Every achieved goal starts from the mind. It starts with being aware (or conscious) of an unsatisfied need (or desire). These unsatisfied needs are what you know as problems.
That you are hungry and need food is a problem.
That you lack money is a problem.
That you're lonely and needs company is a problem.
That there is no peace in the world is a problem.
These problems need solutions. The decision to solve these problems is what is called goal setting.
A realistic goal is a goal which is possible to achieve. For example, if it is possible to build a castle in the cloud, then it is realistic. If it is possible to earn 2 million dollars in 24hrs, then it is realistic. If it is possible to buy a new pair of shoe tomorrow, then it is realistic.
There are several ways in which humans naturally get to know (or believe) that a goal is realistic, they are;
1) If you’ve seen or heard of somebody who achieved it.
2) If somebody you trust tells you that it is realistic.
A goal may be realistic and yet not attainable.
A goal is said to be attainable if the setter has the ability (or resources) to achieve it. There might be a way of making 2 million dollars in 24 hrs but if you don’t have the ability and resources to achieve it, then you can’t achieve it. Hence, it is unattainable.
For your goal to be attainable, you have to possess the ability and resources to achieve it.
The process of trying to possess or acquire these resources and skills is a secondary goal called problem goals. They are so called because they are the problems we encounter while striving to achieve our goals.
The time set to achieve a goal can also determine whether the goal is realistic and attainable – or not.
It will be an unrealistic goal to try to cook your food within one second. Perhaps, it would be realistic and hence attainable if you set ten minute or 1hr to cook the same food. Thus, in setting your goal, you should set a realistic time interval for it.
When you’ve found out that your goal is realistic and attainable, the next thing is to start asking useful question and formulate a reliable procedure. These are to help you know, exactly, how to achieve it.
This is what is called planning. Planning is the act of finding successful steps.
After making plans, the next step is to take action. It is these actions that lead to your desired goals.