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Five Ways to Set Career Goals that Stick

You have no problem with goal setting. If they handed out awards for “Most Ambitious New Year’s Resolutions” you’d win big every single January. You know where you need to be and where you’d like to be one, three, five and even twenty years from now. There’s just one problem: you don’t know exactly how to get there. You’re great at setting goals; you just don’t exactly know how to make them stick. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Keep these tips in mind and you might give those resolutions a fighting chance at success.

Realism Matters

Across every industry, manages are singing the praises of SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound. But of all these qualities, the most important one at the outset is attainability. Be honest and don’t let your emotions and your dreams cloud your judgement. Can you really reach that bar during the timetable you’ve set for yourself using the resources available to you? Dream big, but if you have to, either bring the bar down or extend the timeline until your dreams are a realistic fit for reality.

Break Big Goals into Small Ones

Your goal: land that major contract within a month. (Ideally, you want to do it within a day, but you’ve made some adjustments in the name of realism.) So make the most of the month ahead. Start by determining where you’ll need to be at the halfway point. Then picture yourself half way to the halfway point. Break each milestone down into smaller ones, then break each small milestone down into specific actions. Then start with the first small action and you’ll be on your way.

Celebrate Tiny Victories

You may want to keep your victory dance in check until you’ve actually scored your ultimate goal. But go ahead and savor the moment each time you complete your list of milestones within a day or a week. Give yourself a pat on the back even if you haven’t completed the entire task; remember, you’re working on sustainability and functional goal setting, not just big achievements.

Don’t Let Go

Give yourself a break if you miss one milestone or lose focus for one day. If you do, you’ll be more likely to bounce back and put the moment behind you. If you beat yourself up over a small departure from the plan, you set yourself up for another self-described “failure” the next time a small obstacle stands in your path. Too much drama can have a toxic effect, so if you stumble, don’t fall. Just shrug it off and move on.

For more on how to set, pursue, and meet your goals with style and flair, turn to the career development experts at Cordia Resources.