Humans are terrible at estimating. We overestimate what is possible in the short term and underestimate the long term.

Why then do we push for “realistic” goals? We’re naturally predisposed to sell ourselves short. Within typical goal setting, it’s said a healthy goal should be SMART. Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound. Perhaps that’s sensible for weekly or monthly goals, but beyond that notions of ‘realistic’ and ‘specific’ seem trivial.

SMART goals also prompt us to operate within limiting constraints. If we’re growing and developing over time, shouldn’t our understanding of what’s realistic change as well?

The further out the goal, they less realistic it should seem. Our society is rapidly evolving. Shouldn’t our goals be ready for that as well?