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How to set goals you will achieve in 2018


It’s not unusual to feel disappointed, start beating yourself up or become despondent if you’re not where you wanted to be in your career or life. In this blog I want to share how you can set goals that you will actually achieve in 2018. We’ve long been told that if we want to achieve our goals we need to make them SMART- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. Here’s my problem with the SMART system, it’s not enough and isn’t really where you should start. I can pick any goal today and apply the process but it doesn’t mean that it will actually happen.

I want to share a way that you can start to set yourself up for success so your goals happen once you start using the SMART system.

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1. Write your goals down

The first thing to do is to get clarity and identify a list of goals. To do this, make a list of all the things that you haven’t achieved but would like to have achieved by now. To that list you will add other things you want to achieve in the future and then lastly things that you want to achieve in the next 12 months. At this stage you just want to get clarity on what you possibly want to achieve.

2. Establish your priorities

Now work through your list firstly to establish goals you have had for a while that haven’t happened. Before you add them onto your 2018 list go through the process of establishing why they haven’t happened and whether you still want them to happen. Try and identify reasons that are within your ability to influence because those are the things you can do something about.

Secondly look at whether there are any goals on your future list that you need to bring forward to next year. Try and identify goals that would benefit your other goals if you brought them forward. Lastly evaluate which of the goals on your 2018 list you actually want to achieve.

By the end of this process you will now have let go off goals that no longer serve you so you don’t feel bad about not achieving them. You will also halt any impatience around some of your future goals and confirm that they are ok to be future goals and most importantly you will have a list of goals that you want to achieve in 2018. Park all your other goals so you can focus.

3. Create the environment for success

Now that you are clear on your goals it’s time to create your environment for success. This will help improve and increase your chances of succeeding in the future. Knowing some of the reasons why you failed to achieve your goals before will help you understand your challenges, limitations and barriers. This also allows you to put the right activities and support in place for you to progress. It might be the case that you need to learn a new skill, make the time to become more productive or create a great support network.  You will know better than anyone else the areas you need to ask help for so you don’t keep trying to do things in the same way that has not got you results in the past.

4. Be accountable

Part of not achieving your goals has to do with the fact that no one else knows about them except you. This can be ok in some cases when you want to protect them from naysayers and other negative opinions. The problem with that is you have no one to keep you on track, challenge you when you aren’t working on your goals or even celebrate with you as you get your small wins. Find someone to share your goals with, ask them to keep you accountable and check in with you and how you are getting on every now and again. Do remember that you asked them when they check in especially during times when you don’t feel like being accountable. The idea of knowing someone is going to ask you about what you’ve done to move forward will spur you into taking action. Taking those small steps consistently is what will help you achieve your goals.

5. Have courage

Finally have courage to try things you are uncomfortable doing, have the courage to fail and be ok with moving on to try other things or trying again. Have courage to do things even when you are lacking in confidence (Confidence Tips). Have the courage to succeed and the prospect that you may have to change your life to accommodate your success. Have the courage to try things without a guarantee that they will work or not. Have the courage to admit if you were wrong and things didn’t turn out how you expected. Have the courage to keep things moving and not stay stuck in the same place.


If you enjoyed this blog and would like to meet ambitious and career minded women like yourself, come and plan the vision for the year in person join us at The Mailbox, Birmingham on the Saturday 6th of January for a masterclass on Career Goal Setting: How to create your vision for the year.