It’s not unusual for people to set goals at the turn of the year – then ditch them before spring. As a matter of fact, 25% of people don’t make it past the first week.

By the time summer comes around, more than half of the people that made resolutions have jacked them in. By the end of the year, only 9% of Americans ever reach their goal.

D’oh! That’s not even double figures.

America, this is not good enough and it’s high time we did something about it!

We’re going to give you some strategies that will help you make your professional goal-setting more successful. Actually, these strategies are pretty robust so you can use them for setting all types of goals.

Write Down A Goal Path

Writing down your goals helps you to see your ultimate vision by organizing the steps in between. Moreover, studies show that when people write down their goals, they are more likely to achieve them.

And don’t just simply write down your ultimate goal. You need to establish a path so that you can learn relevant skills along the way.

List your job options and write about why you want or need to learn that particular job. This will keep you focused.

It’s also important to consider how you will spend your days. For example, one job opportunity may be closer to your home and reduce the commute time. You may need to utilize this time to educate yourself or develop other skills that enable you to reach your goals.

Understanding why a particular goal or step is important will enable you to make better career decisions at the right moments.

Aim big but take small steps

The majority of people that fail to reach their goals claim their target is too unrealistic. We can’t all fly to the moon, of course, but if you take the right path you can reach virtually any goal you set yourself.

Whilst your career aspirations should be realistic, there is no list to your goal-setting if you are prepared to stick with the plan. Hey, you could even be an astronaut. It’s an actual career.

No matter how ambitious your professional dreams are, you need to stay motivated. Motivation is the key to success. To stay motivated, set yourself challenging but achievable targets.

Reaching targets keeps you motivated and on the right track. You do that by being SMART.

Set SMART Goals

SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

In terms of hitting these targets in your career, you need to know which path you’re on. That makes it easier to tick off your goals one by one.

If you know your ultimate goal, it’s also easier for you to determine your path – which makes it easy to establish the first four markers of the SMART acronym.

You will need to be flexible with the time-bound category, however, as these may rely on opportunities. Some goals you will reach before your target, whereas others may require patience.

That said, time is a critically important measure. If you don’t see the castle from your current viewpoint, you may need to change your environment to get a little further up the hill.

Remember that career goal setting may need the odd tweak here and there. You may even find that life throws you a curveball and you completely change careers.

No matter what your career aspirations are at any given time, setting goals will increase your chances of success.