743 – Set Realistic Goals

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Can setting goals that are too big cause more harm than good? Does our culture put too much pressure on us to achieve big goals?

In this episode we discuss why setting unrealistic goals can cause damage along with the research that proves this idea to be true. We also provide advice to help you set more realistic goals.

If you want to learn how to set realistic goals , then this episode is for you!

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover why setting big goals can be detrimental to your mental health. 
  2. Learn the research behind why unrealistic goals are harmful.
  3. Understand how you should set goals.


Episode Highlights

Why Can Setting Unrealistic Goals Be Detrimental To Us?

  • Our culture prioritizes overachieving and pushing ourselves hard, but if we don’t meet those expectations we come down hard on ourselves.
  • When we don’t meet our goals, we blame ourselves for failing. 
    • We aren’t nice to ourselves. 

What Research Shows The Harms of Unrealistic Goals?

  • The study referenced in this episode is called, “Don’t Aim Too High for Your Kids: Parental Overasiration Undermines Students’ Learning in Mathematics”, and was written by Masayuki Suzuki, Stephanie Lictenfield, and Herbert W. Marsh in 2015.
  • The purpose of the study was to look at the  effects of parental expectations on their children. 
  • The study found that contrary to popular belief, parenteral expectations actually had major negative effects on their children. 
  • These findings indicate that putting unrealistic pressure and expectations on someone can actually be detrimental. 

How Can We Set Better Goals?

  • First, we should normalize setting smaller goals
  • Next, change what improvement means and our relationship with it.
  • As a culture, we should embrace a slower process and timeline.

5 Powerful Quotes from This Episode

“You are actively trying to improve your life”.

“If this kind of overaspiration has an effect on our kids, this negative effect on our kids, wouldn’t it also have that effect on us?”

“We set goals that are borderline unachievable, because it means we will end up somewhere further regardless of what happens”.

“Excessive pressure to achieve, again, is built into the core of the self-help space”.

“Our culture tends to prioritize overachieving, shooting for the moon, and pushing ourselves forward, and pushing ourselves hard”.

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