should you do?

Easy. Try doing it for a few days. If it’s too challenging, adjust your goal and run fewer miles. If it’s not challenging enough, adjust your goal and run more miles. And if five miles feels just right, don’t change a thing.


Who said you can’t change things?

There’s no rule that states that your goal becomes solidified as soon as you set it.

Instead, think of it like drying cement. You have time to fix things before locking it in. So don’t worry about setting unrealistic or even overly-realistic goals. Because through the process of trial and error, you will learn what is realistic.

Looking at my own goals, I adjust them until I find the right balance; normally it takes about a week or two. For example, a few months ago I set a goal for QuickBooost (what you’re reading right now).

I wanted to revise nine of my existing articles within a month. 

It seemed doable at first. However, I quickly realized that nine detailed, 5,000+ word posts (that’s long by blogging standards) was not feasible based on the time I had available for the goal.


A keyboard with orange keys.


From nine to five

My goal was unrealistic.

I didn’t panic though. I simply adjusted it. Instead of aiming for nine posts, I reduced it to five. I got them all done and felt amazing at the end of the month. Here are the posts if you’re curious:


A bigger issue

Looking at your goals then, don’t worry if they’re unrealistic. After all, you’ll quickly realize if they are and can just as quickly course correct.

You have flexibility with your goals.

Continue to adjust them until they both challenge you and work with the time you have available. That said, it’s possible that your real problem doesn’t have to do with being unrealistic. It may actually be one of having high expectations.

In that case, you should read this.


Tell me: Do you have an unrealistic goal right now? How will you adjust it?

I want to hear from you! Respond by leaving a comment below. You can also tweet at me or send me an email here.

Want to hear more from me?