5 Practical Ways To Get Your Career Goals on Track

Chances are your career goals have been put on the back burner with the challenges presented during the last year and a half. You may find yourself dreaming of finding a career that you enjoy but worry that you already lost too much time. Often we feel stuck — we don’t know how or where to start when career planning. Despite your worries or fears, it’s never too late to recommit to your dreams! 

1. Make your dream job a reality by starting where you are

Before moving forward, take a look at where you are starting from now. So often we give up on our goals because we haven’t achieved them the way we planned. Don’t fall into the trap of waiting until the new year to start working on your goals. For many, making resolutions or promises to ourselves on January 1st is a powerful and inspiring gesture. However, halfway through the year, you realize many of those dreams have fallen by the wayside because they weren’t truly what you wanted, or life simply got in the way and you lost focus.

Break out your old resolutions and career goals! Start where you are now and see if your original goals are still aligned with your current life. If not, set aside some time to think about where you hoped to be now and where you want to be a year from now.

2. Write down your dreams and goals 

Visualizing your dreams and writing down your goals has been shown to impact your success in achieving them. Additionally, planning out your goals is correlated with favorable outcomes. When you write your goals use the present tense to signify that they’ve already been achieved. For example, instead of saying, “I want to find a new publishing job,” write, “I am the new Editor in Chief of REO Magazine.” If you desire a raise, “I earn $10,000 more today than I did last year.” Go one step further and post your goals where you can see them every day. This will remind you of your intentions, which is an important aspect of making dreams a reality.

3. Acknowledge what has held you back from achieving your goals

Before you go any further it’s important to take a hard look at what kept you from reaching goals. This will help you determine what obstacles, if any, could hinder you from reaching your future goals. Identifying what’s standing in your way will allow you to create a strategy to overcome any challenges. Brian Tracy wrote in his best-selling book Goals!, “In most cases, 80 percent of the reasons you are not attaining your goals are internal.” The obstacles you face come from within rather than from the world around you. Internal obstacles can be fear-based — self-doubt, low self-esteem, limiting beliefs, or hindering habits. Tracy elaborates, “Only 20 percent of the obstacles are contained in your external situation or other people.” Some of the most common challenges we face include work relationships, problems with family members, money matters, and the lack of other resources such as requirements for more education or training to get a promotion or start a new career. By evaluating personal obstacles, you can find potential roadblocks and seek help to prevent them from hindering your success. A coach is a great resource to help you understand how you may be sabotaging your goals and how you can work through them to achieve your goals.

4. Take action and make SMART goals

A goal is just a goal unless you act on it. Revisit your list of dreams and goals and prioritize them to fit your needs and desires. Apply the SMART rule and make your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound to help focus your efforts and increase your chances of reaching your goals. A specific goal is well-defined and clear. Make sure your goal is measurable meaning you can track and see your progress. It should be both achievable and realistic, not impossible given your timeframe and relevance to its purpose. Set timely goals by setting specific start and finish dates to create urgency and give you parameters.

Look at what you are doing now and what you see yourself doing in the future. Ask yourself, “What gives me joy at work and what am I doing when time seems to fly by?” Tracy notes that “The starting point of goal setting is for you to realize that you have virtually unlimited potential to be, have, or do anything…if you are willing to work long enough and hard enough to achieve it.” He adds, “The second part of goal setting is for you to accept complete responsibility for your life, and for everything that happens to you, with no blaming and no excuses.”

5. Ask for help career planning

If you find yourself in a rut, ask for help! The simple act of receiving external input can help you get out of your head as well as provide valuable feedback. Seeking out feedback is a great way to evaluate your ideas and plans and can guide you in deciding what direction to take next. Look for a mentor, maybe someone at your current job or a leader at another company you may know. A career coach can help you set SMART goals, prioritize them, and challenge you to go beyond the limits you place on yourself. Your goal is to get back on track with the career goals that you set earlier in the year. If you’re a beginner in goal setting, now is the perfect time to start. Take one step each day to maintain momentum and you’ll be back on track toward the career of your dreams.

Remember, it’s not too late to reset. Now is the time to commit. Once you realize one of your goals you’ll be motivated to take on the next, creating a snowball effect. You will face challenges along the way but always keep your end goal in mind. You’ve got this!

What’s your number one goal for the rest of the year that will move you forward in your career?

Hope you enjoyed this article and that it helped! Follow me on LinkedIn or connect with me on my website: CareerRedirected.com

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