How to Plan and Achieve Your Career Goals

How Do You Plan to Achieve Your Career Goals?

My favorite quote is, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.”

A quote that always keeps me on my toes and helps me plan better in life.

When it comes to meeting a Goal – I like to think of my end goal as a Destination and the path to attain the Goal as a journey.

However, goal setting and goal achievement are different things. Most people drop their goals in the middle because they have no clear plan or it is too inconvenient to reach a goal.

Are Your Goals Worth Your Dedication?

As per an article published by inc, 92% of people fail to achieve their career goals.

Worse – Businesses fail when they do not plan. As per a recent survey, inadequate planning is the first reason for business failures in Australia.

Well! That’s a ridiculously high failure rate.

Do you know the reason behind the failure?

To start with, most of the goals are set emotionally and not rationally.

To give you an example – you see your colleague from the office buy a luxurious car, and you – driven by emotions, set a goal to obtain a better car.

Now, that’s one unrealistic Goal with no clear road map.

Secondly, the goals we set are without a clear plan.

We – the mortals set goals without realizing the hard work it requires to reach a goal.

Whatever your goal is (small or big), you must be clear about the possible outcomes and consequences.

A long journey can’t be covered without a proper plan.

Are you struggling with meeting your Goal?

I have spent years failing to meet my goals until I decided to take things into my hand and follow the simple steps to reaching my Goal.

Here are some simple-to-follow steps to planning and achieving your Goals:

1. Write Down Your Career Goals

Does it sound like a no-brainer? It’s not!

The logic behind writing is to tame our fickle mind that changes its goalposts based on situations.

Once you have it written in front of your eyes – you can be focused and not change the career goal at your convenience.

Just note down the reasons (that inspired you to make these goals) and the outcomes (that you are expecting to get) -It will inspire you to keep going with your work.

You might as well stick this note in front of your work desk. It won’t let you forget about your goals.

8% of people amalgamate their long-term and short-term goals to reach the Destination.

And 14% of the population has plans, but they don’t write them.

Only 3% of people note down their goals.

By writing your career goals, you are putting yourself in a small percentage of the population that has taken the first step to meet their goals.

I will take a real-life example to help you carefully follow the steps.

Let’s say – I want to buy a home for 1.1 Million USD in 5 years.

That’s my Goal. I will write it here again “I want to buy a home of 1.1 Million USD in 5 years”.

2. Analyze the Challenges

Time to move a step forward. Write all the challenges you might face while achieving the goal and how you plan to tackle them.

It’s evident that you will face many problems along the way.

Believe me- the more problems you’d face, the more mature you’d become.

Indeed, you can’t figure out all the challenges in advance.

Let me demonstrate the above with an example.

Let’s assume it is a realistic goal, and my salary can cover the EMIs after I gather 200K USD as a down payment.

The challenges I might face are:

  • Not being able to save enough every month to meet the down payment goal.
  • I have been indisciplined in the past with a small savings goal. I will have to stick to clear, small saving goals to meet the ultimate goal.
  • Some of my money is invested in the stock market, and though I expect a decent return on it to contribute to my down payment goal, the market might fluctuate, and I might not get the returns as expected.
  • I need to plan for any medical expense not covered by my insurance, as any medical emergency can put a big dent in my pocket and will not help me reach my career goals.

Now, set up a road map or plan based on the challenges you might face and back-up plans accordingly.

3. Time to Set the Strategy

You have completed all the groundwork. Now, it’s time to make a step-by-step strategy to execute your plans.

For example: In my case, the Strategy revolves around saving enough, keeping a tight leash on my monthly expenses, and moving forward with discipline.

By executing these small steps, you get nearer to accomplishing the right steps to reach the Goal:

  • Find out the stepping stones for your purposes.
  • Divide more significant tasks into small manageable actions.
  • Make a routine and allocate different tasks to different times of the day.
  • Write down your strategies with their desired outcomes.
  • Start executing the task and work consistently.
  • Mark the tasks that have been completed.

Follow the steps, and you will enjoy your journey.

For instance, if you want to be a successful blogger, you can divide the tasks into something like below:

  • Choosing a niche
  • Analyzing your competitors’ sites
  • Designing your site
  • Finding content topics, keywords, and all
  • Content writing and content marketing, and so on

4. Track Your Progress

Measure your performance time-to-time to check your progress. Make a daily routine for assessment.

In my case, I would check for the money I have saved and how I have saved every month to track my progress.

If you are improving, you are on the right track. Otherwise, it’s time to re-assess your strategies and modify them.

If you feel one strategy no longer serves your purpose, change it immediately.

Sticking to it and waiting for success will waste your time and delay your progress.

Starting a journey is always exciting. However, the challenge is to keep going with the same enthusiasm.

You need to bear the ups and downs throughout the journey, which might come at a cost (emotional and financial).

There is a good chance you will run out of motivation, especially when things are not going as expected.

What Do You Do in the Face of Adversity?

  • Find the exact problem and seek a long-term solution. Short-term fixes never help.
  • Watch inspiring videos or read biographies of successful -people to keep you motivated.
  • Whenever you get stuck somewhere, recall the results after these struggles.
  •  Learning to Accept Failures as failures help you learn and succeed better.
  • Always remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Have patience and follow a routine. You are closer to your Destination than you anticipated.

Most people are not persistent and give us before they reach their career goals. Don’t make this mistake.

Keep on working until you fulfill your dreams.

The Bottom Line

You have crossed the first step if you’re determined about your goals. However, determination only works when it is complemented by persistence and perseverance.