Some external factor were of course out of their control, such as the feeling and behaviors of those around them. These factors would have served as obstacles in the way of achieving their goals. As stated by Steve Garvey,

“You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable, without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential.”

The most appropriate manner in which to assess whether a goal is realistic, is to determine if someone else has accomplished it or done something of similar nature. One can read books, watch TV footage or documentaries regarding people who have succeeded in meeting the goals that he or she wants to accomplish. They can study how such people turned their goals into reality by paying particular attention to what they say and did, along with assessing how it differs from their own approach. The people who have done what we want to achieve can serve as our models. It is important to understand and break down the structure of their excellence, so that we can apply the same teachings to ourselves. When one is modeling the people who have been successful in achieving the same goals as us, one has to pay particular attention to their beliefs. Their success in accomplishing a goal ultimately comes down to the belief that they held about doing it. So it is important to make an appraisal of their apparent beliefs and adopt them for ourselves in order to attain the desired result. It may be difficult to evaluate someone’s belief in its entirety, but can utilize various sources to uncover the apparent belief systems of those who have been successful in their quest.

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In addition to incorporating the model of others in order to achieve our goals, we also need to be mindful of the skills that can play a role in making them realistic. When listing down all the resources and skills that we need for meeting an objective, we can become too specific. This can make our goals start appearing unrealistic to us. As described by Henry Ford,

“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

Instead of overly concerning ourselves with the details, we should make a list of all the skills that we already do have. We should concern ourselves with things that we know we are good at and also what others think that we are proficient with. We should make a list things that we notice other individuals being good at. In NLP, it is believed that “if you spot it, you’ve got it.” This means you are bound possess the same qualities that you can notice in others. By devising all these lists and noticing the common patterns between them, one can identify the physical, mental, social and creative skills that he is already in possession of. On can enrich this process by using a strategy of chunking up. This refers to summing up all your identified strengths into a few words. Having done this, people can chunk back down with their specific goals in mind. They can focus on how they can apply each of the identified strengths to particular aspects of their goal. This simple process can make a person more mindful of their existing skills and discover how they can be applied to their goal in order to make them more realistic.

Sometimes it is necessary to engage in further research to discover resources that might be available for a person to achieve a goal. One cannot expect to achieve a goal without having done thorough research. One has to interact with the people who have attained the goal already and using the modelling strategy explained earlier, make use of the skills and beliefs that they have. One can also utilize technology in this matter and explore the vast expanse of information available on the internet. It is entirely possible that someone somewhere around the world, is working on the same goal as us.  Feedback is another important element in the goal setting process. It can help people fine tune their objectives and make them more realistic. Feedback from others presents an invaluable learning opportunity that can help you get yourself back on track towards achieving your goal.

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