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Realistic Goal Setting

In 2014, I’m going to climb Mount Everest.

Wait.

No, I’m not.

Climbing Mt. Everest is an awesome goal, but you have to be willing to do the work necessary to make it happen. And guess what? I’m not ready for that level of commitment right now.

And that’s okay.

But it’s not okay to set yourself up for failure. You see, with such a lofty goal, my chances for success are slim to none. And at the end of the year, I’d be left feeling like I let myself down.

Your Mt. Everest may be working out every day or cutting out dessert for the next 365 days. Or, it may actually be climbing Mt. Everest. Either way, it’s important to know your limits and be realistic.

Here are 3 steps you can follow to set realistic goals for 2014

1. Don’t be competitive – Don’t worry about your friends’ resolutions. Remember that a resolution is only as good as your ability to follow through, so think about yourself – and only yourself – when setting goals.

2. Aim high – This bit of advice may seem contradictory to the whole “setting realistic goals” thing, but bear with me. You have the ability to do amazing things. Don’t sell yourself short. Go ahead and make that unrealistic list. We’ll scale it back in step three.

3. Compromise – After you’ve made your wish list of resolutions, it’s time to get realistic. Let’s use climbing Mt. Everest as an example. That’s on my wish list, but I know that for many reasons, it’s not going to become a reality for me this year. So, I need to think about why that’s on my list. Do I want to push myself to my physical limit? Or am I more excited about standing in awe of nature’s splendor? Maybe I just want the bragging rights. For each of those reasons, I can think of at least three other, more realistic resolutions. Running marathon would push my physical limits. A trip to the Grand Canyon would satisfy my need to experience a natural wonder, and both of those things would give me a sense of accomplishment that would make me want to share my experiences with others.

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