6 Reasons Why It Is Important To Set Realistic Goals

Author: Karolina Matyska

Why is it important to set realistic goals? We’ve all been there. At the start of the new year, we vow to cut down three pant sizes or start getting up earlier.

Spoiler alert: those things will probably never happen! Frustration hits, and we get stuck in a snowball of demotivation at least until we find another exciting goal.

“I’ve doubled my revenue thanks to Timeular and managed to halve how much I work.”

Start tracking your time with Timeular and see where your time goes.

The same happens in our work life: we often set ourselves unrealistic goals. We are doomed to failure even before we start. And this is precisely why you need to understand the importance of setting realistic goals, whatever the ole you have.

Before we dive into the importance of setting realistic goals, let’s uncover what makes a goal realistic!

What is a realistic goal?

A realistic goal is one that takes into account your skills, timeframe, and level of motivation, ensuring it is achievable and within your reach. It is a goal that you believe can be accomplished, setting the foundation for your path to success.

Why is it so important to set realistic goals?

Setting realistic goals is vital because realistic goals provide direction, focus, and motivation. They increase success chances, build a positive self-image, and break down aspirations into manageable steps. They foster resilience, adaptability, and learning from setbacks. Realistic goal-setting empowers progress, confidence, and continuous improvement.

If you’re struggling with goals, read our blog to learn how to set realistic goals.

1. Goals build confidence and improve self-esteem

Setting ambitious goals gives us a sense of purpose. It’s easier to work our way up when we know where we’re going and how we’re getting there.

Realistic goals go even further: as you achieve the milestones you set for yourself, you become more confident in your abilities. 

Science explains that in these moments of victory, our body releases dopamine. This happy hormone improves focus and mood and helps us sleep better.

This is why you feel unproductive and so down when you fail to submit the monthly report you promised. You created an expectation and failed, generating sadness and frustration.

But, when you succeed in delivering that same in-depth report before the deadline, everything changes: you sleep better and feel happy and proud of yourself.

“Timeular helped me understand where I needed to make changes to become more efficient and this has allowed me to cut down my time spent working.”

Valdemar Alfred, Owner of Valdefar

2. Realistic goals keep you motivated

Having specific, achievable goals helps you keep your eyes on the prize. The closer you reach your destination, you’ll have more motivation to keep going. And the harder you will work to complete it successfully. 

If you’re a team leader, outline a clear action plan. Be transparent about the team’s work goals and steps to take to reach the finish line. Keep track of your teammates’ progress and recognize their efforts. This way you’ll keep their motivation high.

However, you should not just set one big, generic objective. Try to break down big goals into smaller ones and make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Oriented.

Why is this important to set SMART goals. First, it’ll be easier to manage the time you allocate to each task. Your main goal is divided into multiple small ones. A big, vague goal can sometimes seem too far away, hitting smaller benchmarks will help everyone know they’re making progress and keep the momentum going.

how to set realistic goal

3. Decision-making gets easier

Did you know that each of us makes over 35,000 decisions daily Working adults devote most of their day to their jobs, it’s safe to assume that many of those decisions are work-related. 

Whether you’re the leader of a team or a budding intern, you’ll have to make tough decisions every once in a while. When you have to make a decision quickly, having a clear and realistic goal makes the process much smoother.

Read also: Best scheduling apps for a small business in 2022.

4. Realistic goals are quicker to achieve

When you fall into the mistake of setting aim-for-the-moon goals, it takes you a long time to achieve them. Let’s get real, you’ll most likely get tired and never achieve those over-ambitious goals.

For this reason, achievable goals need a deadline. It’s not enough to want your company to grow by 40%. How soon do you expect that to happen? Five years? Ten years?

Once you’ve defined the deadline, inform all the stakeholders about the time frames and the intermediate milestones. This will facilitate collaboration, and setting examples of milestones in project management is pivotal.

If you struggle with managing your time and feel this may affect your ability to achieve your goals, you can always opt to use time-tracking software.

It’ll allow you to determine how much time you spend on each task and use this information to optimize your time management.

How an IT consultancy became 20% more profitable by using Timeular
How an IT consultancy became 20% more profitable by using Timeular

“We have become 20% more profitable because everyone is in the habit of time tracking.” – Richard Wingfield, Head Geek at Envision Design

5. You become aware of new opportunities

Not having realistic and attainable goals is like being lost in the middle of the forest without a map! It’s easy to become disoriented and even frustrated if you don’t have a destination to reach.

The same happens in your professional life: goals give you the focus and strength you thought you didn’t have. 

Goals also help you open up to many opportunities that didn’t cross your mind before. Picture this: your team is aiming to grow and double in size by next year, and you’re in charge of onboarding new team members.

As you teach your new colleagues the methodologies and techniques inherent to their jobs, you realize you have a talent for teaching.

Suddenly, your mind opens to the possibility of going into a mentoring position or even making a career shift and becoming a teacher!

That’s the power of realistic goals; they open up new opportunities down the road.

6. Setting realistic goals will change your life

Having objectives and several milestones along the way helps us stay motivated and focused during the journey. And at the end of the day, this is what brings us life-changing benefits.

As a professional, you can set all kinds of goals. Let’s start with an obvious one: money. It’s nice to say it doesn’t bring happiness, but it makes things much easier!

Defining the progress you want to make in terms of income throughout your professional development is essential. How much do you want to earn next year? And the following year? What about five years from now?

Having an income goal will help you make career and personal life decisions that will affect every part of your life.

You might have to work a little harder in your 20s and 30s if you want to retire at 45, but at least you know what you have to do to get there, right?


Goals come in many shapes and forms and differ from person to person.

We can and should have goals for the various areas of our lives: professional, personal, etc. Just make sure that they’re realistic. Having realistic goals increases the chances of success and motivates us to do better and better.

In addition, it allows us to work on new skills and realize new abilities we didn’t know we had. 

So it’s time to pull out a pen and write down your big ambitions. Dream high, but not so high that you can’t get there. And don’t forget: It’s not the Destination, It’s the journey.


Why is it important to set realistic goals in life?

Having realistic goals helps us get to our objectives faster, keeping us motivated and focused on the road to them. It builds confidence and self-esteem in our abilities. Setting realistic goals opens up a world of new opportunities that can be life-changing on so many levels!

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