(Why) There is No Such Thing as an Unrealistic Goal!

Thoughtful person pondering with chin on hand against deep pink background

This week we’re taking a look at “unrealistic” goals. Because I believe there is no such thing. Let’s take a closer look.

How many times have you been told:

  • That’s just not realistic…
  • Yeah, that’ll never happen.
  • That’s just wishful thinking! Or something similar?

Perhaps you’ve said it to yourself?

The interesting thing is though, that while the deadlines or standards we set may be unrealistic, our goals rarely are—and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!

We all fantasize…

Of course we all have unrealistic ideas from time to time. Like wishing we were a world-class ballet dancer, retired billionaire, a world famous actor/musician/author, CEO of Google or President of our country.

But (with perhaps the exception of “making it big” as a actor/author/musician), these are rarely goals. Instead these are fantasies.

And there is nothing wrong with daydreaming!

But it all gets a little blurry when it comes to our goals…

We’re so used to people ‘pooh poohing’ our big ideas that when we do have a big, challenging goal, it’s all too easy to believe it’s unrealistic and not possible. When in fact, it’s perfectly achievable—under the right conditions.

So you have a big goal to retire early, move somewhere exotic, switch careers, make a huge difference in the world?

Is that truly unrealistic? Or do you just need to change the deadline, lower your expectations a little, be willing to start small?

We must keep thinking big!

Let’s say you have a goal that seems huge, and is therefore “unrealistic”.

Sadly, many people—consciously or unconsciously—think: Well, that’ll never happen, so I won’t even try…

What a waste of our energy and creativity!

Because did you know that the bigger our goalthe more exciting and inspiring it is? And the more exciting and inspiring it is (assuming you actually work at it), the more likely it is that you’ll achieve it! How’s that for motivation?

We must believe it is possible

When we believe our goal is unrealistic we only work half-heartedly towards our goal. We don’t follow-through or follow-up. We don’t take that risk. We don’t really try.

And big goals are not achieved by half-measures…

We must also persevere

All too often we give up too early. We work towards our huge goals for a few months to a year—and then give up because we didn’t get close enough. Our fears get in the way. We get disappointed and lose hope.

Because we tend to overestimate what we can achieve in 1 year and underestimate what we can achieve in 5 or 10 years. Here’s what Bill Gates has to say on the subject:

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.

So we need to persevere. Because big life-changing goals usually also have big timescales: 5-10 years—or even 15-20 years—are quite reasonable durations.

And we need to manage our expectations

So you want to be a musician, ballet dancer, CEO? You want to retire early? Move somewhere exotic? Write a book?

Well, remember that there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic deadlines or standards.

One option is to move your goal completion dates out

Simply be prepared for it to take longer than you’d like to achieve your huge goal. Now it’s realistic for sure!

Another option is to lower your standards

So you could take singing or instrument lessons and play in a local band instead of going for world fame. Plan to go into local politics instead of the presidential race.

Lowering your standards isn’t about shrinking your huge goal. Instead it’s about recognizing that underneath the excitement of fame, big money and big power is usually a value like expressing ourselves creatively, having more freedom or making a difference.

And in the long run achieving something meaningful that aligns with your values is what’s going to make you happy and fulfilled in life. And that’s a truly HUGE goal.

But make room for serendipity and synchronicity!

However. Whether you need to lower your standards and/or move your dates out or not, always keep an open mind. Keep your eyes and ears open for unexpected opportunities that allow you to achieve that huge goal or dream faster—or in an even bigger way…

So, what’s your huge, life-changing goal?

Do you still think it’s unrealistic?

Or are you ready to work towards making it happen?

Wrap-upFierce Kindness Logo

There is no such thing as an unrealistic goal—just unrealistic deadlines and standards. And always remember that just because you or someone else thinks it’s not probable doesn’t mean it’s not possible!

Instead we must get clear on that dream or huge goal we have—and take courageous steps towards it, regularly, over a period of time. You will get there.

We rise to great heights by a winding staircase of small steps. Francis Bacon

It may take longer than you expect—or want. But strange and wonderful happenings often occur when you think big and follow your dreams. And you may just achieve your huge goal sooner than you thought possible…

But if you don’t even try—well I guess that truly is an unrealistic goal.

Comment below to share your big goals or how this article helped you!

For more inspirational ideas on achieving your goals and dreams try:

Finally, want to set better goals?

Get our Free Annual Goal-Setting Workbook! (.PDF Printable)

Image of Curious person pondering with hand on chin against deep pink background by Kraken Images

One Comment

  1. Myrsini

    It is never an option and Never lower standards under any circumstances others need to rise up to the highest standard for themselves therefore bettering themselves and becoming the best version of themselves they can be.

    Reply

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