How to set a goal and achieve it in five steps

Wondering what steps to take to reach your goal?

Success is all about achieving goals, both personal and professional. Maybe your goal is to have an enjoyable holiday, a successful project at work, a demanding fitness target, or maybe you just want to save some money. But how can you define exactly what your goals are, and encourage yourself to work towards them? 

Follow these five steps to achieve your goals:

Capture your goal 

To get your goal off the ground, start by making yourself accountable for achieving it. Write it down on a piece of paper and stick it on the wall above your desk. Pop up pictures around your work space of what your goal looks like to you. And tell people about it. The more you surround yourself with your goal, the more you will be reminded to stay on track achieving it.

Be specific

Be specific about the goal you want to achieve. If you are too vague about what success looks like, then how will you know when you achieve it? Give yourself some way of assessing or evaluating your achievement, like a numerical target. If you want to save money, then determine how much you want to save. If you want to do some writing, then give yourself a page or word target. If you want to do some running, give yourself an aim for how many kilometers you want to run. If your goal is measurable, you can make yourself accountable.

Break it down

One of the biggest downfalls when it comes to achieving a goal is procrastination. And one of the reasons people procrastinate is they simply don’t know where to start or the task before them just looks too big. By breaking down a goal into a list of smaller, more achievable tasks, it’s much easier to start and keep the momentum going.  

Set a time frame

Set a date for when you’d like to have your goal achieved so that you have a target to work towards. There’s no point in declaring what you’ll achieve “one day” when one day may be ten years from now. Choose a time frame in which to achieve your goals, and stick to it!

Celebrate success

You set your mind to achieving something and now you have: celebrate. Rewarding yourself for accomplishing something, particularly if it was difficult, creates a positive mental association that should increase your motivation to achieve future goals. And don’t forget to celebrate the small steps forward along the way to help keep yourself motivated.

If you want to achieve your goals, don't forget:

  • Make yourself accountable
  • Be specific about what you want to achieve
  • Set a time frame
  • Celebrate your achievements


CPA Career Mentor


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