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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Commentary: The importance of setting realistic goals

How to set yourself up to actually achieve the things you set your mind to


By RUMA POUDELL — arts@theaggie.org


Self-esteem is something that many struggle with, but is it possible to believe in yourself too much? 

When you recognize your own worth and potential, placing that faith into the right directions may be crucial to making sure you live up to your potential without having a falsified view of your capabilities. Despite the fact that many people are at different places in their lives and therefore have different aspirations, maintaining a realistic approach to setting goals can help set everyone up for success.

Liz Chen, a second-year international relations and sociology double major, touched on how to set realistic goals. 

“I think it’s really important to think about if a goal is right for you or if it’s just something someone else is achieving that you think you want to do too,” Chen said. “Knowing your limits and yourself, […] planning ahead, […] measuring progress along the way, […] that’s all part of figuring out what works for you.” 

Some factors you can take into consideration when setting your goals include the amount of time it’ll take to achieve said goals, the amount of effort you need to put in and specific outcomes you hope to see. 

Joga Singh, a college graduate working on medical school applications, also spoke on the importance of recognizing where you are in your professional and personal life when setting aspirations.  

“Placing yourself in situations with a standardized metric so you can know where you stand — whether it’s a physical sports tryout or medical exam — that [can be] the first step,” Singh said. “After that, it has to do with putting in genuine effort and seeing how quickly or slowly you’re making progress. Having this understanding of your capabilities and how that fits in with where you want to be makes it a lot easier to get to where you want to be.” 

Seshnag Regoti, a second-year biomedical engineering major, pointed out that sometimes, self criticism gets in the way of goal setting. 

“I try to be optimistic with my passions despite any hardships I experience [due to] not living up to my goals,” Regoti said. 

Chen supported Regoti’s stance. 

“It’s okay to adjust [your goals] and make it realistic for you along the way,” Chen said. “It’s important to remember if you aren’t addressing your goal you’re not failing. Meeting a goal in any capacity is still better than not meeting it at all.” 

In the grand scheme of our lives, making goals and setting forth to achieve them is not supposed to wear us down; rather, it is a way for us to build ourselves up and serve as a driving force for good. 

“Seeing the long term of how becoming a physician is going to bring more enjoyment and more satisfaction into my personal life and [knowing] I can give service to others and leverage the experience I have — I tend to look at that,” Singh said. “That’s a big factor in how I set goals and build discipline for them.”

As we all venture on, setting realistic goals is not a way for you to demean your capabilities. It’s about knowing where you’re at, being okay with it and moving forward from there. Take it easy, as your goals do not dictate your accomplishments in life. Rather, they serve as a way for you to see improvement within yourself. 


Written by: Ruma Poudell — arts@theaggie.org