How to set goals and achieve them successfully

Last Updated: March 31, 2021 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Sydney Axelrod. Sydney Axelrod is a certified life coach and the owner of Sydney Axelrod LLC, a life coaching business focused on professional and personal development. Through one-on-one coaching, digital courses, and group workshops, Sydney works with clients to discover their purpose, navigate life transitions, and set and accomplish goals. Sydney has over 1,000 hours of relevant coaching certifications and holds a BBA in Marketing and Finance from Emory University.

There are 38 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Few things are better in this world than setting a goal and achieving it. Just like when athletes experience a type of “runner’s high” after a race, so too does completing any goal produce a sense of elation and pride. This article explores many ways of setting and pursuing goals. Goals won’t just complete themselves. You need to be regimented in your pursuit of them. Get started. Keep going. Achieve your aspirations.

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

Sydney Axelrod
Certified Life Coach Expert Interview. 30 June 2020. Studies show that when your goals are personally meaningful, you’re more likely to get ahead in life and achieve them. [2] X Research source

  • Oftentimes, this is the hardest part of the goal-making and fulfilling process. What do you want? The answer to this is often a mixture of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Buzz phrases like “stay true to yourself” clash with familial and work obligations. Find goals that promote a balance in your life – goals that make you happy and benefit your loved ones and others that depend on you.
  • Consider asking yourself some questions, such as “What do I want to offer my family/community/world?” or “How do I want to grow?” These questions can help you determine the direction to take. [3] X Research source
  • It’s okay if your ideas are fairly broad at this point. You’ll narrow them down next.

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

Sydney Axelrod
Certified Life Coach Expert Interview. 30 June 2020. Research shows that setting a specific goal makes you more likely to achieve it and can even make you feel happier in general. Be as specific and detailed as possible, remembering that you may need to break large goals into smaller sub-goals. [6] X Research source

  • Ask yourself some questions about your goals. What do you need to do to achieve them? Who will need to assist you? When will each stage of your goal need to be accomplished?
  • For example, “Be healthier” is too big and vague to be a helpful goal. “Eat better and exercise more” is better, but it’s still not detailed or specific.
  • “Eat 3 servings of fruit and vegetables a day and exercise 3 times a week” is specific and concrete, making it much easier to achieve.
  • You also need to build the scaffolding for how you will achieve these goals. For example, to achieve your fruit and veg goals, will you bring healthy snacks along to work? Choose a fruit cup instead of fries the next time you eat out? For exercising, will you work out at the gym or go for walks in your neighborhood? Think about the individual actions you need to take to “add up” to your overall goal.
  • If you have multiple stages for your goals, when does each need to be accomplished? For example, if you’re training for a marathon, you need to have an idea of how long each stage of training will take you.

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

Sydney Axelrod
Certified Life Coach Expert Interview. 30 June 2020.

  • For example, if your ultimate goal is to buy a big house in the country, you will need multiple sub-goals to accomplish this. You’ll need to save up money, build your credit, even possibly increase your income. Write out each of these sub-goals, along with the steps to take for each.

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

At the beginning of every year, many of us create New Year’s resolutions. We think about what we did or didn’t accomplish last year. And create new hopes and dreams for the coming year. Unfortunately, not everyone knows the difference between a resolution and a goal. And few people understand how to set goals and achieve them successfully.

What Is a Goal (And What Isn’t)?

Tip 1: Don’t Beat Yourself up If You “Fall off the Wagon” a Few Times — Habit changes are hard. It’s difficult to reach new goals. You’re asking yourself to stretch, to grow, to try new things. Of course, there will be times when you take a step back. Afternoons when you just want your favorite Starbucks coffee and nothing else will do. But if you are kind to yourself and realize that no one is perfect, you are more likely to keep moving forward and ultimately get where you want to go. Then celebrate when you do!

Tip2: How to Set Goals: Dream Big but Start Small — One of the best ways to set a goal is to pick a small, tangible milestone. If your dream is to save money for a home in the long term, then your first goal could be to save $1,000 in the next three months. If your dream is to feel healthier, decide what that means for you. Maybe it means eating 2 servings of vegetables every day for the next month. Or going on a walk 5 times per week. Dream big, but start with a goal of reaching one, realistic step that will take you closer. Setting an actual goal should be small and tangible. Once you hit the first one, you can set another goal that brings you further down the path to your dream.

Tip3: Is this a priority in my life right now? — It’s crazy how many people set arbitrary New Year’s resolutions just because their friends and family are doing it. Take traveling for example. On social media, you’ll see people posting photos of themselves in exotic locations, having these seemingly awesome experiences. People see these photos of their friends having a great time and say to themselves, “Man, I really should travel more!” So they make it their New Year’s resolution to do so. As the months go on, they keep moving the day to travel down the road. They never really decide on a destination. And dang, wouldn’t you know it, they’re just so swamped with work right now, there’s no way they’ll be able to get away … and they never end up traveling!

In reality, they never really wanted to travel in the first place. And guess what? That’s totally fine. If traveling isn’t really important to you, you shouldn’t do it. Here at IWT, we believe in going all in on the parts of life that really matter to you — while mercilessly cutting out everything else.

*Don’t really care about traveling? Don’t do it.

*Getting a six pack isn’t important to you? Don’t bother with that gym membership then.

*Is learning a new language a priority for you now? If not, don’t set aside time to learn.

Focus on the things that truly matter to you — and forget the rest.

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

Tip5: When will I be finished with the goal? — Attaching a time frame for your goal will allow it to be both measurable and time-oriented. This will give you even more motivation to achieve your goals. So ask yourself: What’s the deadline for your goal? Will you know in a few days, weeks, or months if you’re on the right track?

Here are some examples:

1. I want to earn an extra $1,000 a month from my side hustle within 5 months.”

2. I want to travel to France by July.” “I want to run a 5K in three months.”

3. A time-oriented goal will help you stay focused and motivated to achieve your goal.

Build habits for life

To accomplish any goal, you need to establish good habits. To help you crush any goal you set out for yourself, we want to offer you something we’ve worked on to get you there: The Ultimate Guide to Habits: Peak Performance Made Easy In it, you’ll learn the actionable steps to crush any goal through smart habits, including:

How to set goals — the RIGHT away.

How to create and implement winning keystone habit.

How to make any habit last forever

Use these tools to set good goals for yourself. Get clear on what you really want, and why, and how you’re going go get it. Instill a sense of purpose in your life, then work hard to achieve it. You might be surprised by what you can do.

If you are like me, someone obsessed by the productivity and planning? Then, this post is for you.

It’s evident that everyone has life goals and projects, whether they are planned for short or long term. I’m sure you all have projects for next week, month or even years!

Do you want to travel the world? Do you want to be financially independent? Or go to live in Thailand? YOU can do it! Whatever it is, everything is achievable!

If you are wondering how you can set and reach your goals, here are my 7 golden rules to follow.

Disclaimer : This post may include affiliate links!

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

1. Define and set your SMART goals

If you want to really achieve your goals, you firstly need to set them correctly. This is the key!

Whether you have multiple small dreams or ONE big, start by writing them down on a paper, this will help you to well define them and will like wring your brain and get a clear idea of what you really want to achieve. I usually write all my ideas on my journal before the beginning of a new year or month, this is super important for me!

If you are more digital than me, you can use your phone or write on your computer/tablet, just keep them visible to remember them every day 😉

Now, you have to articulate your ideas into achievable SMART goals,

But what’s a S.M.A.R.T goal?


If you want to reach a specific results, then your goal must be specific, well defined, and much clear as possible. If you want to live from you blog, your goals might be like :

  • Quit my 9-5 job by 31 December
  • Generate a full time revenue from my blog before June

Measurable :

This one is very important because you always need to check if you are progressing or not, if you are close or not to your target.

Ask yourself how can you measure the achievement: How much? How many?

  • Post every Monday morning on my blog
  • Reach 1 000 followers on instagram by the end of June

Achievable :

Don’t set big goals that are not achievable in the laps of time and with the resources you have (or will have). This will demotivate you and you risk to easily give up.

At the same time, your goal must be ambitious to stimulate your desire and motivate you to go after them.

  • if you create you instagram page this month, you can’t expect to get 100 000 followers by the end the 1st week!! This is just not achievable and not smart!

To be achievable, your goals must depend only on YOU, your capacity and resources, not on other people.

Relevant :

For sure your goal must be relevant to your dream and aligned with what you want to win and what really matters to you.

Time based :

To be smart, your goal must have a time target. Decide on a deadline to focus on by answering the question: When ? How long will it take me to reach this goal?

In our previous example, we expect to reach 1 000 followers on Instagram by the end of June, so I have a deadline to achieve this target and then I can work and adapt my plan accordingly.

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

2. Break down your goals into mini goals

As your goals are now Smart, it should be easier to break them down and create small goals.

Achieving mini goals and celebrate them 😉 will be easier than focusing only on one big goal that seems hard and long to reach, it’s terrifying and this feeling can demotivate you.

If your goal is to earn 1 000 $ online this month, then you can break it down like this :

  • Make 250 $ every week
  • Make 500 $ from my blog, 250$ from Twitter and 250$ from Pinterest
  • Make 100$ from Ads, 400$ from my Ebook, 200$ from sponsorship and 300$ from my online course.

You can then divide your mini goals into smaller ones if this’s easier for you, just make them smart again (achievable and ambitious).

To be honest, that what I personally do! I prefer reach small goals every day, then by the end of the week/month my big goal will be achieved without big worries 😉

3. Create your action plan for each mini goal :

“A goal without plan is just a dream!”

Next step after breaking down your goals is to plan your actions to actually achieve them.

Answer the question: How can I reach my target? What actions can help me to get closer to my goal everyday?

Habits are powerful, create habits and stick to them, figure out when you are most productive in your day and then plan the actions that need concentration and energy. What do you like to do first in the morning when you start your work? And what do you prefer to do in the afternoon?

I personally plan all my important stuff in the morning, as writing my blog posts, this task is key for my blog success so I do it first when my brain is fresh (It takes me more time than the average as I need to check my English grammar and vocabulary every time, here’s why). Otherwise, I plan the fun and creative tasks for the afternoon or evening, like creating graphics for Pinterest, promoting on Twitter and Facebook or planning my future content.

Schedule your action plan in your agenda and take note of all the deadlines you have to meet. I plan my actions on a weekly bases, then I create my daily to do list – Yes! I’m obsessed with organisation and planning 😉

Learn How to Set Goals for Achievement Instead of Disappointment

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

According to a study by Statistic Brain, 92% of New Year’s goals end in failure – in fact, 25% of goal setters gave up during the first week. If you are having trouble achieving your business or personal goals it’s probably time to change your approach to how to set goals. Successful goal setting starts with identifying specific goals and planning how you intend to achieve them in a realistic way. Here are ten goal setting tips to help you succeed:

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them – 10 Goal Setting Tips

1) Choose goals that are worthwhile.

You would think it would go without saying but lots of people set meaningless goals – and then wonder why they don’t feel any sense of achievement. Remember that the purpose of goal setting is to move us forward and spur positive change. If a goal doesn’t have this motivating, transformational quality, don’t bother with it. You’ll just be disappointed.

Deciding to start a business is a worthy, life-changing goal – it can spur you on to investigate business ideas, put together a business plan, obtain debt or equity financing, hire employees, and market your products or services. Going back to school for a degree or to learn a trade is a worthy goal.

2) Choose goals that are achievable stretches.

The fact that goals have to be achievable is standard advice on the topic of how to set goals. Pretty well everyone knows that there’s no point in setting a goal that you will never be able to accomplish. All you’ll do is get frustrated and abandon it. Less well known is the fact that goals need to stretch you in some fashion. If a goal isn’t engaging, you’ll get bored and abandon it. (See Your Goal Setting Guide for more on this.)

3) Make your goals specific.

Goals that are vague or non-specific are a recipe for failure. To decide that you’re going to lose twenty pounds or get our of debt, for instance, is nice, but provides you with no guidance for doing that.

Think how much easier it would be to accomplish if you knew exactly what you were going to do to lose the weight. So when you’re goal setting, use a goal setting formula that gives your goal a built-in action plan. You’ll start accomplishing more than you thought possible. If you’re running a business and wish to increase your sales by 20% this year, for instance, you will need to come up with a plan; perhaps you need to increase sales productivity, or create a social media marketing campaign on Facebook.

4) Commit to your goals.

You need to dedicate yourself to accomplish the goal you have chosen. That’s why writing your goals down is a common goal setting tip; it’s the first step to committing to achieving your goals. Develop an action plan that clearly outlines your goals and how you intend to achieve them. Motivate yourself with a rags-to-riches story or famous quote.

Also realize that accomplishing a goal is not an overnight process and that you are going to have to work regularly at transforming your goal into an accomplishment. And you have to set aside the time you will need to work on your goal.

5) Make your goal public.

Making your goal public is a technique that is really effective for many people. Think of organizations such as TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) and their weekly weigh ins. Knowing that others are going to be monitoring your results ensures commitment to the goal and is extremely motivating. You don’t have to join an organization or broadcast your goal on a Facebook page to make your goal public; having a goal buddy, a single person interested in your efforts, can be just as effective.

6) Prioritize your goals.

Goals don’t have to be huge projects that take months or even years to attain, but because they require commitment and need to be worked on regularly, every single goal that you set will be demanding. So don’t sabotage yourself by taking on a bunch of goals at a time. Assuming that you are following all the other goal setting tips presented here and know how to set goals that are worthwhile, I would recommend working on no more than three at a time, and even then you should choose one goal as your top priority.

7) Make your goals real to you.

Goal setting is basically a way to approach the process of accomplishment. It’s a very successful way, if done right, but like all such processes, it’s a bit abstract. Using techniques such as visualization to focus on what actually accomplishing your goal will be like and what it will do for you can be very powerful – and a great help in staying motivated. Choosing and posting pictures that represent successfully accomplishing your goal is another way of doing this.

8) Set deadlines to accomplish your goals.

A goal without a deadline is a goal that you have not fully committed to and a goal you will not achieve. For one thing, if working on achieving a goal is something you can do whenever, you won’t. For another, having a deadline will shape your plan of action.

To return to the debt example, it makes a great difference whether your goal is to be out of debt in two years or in five. Obviously you will have to reduce your spending or increase your income much more drastically to get out of debt sooner.

9) Evaluate your goals.

Remember that goal setting is a process – and evaluation is an important part of that process. Don’t just settle for a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ assessment; think about what you did, how you did it and what you got out of it. Whether you successfully accomplished your goal or not, there’s always something to be learned; what works or doesn’t work for you, whether achieving your goal lived up to your expectations, why you failed. Extracting these lessons will increase your accomplishments even more as you apply them to your future goal setting experience.

10) Reward yourself for accomplishment.

Internal satisfaction is a great thing, but external rewards can be immensely satisfying, too. When you accomplish a goal, you’ve devoted time and effort to your success, so take the time to celebrate your success, too. One caveat; don’t undermine your efforts by choosing an inappropriate reward. Eating a huge slab of cheesecake is not an appropriate reward for losing twenty pounds; for example, a new outfit would be a more suitable choice.

How to Set Goals and Achieve Them: Set the Stage for Your Goal Setting Success

So don’t defeat your efforts before you even start to work on accomplishing your desired goals. Set yourself up for success rather than failure by applying these ten goal setting tips and start achieving what you want to achieve.

Already have your New Year’s resolutions? For those who do and for those who don’t, this article will hopefully give you an insight into the key ingredient to experiencing a truly magical year of success and growth.

How to achieve your goals and your New Year’s resolutions

What’s the easiest and surest way to achieve all of your New Year’s resolutions? It’s to think, act and feel NOW as if you had already achieved them. That’s the simple part though. The bit that requires more effort, yet its importance is largely ignored by many of is, is working out the resolutions themselves.

To correctly identify our true desires, we need to be asking ourselves the right questions. For instance, here is an unproductive question: How much do I need to have in savings by the end of the year to be able to afford a down payment on a house? Firstly, you may not need to be saving in order to acquire a house. Or you may not even need the house itself. What if you meet someone that already has one? Or at the end of last year you move to a different country that has more to offer for your career or your state of mind (or your financial state for that matter)? Or the market shifts so that it makes sense financially to rent a place for the rest of your life? Then you will have spent a whole year focusing your energy in the wrong place, i.e. trying to control your environment which, by definition, is impossible.

A much better question to ask is “How would I like to feel?” Happy? Fulfilled? Peaceful? Loved? Vital? Once you have your answer, you have your New Year’s resolution. To achieve it, all you need to do is go to a quiet place, shut your eyes and start feeling the way you want to feel. You only need 10 minutes daily, early morning or late evening (or both, if you are very committed). Feel whatever you want to be feeling, disregarding the present feedback from TIME, ENVIRONMENT and BODY. Be grateful for feeling happy, fulfilled or peaceful right now, as if it were true. In no time will it become true. It’s the quantum law: energy follows thought and manifestation in the physical world is the result.

Ultimately, what I am suggesting here is that this year you try going through a reverse process to what you may have done in the past. Normally we do things and we buy stuff and we act in one way or another for one and only reason – to feel a certain way. But that never works! If, however, you discover the secret of being in control of generating the feeling you desire (through giving thanks for experiencing it right now as if it were true), your priorities for things to do and buy will change drastically. Moreover, you will magically find yourself in a space where your actions match your feelings (of happiness, love, etc.) and you will start attracting to yourself more and more of your desired experiences. Your decision making process will reorient itself to help you create a different environment. This new, healthier environment will be a result of you changing your feelings (which is the only thing you can control) rather than trying to change the environment itself (which will always be a futile act).

Now, let’s get started. Do you already know how you would like to feel? Not sure? If you are feeling tired and sluggish now, perhaps you would like to feel more vital and active instead? If you are constantly grumpy and angry, perhaps you would like to feel joyful and forgiving? If you are a drama queen, maybe you would like to be peaceful? Spending most of your time in fear? How about feeling abundance? One thing is sure: if your predominant state of being during the past year was fatigue, anger, anxiety or fear/lack, then your New Year’s resolutions are likely to be driven by that state. Let’s resolve to replace that state with a more wholesome one. That’s the only resolution you need to make and to be working on. Dedicate 10 minutes of your time daily feeling that new wholesome state of mind and being grateful for experiencing it right now. Everything else will be taken care of in a truly magical way.

If this information intrigued you, inspired you, and left you wanting to know more about the quantum law of manifestation and its practical applications, I recommend you read “Braking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Dr Joe Dispenza.

And for the most committed ones, you may be interested in doing a seminar called MindScape, which will teach you how to use the potential of your mind to create a happier and more fulfilled version of yourself. Once you master the skill of self-generating a desired feeling, your environment will automatically align itself to match that feeling.

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

Maryam Talks
Dec 14 2020 – 1 min read

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

How to set goals and achieve them successfully
Do you know how to set goals? How often do you achieve the large objectives that are really important to you? If you’re having trouble following through with your goal planning, you may be tempted to just stop trying.People say things like,”Maybe this is just it,” or “I should settle for what have”


Goal setting can look very different depending on an individual’s lifestyle, values and definition of success. Your goals are unique to you and don’t need to look like anyone else’. When you learn how to set goals in one area of your life, it become easier to set them in other areas.Setting progressive goals that allow small wins helps you move on to larger achievements. These small goals lead to progress, which is the only thing you really need to feel fulfilled and happy.


Goal setting is vital because it helps you decide and focus on what’s really important to you. Effective goal setting also lets you measure progress, overcome procrastination and visualize your dreams. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, you can’t create a plan to get there. Setting goals is the vehicle that will drive you to vehicle that will drive you to your desired destination.

Goal setting also keeps you accountable. Whether you’re learning how to set goals at work or in your personal life, telling others about your goals makes you more likely to establish the patterns that will accomplish them.

1 .Perform a brainstorming session
2. Refine your goals
3. Review your list
4. Evaluate your goals

Learning how to set goals is worthless if you don’t learn how to achieve goals, set yourself up for a success by following these steps
1. Visualize accomplishing your goals
2. Share your goals.
3. Keep your goals visible .
4. Regularly review your goals.
Why is goal setting important? Imagine yourself older and looking back. What’s the pain from not achieving and what is the pleasure from having achieved your goals?
Effective goal setting helps you stay focused,keep you accountable and is the single most important aspect of reaching your dreams.

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

There must be times when you’re loaded with a lot of work. But when it comes to accomplishing them, you don’t know where to get started.

This happens because you’re overwhelmed with the amount of work that’s lined up for you. So even the thought of getting started makes you feel saturated and overloaded.

Situations like these are common. But irrespective of how overwhelmed you are, you will have to get your work done someday or the other. That’s when setting goals becomes important.

However, to ensure that you achieve those goals in a timely manner, it’s equally important for you to ensure that your goals are realistic. This will help you get better results and lead you on a path to success.

But how do you achieve your goals? Here are 4 powerful ways to accomplish your goals efficiently for better results.

1. Keep them Specific

The first step to setting realistic goals is to keep them specific. Setting specific goals gives you a sense of direction and helps you focus on following them more efficiently.

For example, if you think you want to be a better employee or a better individual, you don’t know what exactly makes a better employee or an individual. Such goals are vague and unrealistic and are difficult to achieve.

But setting specific goals like completing a specific project or reconnecting with people you have lost touch with, etc., makes it easier to accomplish exactly what you want. That’s because setting such goals helps you define how you want to achieve them. So you know what exactly needs to be done for that.

This makes it a lot easier to follow the defined path and achieve the success you want.

2. Set a Time Frame

The next step to setting realistic goals is to have a definite time-frame within which you want to reach your goal. Having a time-frame and setting deadlines is important because it creates a sense of urgency for you to complete it.

When you don’t have a deadline, this sense of urgency is missing, and you don’t feel the need to accomplish it. That’s because open-ended goals are not time-bounded. So you think you have a lot of time to get things done. But in doing so, you only end up procrastinating. As a result, these goals never get accomplished.

3. Have a Plan of Action

Setting realistic goals and accomplishing them needs a proper plan of action. Without that, it can be difficult to motivate yourself to stick to these goals. As a result, you’ll end up leaving them incomplete or struggling to complete them efficiently.

A good way of laying down a plan of action is to write down how you plan to achieve your goal. You can start doing that by writing down the bigger steps first and then breaking down each of these steps into smaller ones.

This will motivate you to keep working harder so that you can complete them one after the other. Besides, it’s easier to complete these smaller steps without feeling overwhelmed or overloaded.

Also, finishing these smaller goals will give you a sense of accomplishment and encourage you to start the next step sooner.

4. Track and Evaluate Results

Simply working towards accomplishing your goals isn’t going to help you accomplish them. You also need to track your progress and evaluate the results. This will help you identify if you’re going in the right direction. It is also a good way to know if your course of action needs a change.

So these are some of the ways how you can achieve your goals easily. Just make sure that you strictly stick to your goals unless you accomplish them. If you’re determined to achieve them, nothing can stop you from being attaining the success that you deserve.

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

Whether you’re looking for an entry-level position or interviewing for a senior role, a question about achieving your goals is bound to arise.

The interviewer will want to learn about your goals and plans for the future to determine how they fit with the job for which you’re applying. The most common phrasing of this question is, “How do you plan to achieve your career goals?”

What the Interviewer Really Wants to Know

The interviewer may also want to know how your goals relate to working at the company if you were to be hired. Do your goals mesh with a career path at the company, or will they take you to a different occupation or industry?

With these types of queries, interviewers are trying to get a sense of both your ambitions and your ability to form and implement a strategic plan.

This question also reveals your long-term thinking and planning skills.

How to Answer “How Do You Plan To Achieve Your Career Goals?”

First, make sure you can name career goals beyond “getting hired.” You want to show that you are a long-term thinker, with ambition for your future. Do be sure that your goals jive with what you have learned about the role and the company. It’s important to show the interviewer that there’s a match between what you’re looking for and what the employer is seeking in an ideal candidate.

What separates a good answer from an exceptional one is a description of the active strategy and steps you’re taking to achieve those goals, which also speaks to your motivation and call to action.

A handy approach to answering this question is to use the STAR approach. With this technique, you’ll talk about a Situation (S) or Task (T), the Action you took (A), and the Results achieved (R). This will help shape your answer while composing one that’s uniquely yours. The technique also helps to keep your answer focused, so you don’t stray off-topic or speak for too long.

Examples of the Best Answers

Review these sample responses, but be sure to tailor your response to your unique professional background, accomplishments, and future plans.

I plan on gaining additional skills by taking related classes and continuing my involvement with a variety of professional associations. I noticed that your company provides in-house training for employees, and I would certainly be interested in taking relevant classes.

Why It Works: This answer provides a list of the steps the candidate will take to achieve his or her goal. Plus, the candidate made a connection to a perk offered by the hiring company.

I will continue my professional development by participating in conferences, attending seminars, and continuing my education.

Why It Works: This response shows that the candidate is eager to continue learning and growing, even after landing the job.

Over the next five years, I want to gain a deeper understanding of the stock market and build a list of clients, and within the next decade, I want to start my own investment firm. However, first I want to gain experience as an account manager with a large company like yours.

Why It Works: This candidate has big goals that will eventually take them to a new job. While displaying ambition, this candidate makes it clear that they want to stay at one company for an extended period of time.

I have a plan in place for getting my certification in the next two years. I have already completed the first exam and will be scheduling the second in six months. My completed certification will put me on the path to the larger goal of becoming a senior investment analyst, which will allow me to take on higher-level market analyses.

Why It Works: Here, the candidate is able to show the steps already taken toward the goal.

After graduating in the top 15% of my class, my summer internship in marketing gave me solid experience from which to look for my first full-time position. I look forward to working as a marketing assistant to develop my skills in the industry and advance internally from my role over the next several years.

Why It Works: Showing off an in-progress plan is always beneficial. Mentioning a desire to “advance internally” makes it clear that the candidate is not looking to hop from job to job.

Tips for Giving the Best Answer

Clearly communicate your path. Detail accomplishments to date, as well as mentioning steps you plan to take in the future. If there are tangible achievements or goals on the horizon (e.g., earning a certification), be sure to mention them.

Show how the goal aligns with the job at hand. Explaining how your goals mesh with those of the company, will help show the interviewer that this position is key to your plan for success.

Mention personal qualities and skills. Describe your personal qualities that will enable you to achieve your goals. This is a perfect opportunity to share information on how you’re qualified for the job.

What Not to Say

Don’t focus on finances. Your response should not be centered on your salary (or raises, bonuses, and commissions). Don’t make this a discussion about money. Instead, focus on your professional goals.

Don’t focus on job titles: As well, avoid framing your response around job titles and promotions. These are not things to discuss before you have even been offered a job.

Avoid vagueness. Go ahead, name specific goals and share your plan. That’s the kind of long-term thinking that interviews want to hear. Vague answers may make it seem like you do not have long-term ambitions.

Don’t discuss goals that can’t be achieved at the company. Yes, you want to be specific and avoid vague responses, but stay away ,rom goals that may not be achievable at the company. You wouldn’t, for instance, want to lay out your strategy for being promoted to a management-level position while interviewing at a company that doesn’t have that role available.

Possible Follow-Up Questions

You may hear other general questions about your career goals either before or after this question, such as:

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

Jaini Nandu

Do you set goals but do not follow them consistently? Does more than half of your new year resolutions fail? Don’t know what goals to set? Are you confused whether to set long-term or short-term goals? It doesn’t have to be like this anymore.

Goal setting is a process of selecting a target or a task that you want to achieve. Goals are unique to everyone that helps you to chisel your way to a life that you aspire.

Every person’s life depends on the process of choosing goals to pursue; if you remain passive you are not going to thrive as a human being.

Should you set long-term goals, short-term goals or daily goals?

The answer is all!

Does that mean you set zillions of goals?

Your long-term goals is an illustration of what you want in life or by a significant and distant age or years in future. Short-term or daily goals are the categorization or smaller milestones that will help you achieve your long-term goal.

You start the process of goal setting with identifying your long-term goals and breaking It down to targets that you will achieve in say next five years, then one year. You set tasks that you can do every day, every week, every month to accomplish your long-term goal. For instance, if your long-term goal is to ‘get six-pack abs in 5 years’ then your daily goal will be to exercise, go to gym or eat healthy and short-term goals will be to ‘get two-pack abs in an year and four-pack abs in 2 years’

Setting a long-term goal helps you in making decisions. For instance, your long-term goal of becoming a financial research analyst can guide your decision to choose a course as a student or pick the right job as an employee.

Set Process Goals

How to set goals and achieve them successfully

Always include the action that you are going to undertake in your goal i.e. the action you are going to perform to achieve the goal.

Follow the SMART framework to set goals

SMART framework helps in setting effective goals that are easier to achieve and give you a sense of direction.

Let’s take a goal for illustration- ‘I want to start exercising to lose weight’.

‘Do your best’ are not the most effective kind of goals. Specific & clear goals are more compelling than vague goals. So, instead of saying ‘I want to exercise to lose weight’ specify how many kilos you want to reduce and what exercise you will do at what time, ‘I will run every day in the morning at 7:00 A.M for 30 minutes to lose 10 kilos’.

Ask yourself a question – ‘What do I want to accomplish?’ to draft a specific goal.

Your goals should be measurable and should offer a benchmark to strive for. Measurable goals can be tracked and your progress can be assessed. Measuring your progress helps you to maintain your motivation & focus for long-term. It also keeps the excitement alive when you measure your progress.

Goals that are too challenging or too easy are not as effective as goals that are moderately difficult. This does not mean you do not stretch yourself to achieve your goal but taking big steps too fast may leave you disappointed or frustrated easily. Working with the same ‘losing weight’ example, if you set a goal of losing 10 kilos in a month, it would be unrealistic and you may end up falling sick if you try to achieve that goal. Similarly, running everyday may be too ambitious if you do not exercise at all.

Take ownership of your goals for its success. Goals that are set by someone else will not fully motivate you to work harder for it. Set your own goals and ensure that your goal is relevant and matters to you. Ask yourself questions like:

Does this seem worthwhile?

Is this the right time?

Does this goal really matter to me?

Attach a timeline to your goal. Make sure your timeline to achieve your goals is realistic. Give yourself enough time to achieve your goal. For instance, I will run thrice a week in the morning at 7:00 A.M for the next 6 months to lose 10 kilos.

How to set goals and achieve them successfullyDespite spending hours on setting goal many of us fail to achieve them. This is not because you lack skills or abilities but it is because of the nature of our goals. It is essential to understand the nature of our goals and set SMART process goals to achieve SMART results.

Stay tuned for my next article to know about various tricks and techniques that you can employ in your daily routine to swiftly and smoothly achieve your daily goals.