Last Updated on October 4, 2017 by Michael Brockbank
A lot of people will set astounding goals to reach. Unfortunately, many of them will try to go beyond their grasp. Don’t get me wrong, reaching for the stars is good – as long as you keep one foot on the ground. Challenging yourself is a great way to find your limitations and discover more about who you are. Just be realistic when you do so.
Honesty When Challenging Yourself
Being honest with yourself is quite difficult at times. No one really wants to point out their own flaws. In some cases, it may even lead to a pity party. On the other hand, you need honesty if you truly want to excel.
For example, I know for a fact that I cannot do quite a few fad diets simply because I know I can’t be trusted around certain types of food. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. What this does is give me a base to plan a strategy according to what I know about myself.
I like sweets – so I limit the number I can have to still lose weight and be healthy. For me, it’s much better than cutting them out altogether.
Challenging yourself is all about trying to surpass your own abilities. Whether it’s to lose weight or increasing productivity at work, you need to know your own abilities before you can set realistic goals.
Why Is Being Realistic Important?
The last thing you want to do when challenging yourself is setting yourself up for failure. You need to have a real impression of what you can do and how to achieve your goals. Jumping into something that is way beyond your capabilities may quickly lead to failure. But working into something to reach those goals improves your chances.
For instance, I needed to lose 100 pounds to reach my goal. However, I focus on what I can do today to reach that point such as exercise or eating right. I won’t lose 100 pounds in 30 days…but I will lose at least 2 or 3 pounds each week if I focus on doing good each day.
Ways to Be Realistic with Yourself
It’s OK to model certain behavior or activities based on someone you admire. But you need to realize the vast difference between them and yourself. While humans all share similar traits, everyone’s physiology is different.
I’ll never be under 120 pounds without causing severe damage to myself. Instead, my goal is to simply be at prime health regardless of how much I weigh. That is a realistic goal.
How can you be realistic with yourself?
Fully Understand the Objective
The first thing you need to do is fully understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Having an idea is good to get you started, but you need to learn more about what you’re trying to do.
If you want to lose weight for certain part of the body, do some research. If you’re thinking about getting a second job, carefully consider what it’s going to do to your daily lifestyle.
In other words, don’t blindly jump into something you’re truly not prepared for. Otherwise, you may find it more difficult to accomplish your goals.
Keep in mind that nothing will change without putting in the effort. You can’t simply say you’re going to lose 50 pounds and then assume your body will change itself. Depending on your objective, it may take a great deal of effort to succeed.
Find Your Limitations
Knowing your limitations sets the tone for accomplishing goals. It will also affect any future strategies for challenging yourself. For example, I want to break my personal best of 22 push-ups. My strategy is to do four sets at 15 every other day for the next couple of weeks. This will build my body up to increase the chances of succeeding.
You might have limitations in many different areas. Time scheduling, finances, injuries, physical defects and more will play into challenging yourself. I mean, I wouldn’t be able to beat my push-up record next week if I had a broken arm, right? That’s an extreme comparison, but you should get the picture.
Identify your weaknesses and work on improving them. Don’t assume you’ll come out of the gate built like Superman. My major shortcomings are getting sucked into YouTube and staying up until midnight. As stupid as these are, it’s quite difficult for me to break out of these habits.
Discovering your weaknesses gives you a chance to improve. But like I said before, you need honesty with yourself if you want to succeed.
Set Smaller Goals
Don’t merely focus on the end game. It’s what you do in the here-and-now that will make the greatest difference. Sure I would love to weigh 180 pounds, but what can I do today to work on that goal? I would love to have a million dollar savings account, but what can I do today to start building it?
Smaller goals also help keep you motivated and focused when challenging yourself. Each time you succeed in an objective, you feel a sense of pride. This turns into confidence and strengthens your resolve to continue. Keep making the goals greater as you go along, though. You don’t want it to be too easy.
For instance, I increase my push-ups per set by two every week. It gets a bit harder over time, but it all contributes to breaking my personal record. And, it’s nothing I physically cannot handle.
Exploit Your Strengths
After you identify your weaknesses, play on your strengths. And yes, everyone has them. When measuring your own strengths, don’t compare them to someone else. Remember, everyone is different.
Each of our strengths and weaknesses are unique to ourselves. Although some of us share these, they vary according to how we view ourselves and what we want to accomplish.
Identifying strength is fairly difficult for those who have a low self-esteem and self-worth. But trust me, you have them. Again, it’s all about being truly honest with yourself. Once you can identify and exploit those strengths, you may find your opinion of yourself change drastically.
Reach, But Keep Grounded
It’s OK to have goals. Just make sure you don’t deny yourself by being unrealistic. Challenging yourself opens the doors to understanding who you are and what you’re capable of. It lays the groundwork for making incredible changes in your life. Keep one foot on the ground and be mindful of reality.