The Importance of Setting Realistic Goals

Jennifer Vargas Guerra | February 11, 2022
peaceful park

You’re nearly halfway through February, and despite your best intentions, you may be ready to abandon your New Year’s resolutions. You’re not alone! In fact, a majority of resolutions fail by the second month of the year. Maybe your goals aren’t clear or connected to your values. You might feel overwhelmed or discouraged, causing you to quit before you’ve really started. Or maybe you’re just not ready for such a big change. 

Still, don’t completely give up on goal setting! For today’s blog post, we want to look at three reasons why you should have goals and also offer three tips for setting realistic and achievable resolutions.

Three Reasons Why You Should Set Goals

To start, let’s look at three reasons why it’s important to set goals.

1. Goals keep you focused.

Your efforts may feel chaotic and disjointed without a clear goal to guide you. With defined objectives, you can more easily determine if a task is helping or hindering your progress. 

2. They help you stay motivated.

It’s no secret that goal setting can be extremely fulfilling. With a destination in mind, you’ll be more encouraged to fight forward, especially on days when you lack energy or focus.

3. They allow you to measure your progress.

Break a larger goal into specific sections, and check off each step as you accomplish it. If you hit a roadblock, you can easily see how far you’ve already come and propel yourself ahead despite the setback.

How to Set Realistic Goals

Setting goals during your recovery journey can be both rewarding and daunting. With that thought in mind, here are three tips to help you set realistic goals.

1. Dig deep!

Create a safe space to explore who you are and what you want. Light a candle and cozy up in your favorite chair, or grab a picnic blanket and head to a nearby park. Once you’re comfortable, think about your hopes for the months ahead. This time of reflection will help you to determine what’s meaningful to you, which, in turn, will allow you to set meaningful goals. 

2. Follow the SMART goal framework.

Once you’ve determined the areas that matter most to you, it’s time to determine your goals. With the SMART goal technique, you will define smaller, more achievable goals to build your confidence and help you reach a larger objective. Your goals should be:

  • Specific: Be clear about your plans. 
  • Measurable: Make sure that you can track your progress.
  • Achievable: Is your goal reasonable and possible?
  • Relevant: Your goal should align with your values and be a worthwhile area of focus.
  • Time-Limited: Determine an ending point to help you stay motivated. 

3. Check-in with yourself.

When it comes to a goal, you can’t “set it and forget it.” Consider scheduling weekly or monthly check-ins to ensure you’re working towards your target. Celebrate your moments of success, reflect on your response to challenges, and adjust your goals as needed.


Visit our website to learn more about eating disorder treatment and recovery at Hidden River.


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