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Setting Realistic Goals

Gain Power by Sidestepping the One-Size-Fits-All Mind-Set

Erika Liodice

When it comes to setting goals, writers are commonly told to make them “SMART”—that is, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. While that’s great guidance, no one ever explains how to tell if your goals are indeed realistic.

I know this because setting unrealistic goals used to be a specialty of mine. In fact, next to my computer is a greeting card that pictures a little girl pushing with all her might against a boulder twice her size. Inside, my dad wrote: “This made me think of you.”

I’ve been setting unrealistic goals for as long as I can remember. Take, for example, the time I was ten and tried to organize a carnival in my ...

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