How to Come up with Realistic Goals and Stick with Them


Everyone has goals, but only some are able to achieve them without giving up or overwhelming themselves. Photo by: Elizabeth Wood

The start of a new year is like a fresh piece of paper, blank and waiting for you to make your mark. Times like this are when many people start thinking about their goals or resolutions for the year. Many people choose common goals like losing weight, journaling, doing good in school, reading the bible more, and not procrastinating. While you may start out strong and stick with your goals for the first few weeks or months, most people lose their motivation and ultimately give up. Why does this happen? At the beginning of the year, you are motivated to get work done and achieve your personal goals. You got to the gym each week, read your bible everyday, got your homework done, but soon your schedule fills up and you no longer have time for these goals. Maybe your goal was too unrealistic, and you can’t seem to reach your goals. Here are some strategies and tips to help you achieve these goals.


Deciding your goal or resolution can be the hardest part. First, you need to choose a specific, realistic goal. For example, you can’t read the whole bible in a week–it’s just not possible. A more realistic goal would be reading the bible over the course of an entire year. Another example is that millions of people strive to “lose weight” or “get in shape.” These are very vague goals, instead, try to lose ten pounds or go to the gym once a week. Also, you can’t overload yourself with tons of resolutions. Just pick one. It will be much easier to focus on one rather than three or four.


Most people who end up deserting their resolutions probably started out too strong. If your goal is to lose weight, you can’t completely change your lifestyle. It will benefit you immensely if you start with small steps, like going on a short jog each day. Making small changes to your lifestyle can make it easier for you to stick to new habits and increase your chances of long term success. 


Encountering setbacks is probably the most common reasons why people give up on their resolutions. If one day you just had too long of a day and you suddenly fall back into old habits, that’s fine. Don’t view it as a failure, rather a learning opportunity. This article from explains, in depth, the dos and don’ts of overcoming your setbacks. The path towards your goals is not always a straight line, you will always face challenges.