I set a goal, I worked towards it. I stuck a visual representation of it on my dream board. I imagined achieving it every day and felt the feelings I would have felt if I had achieved it. I lived like I’d already done it and each new day further action to get me there was taken. I set a date by which I’d do it I told friends and family who would hold me accountable to it and I believed it was possible.

But I failed. It didn’t work, I didn’t do it. My goal is just a piece of paper on my dream board. I’ve nothing more to show for it than the ideas in my head. I did everything I could but it didn’t manifest.


Is it because it wasn’t the right time, because my horoscope said so and I didn’t take heed? Because I didn’t plan the goal properly or take enough action?


It was just massively unrealistic.

It was ecological, it was good for me, good for others and it aligned alright with the greater good. It was achievable – for someone who had the skills necessary. But it wasn’t realistic in the context of me and where I was starting from and where I wanted to end up. It was wishful and hopeful and needy, but it wasn’t possible.

You might think “ah, a beliefs issue. A hidden underlying one about your abilities.” Though I really did believe in myself right up until the day that I looked at the date of the goal and then realised the current date.

Then I reviewed and discovered it was a hopeful goal and not a realistic one.

Setting unrealistic goals leaves you doomed for failure. You might be mistaken to think that goal setting doesn’t work. It does. That said it only works if you stick to the rules of realistic.

Being realistic means being honest with yourself. It means really looking at your planning. Now when I look at setting that goal again, I think about the timeline involved. The chunks of “stuff” I’d need to do each day to get to the result, work backwards from the success to see if those chunks each day are manageable. If they are not, I should realize pretty early on. Before, I’d just cracked on with what I thought I needed to do without the backwards planning (what needs to happen just before I get to my goal, and what has to happen just before that.) Then right before my completion date I realised I wasn’t going to make it.

If your goal involves other people (it always does) then you have to consider what is realistic from their perspective. It might be realistic to assume that the rest of the world will love your goal, but they might not. It’s worth checking in advance before you go putting all your eggy hopes into that one basket.

Be around honest people. There’s a lot of people who will encourage you and spur you on (some of them will take your money for that privilege) but that doesn’t mean that they have any clue whatsoever about this goal being realistic or realistic for you.

They might have done it and achieved it themselves and so tell you all the right things to do and the right steps to make, but that’s always their way. They might not have the same circumstances and psychology as you (they haven’t) and so their success will be unique to them. Yours will be unique to you.

Of course it is totally achievable, just do your homework on the realistic bit too.

By Gemma Bailey