Setting goals is important. Setting realistic goals is even more important.
This sounds so obvious, right? But it’s taken me FOREVER to realize this. Honestly, I only realized this, like… a few weeks ago? Sometime in April, maybe? It dawned on me that I could actually achieve more of my goals if I set realistic goals, not idealistic goals.
This idea – realistic goals versus idealistic goals – has been on my mind a lot lately because each May, I like to write a post (or two) describing my goals for the upcoming summer. I’ve been doing this since 2012, I believe, and it’s a lot of fun. Also, it helps me to remember what my goals actually are – writing things down always helps to cement facts in my mind.
But those goal-themed posts also create a lot of stress for me, EVERY FREAKING SUMMER. Because I tend to include everything on my list of goals. Waaaaay too many things.
I want to do it all, and I need to realize that I can’t.
For example, each and every summer I make a ginormous list of books I want to read, and then I… end up reading less than half of them. And feeling HORRIBLE about it.
When making goals, I need to begin considering the following thingies:
- How much time can I realistically devote to [insert goal here]?
- Am I prioritizing the things I want to do over the things I have to do?
- Will I have enough time to accomplish [insert goal here] and the things I need to do?
- Have I lost my enthusiasm for [insert goal here], thereby turning something that was originally fun into a chore?
So this summer, one of my goals is to become better at setting realistic goals. I have a HUGE problem when it comes to turning fun activities into a chore, for example. I have, like, goal-setting overkill or something.
I mean, I love reading, but setting ridiculous goals last year basically killed my love of books for a while, and sent me into a reading slump that I’m still struggling to escape. Reading should be FUN, but when I set unrealistic, ridiculously high goals like “read seventy-five books this summer,” it’s just… not fun anymore.
I need to set realistic bookish goals (and realistic goals in general), such as twenty or twenty-five books. I need to realize that I mostly likely won’t have time to read everything I want to read. I need to realize that changing my goals slightly is OK, too: Maybe at the beginning of the summer I’ll want to read [insert science fiction novel here], but later on I’ll swap it out for another sci fi novel. Or maybe I’ll read something from a completely different genre instead. Or maybe I’ll use that time to do something that’s NOT reading.
Anyway. You’ll see several goal-related posts within the next few weeks as we get closer and closer to summer, and hopefully this time around I’ll be more realistic. I want to do ALL THE THINGS but that just isn’t possible for anyone who’s not Superwoman. And I am not Superwoman. I am Tiny Dorky Girl. And I need to set realistic goals, and not add everything in the world to my to-do lists.