Setting professional goals can help you make progress in the areas that are most important to you and your career.

However, many people find it hard to set and achieve goals because they either set them too far or they focus on goals that aren’t within their control.

It’s always important to set goals because having a clear and realistic goals helps you stay on track, stay motivated, and work harder to achieve the success you deserve.

While there are plenty of ways to come up with new ideas for professional goals, sometimes you need some expert advice to make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success every step of the way.

To ensure you have success with your professional goals setting, I have come up in this article 13 easy tips that will make any goal you set achievable.

These 15 tips will help you find the right goals, stay motivated as you work toward them, and celebrate your hard work and accomplishments as they happen.

Let’s dive in.


What Are Professional Goals?

Professional goals are specific and measurable aims and objectives that evaluate an organization’s success or failure. These objectives may relate to profitability, growth, market share, product quality, productivity, and so on.

Having clear goals keep you on track in achieving your goal and prevent you from wandering off and wasting your time and resources.

The primary aim of setting professional goals is to encourage an organization (or individual) to focus their effort in a clear direction.

A professional goal should follow the SMART rule. That is;

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant; and
  • Time-based principles

how to set smart professional goals


Applying the SMART Goal Principles

All professional goals should follow these five principles: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

If a goal doesn’t follow the SMART principles, it is most likely just a dream. However, if a goal follows the SMART principles, it’s much more likely to come true.

How can you adopt the SMART principles when setting professional goals? Let’s do the breakdown.


1. Specific:

Your goal needs to be specific which means, it must include key details about what, who, when, where, why, and how you’re going to achieve them.

For example: Rather than setting a broad goal like losing weight, you can set a more defined goal, which can be, “I want to lose 5 pounds by cutting out junk food”.

Setting specific goals allows you to know when you’ve reached them. If they are too general, they will always seem out of reach.

While a professional setting can mean a lot of different things, depending on your company and field, there are some generalities that can apply to most situations.

So you want to start by pinpointing your goals:

  • What do you want to achieve?
  • Are you looking to take on more responsibility or be involved in more projects?
  • Is there something you’d like to learn or develop within your job function?

Write your goals as specifically as possible and make sure they’re aligned with what you’ve identified as your personal strengths.

Don’t forget that these specific professional goals should also tie back into your longer-term objectives and career path.

If your goal is too vague, i.e. it simply will become a wish or a dream that will never happen.


2. Measurable:

One of the most important aspects of goal-setting is making sure your goals are measurable. You need to define your ways of measuring success. 

If a goal is too ambiguous, it’s hard to keep track.

If your goal is to “close 10 clients”, add something like “by Jan. 31st” just to make sure you can measure the progress.

Even if you set a goal to close 2 clients every week, it will be clear how well you are doing toward achieving 10 clients at the end of the month.


3. Attainable:

Making attainable goals is crucial because setting yourself up to fail from the beginning can be frustrating.

Do you see yourself achieving your goal? If so, great! If not, it’s better to adjust your expectations than give up altogether.

Rather than saying I want my business to be worth $2 million by 2023—you might say I want my business valuation to reach $1 million by 2023 (and if you end up hitting that $2 million mark unexpectedly in 2022, that’s even better).


4. Relevant:

It needs to be relevant, or appropriate, for where you are now. If your goal is to climb Mount Everest, that may be a little out of reach at present—but it might not be if you’re an experienced climber who has spent months training for it;

5. Time-based: All goals need a deadline to give them urgency—so when will your goal be achieved? You should also specify what happens if you don’t meet that deadline; it could be as simple as reassessing or setting new goals.

Also, read: Fundamentals & Roles of Building A Business Function [2022]


Why Setting SMART Goals Work

When you adopt the SMART principle in setting professional goals for yourself, your chances of success will increase dramatically.

smart goals

Here are 5 reasons setting clear SMART professional goals is so important:

1. Specific Goals are Preceded by Strategies:

Setting an attainable goal with no strategy for achieving it is like navigating at sea without a map or GPS system; there’s no way of knowing where you’re going or how to get there efficiently.

To be successful, a written plan, which outlines clearly what needs to be done in order to achieve your goal is essential.

2. Measurable Goals Allow You To Chart Your Progress:

The reason for setting measurable goals is so that you can chart your progress along the way—so having clear measures of success helps keep you focused on what matters most at each stage of your plan.

3. Attainable Goals Help You Focus On What Is Relevant And Actionable Right Now:

Setting an attainable goal—one that is realistic and obtainable according to your current situation, level of experience, time constraints, etc.—helps keep everything relevant while removing unnecessary details (which only serve as distractions).

4. Time-based Goals Allow You To Take Action More Quickly:

The reason for setting deadlines for your goals is to force you to take action more quickly. If there’s no date set for completion, then it may take years or even decades to get started on anything.

5. Relevant Goals Limit Distractions, Increase Clarity & Confidence:

Having a clear idea of what success looks like helps remove any unproductive distractions and mental blocks which might get in your way—it also gives you confidence that you have a real shot at achieving something worthwhile;


How to set Professional Goals in 2022

This is the 5 easy and simple steps to set professional goals that are achievable in 2022.

1. Write your goal.

2. Make a schedule for achieving it.

3. Set a reward that will motivate you to stay on track with your plan.

4. Team up with professionals or friends who have expertise or experience related to what. you’re trying to do

5. Use goal-tracking apps to help keep yourself accountable.

Tracking apps allow you to see at a glance how far along you are toward your goal, which should serve as both encouragement when progress is being made and motivation for hitting each of those benchmarks.

An app called Smart goals is helpful because it makes setting and achieving SMART goals simple—and fun!

Read: 7 Best Time Management Software To Help You Save Time


13 Tip to make your Professional Goals Easy and Achievable


1. Have a morning routine

professional goals - morinig routine

In the book, The Miracle Morning, Hal Elrod describes waking up early each day and taking part in what he calls a Miracle Morning.

This includes exercise, reading personal development books and listening to audio music or podcast.

If you have a morning routine that you feel passionate about, then it’s likely that your goals will be more attainable.

Writing your goals down will ensure that they’ll stick with you through any challenge or setback.

If it feels like you don’t have enough time during the day to work on your goal, think of the negative habits you have that hold you back

These are the habits that have been holding you back from achieving success so far. Jim Rohn called them attitude diseases.

Bottom line is: as we become increasingly busy with our personal and professional lives, it becomes harder to take time for ourselves—which is why it’s crucial to build rituals into our days that help us grow as individuals and professionals.

Also read: 105 Business Affirmations That Will Help You Succeed


2. Spend at least ten minutes planning your day

We’re all busy, but when it comes to being productive, effectiveness is a lot more important than efficiency.

If it takes an hour to complete a task that could be completed in 30 minutes, but you’re more focused and better able to manage distractions during those 30 minutes, then it was worth it.

To spend your day as effectively as possible, spend 10 minutes at the beginning of each day planning out your schedule for that day.


3. Meditate

Meditation is essential to creating balance in your life.

professional goals - meditation

Take some time each day, even if it’s just 5 minutes, to sit quietly and focus on your breathing.

Not only will you feel calmer (and potentially less stressed), but you’ll also have more clarity about life’s choices.

The better you are at coping with stress, a key component of personal well-being, now—the easier it will be for you to create that beautiful house by the sea later on down the road!


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4. Workout at least once every week

Not only will getting yourself to exercise at least once per week make a huge difference in your health, but it’ll also help keep off extra pounds.

If hitting the gym doesn’t seem like something, you can realistically fit into your schedule, take a walk or ride your bike instead

You can also exercise more frequently as time goes by.

By moving from once a week to at least twice a week, you’ll be able to stay active with minimal effort.

Working out regularly will help manage stress and make it easier to meet other important goals.

And as time goes by, your commitment level is likely to increase as well. It’s all about consistency!

You might also like: 57 Classy and Inspiring Independent Women Quotes To Live By


5. Get up early

A great way to begin your day is by getting up an hour or two early. Not only will it give you time to prepare for your morning, but it’ll also help you mentally reset.

5 am is an ideal time to wake up everyday according to inc

You’ll have time to meditate or pray, read or study, exercise or simply relax with a cup of coffee or tea before heading off to work.

It might be difficult at first but trust me; once that new routine becomes normal, you’ll look forward to starting your day early—and never want to go back.


6. Talk to someone at least once a week

Though it might sound like a lot, setting a goal to check in with someone on a weekly basis is an excellent way to stay connected.

Connecting helps to remind people they’re important, particularly if their relationship isn’t as active as it once was.

All too often we get wrapped up in our own worlds and neglect those we love most because we don’t realize how much they mean to us until it’s too late.

People deserve more than our silence—it only takes a few minutes each week for them to know that they matter.

Also read: 18 Communication Books That Will Improve Your Relationships


7. Avoid Multitasking

You may think that if you do more things at once, you’ll get more done, but it’s not always true.

Truth is multitasking makes it harder to focus on one task (in most cases), which leads to errors and less productivity.

So you want to put down your phone when you work and prioritize your attention on getting things done without distractions.

Stick to one goal at a time until completion; don’t bite off more than you can chew by trying to juggle multiple tasks all at once.

With practice, maintaining your focus should become easier with time—and save your sanity in ways beyond just meeting your deadlines.


8. Read at least 3 book summary every week

Too busy to read? With just 3 books a week, you’ll become one of the most knowledgeable person in what you do.

Read books that will help your goals. It takes less than 15 minutes a day to read a book summary.

Time is money and by investing a small portion of your time each day in reading, you will gain valuable knowledge that will help propel your career forward!

Our team is working hard to provide book summaries to our readers at least twice a week (which we will send through our newsletter).

And all summaries are readable within 10-15 minutes, so we’re sure that no matter how busy you are, there will always be room for reading on your schedule!

Make sure you optin by leaving us your email so you don’t miss out .

You can also download book summary app to your mobile phone.

Here are list of apps from mashable that provides books summaries. Check them out.

Also read: Clickup vs Monday vs Asana: Best Project Management Software in 2022


9. Research at least 2 Competitor every week

Do you set professional goals for your business? Find at least two competitors in your industry every week.

Browse their websites, study their marketing materials, and read up on what they’re saying about themselves online.

Then, start brainstorming ways you can do a better job of reaching customers or providing more value to them.

This is one of those things that won’t take a lot of time—but could have a major impact on your business. This article from HubSpot will guide for doing just that!


10. Learn how to use new tool every month

A good way to make sure that you’re growing professionally is to learn new skills and tools.

Why? First, it’s an excellent way to make sure that your skills don’t atrophy. And second, taking time out of your busy schedule to pick up a new skill is will remind you of the time left for you to learn—and how far along you’ve come.

If you want to get ahead (and stay there), dedicate a specific time and day every month to learning something new.

Chances are, it will pay off more than enough times over!


11. Learn and Practice time management skills

Good time management skills are very essential for any professional.

You won’t be able to stay organized, achieve your desired work-life balance, or meet all your obligations if you don’t have effective time management skills.

Fortunately, developing good time management skills is easier than it seems.

Try following these time management tips for a week or two and see how much more productive—and happy—you are.

Time flies when you’re focused on what really matters.

The trick is learning how to manage it effectively; use these time-management hacks to help ensure that nothing slips through the cracks at work, home, or life in general


12. Post on your social network platform

After brainstorming your list of goals, post them on all your social media accounts and share these posts with friends, family, and anyone else who might provide you with support.

The more people that know about your new career direction (and how they can help) right away, the better!

The last thing you want is to reach 2018 without a single goal having been achieved. Let people know what they need to do to make it happen.


13. Do something for 30 days straight

As productivity guru Tim Ferriss wrote, building a new habit requires 30 days of consecutive repetition.

While many people struggle to start, they have even more trouble sticking with new habits once they’ve formed them.

That’s why Ferriss recommends starting small.

Pick something so small that if you miss a day of practice, it won’t feel like a big deal—and then do it every day for 30 days straight.

Chances are good that by Day 30 your new routine will be automatic, which means it’ll stick around for good.

Think about what habits might help you reach your goal. Maybe;

  • Read 1 book summary every day?
  • Commit to one hour of exercise each week? or
  • Practice focus 10 minutes a day?

Whatever habit you need to create to achieve your goal, do it for consecutive 30 days.


14. Keep a Journal

Setting goals helps you focus your time, energy, and effort.

But before setting any new goals for yourself, make sure you’re monitoring your current progress by reviewing your journal entries from past years.

You should keep a separate journal for business, personal life, and health—besides any other categories that are important to you.

If you haven’t been keeping a journal already (most people aren’t), start now by writing everything that happened each day—and we mean everything:

  • what you did at work;
  • all your workouts progress;
  • how you spend the day;
  • something your learnt;
  • anything else going on around you or with others.

Put them all in your journal.


15. Avoid vague goals

It’s hard to feel motivated about a goal that has no specific parameters.

Without guidelines, you’re left wondering when you’ve achieved success and if you can take time off to relax before starting on your next project.

Vague goals are usually unsuccessful because they don’t inspire action or serve as measurable checkpoints of achievement.

If you want to set professional goals easily, make sure your goals are well-defined so you can tell if they’ve been reached or if there is more work to be done.


Final Thought

.Now that you’ve reached what you would consider a professional level, it’s time to set goals.

This is your chance to let your achievements truly shine.

You’re finally at a point where people will appreciate your efforts and you can focus on long-term projects without feeling worried about impressing others or taking on more than you can handle.

After all, becoming a true pro takes time and patience—and it’s okay if not everyone sees how much effort has gone into perfecting your craft.

Not everyone needs to understand your drive—but you.

Take your time now to plan short-term and long-term goals in relation to both work and personal life.

Finally, which of these 15 ideas speaks to your personality? Do you strongly believe you can achieve any professional goals you set by implementing the tips mentioned above?

Leave your reply in the comment box below.


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