You’re ready to achieve big things in your career this year, but first, you need to set goals to guide the way. While this sounds like a relatively easy task, doing it right is actually a bit more complex than you might imagine.

Since goals are made to help you learn and grow, it’s important to challenge yourself appropriately and in the right direction. Here’s some advice to help you create objectives that will move your career forward.

Four Goal-Setting Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make


Focusing on Too Many

As a motivated person, you want to accomplish a lot this year. This is great, but there’s such a thing as spreading yourself too thin. If you take on too many goals, you’ll likely make a bit of leeway with each, without actually completing any. It’s much better to concentrate on mastering a few that can really propel your career, instead of doing a little of this and that.

Aiming High Without Purpose

Challenging yourself to do big things is great, but if the goal you’re chasing is largely irrelevant, it’s actually a waste of time. For example, setting a goal of learning to type 90 words per minute is impressive, but if fast typing won’t give you an edge in your field, you’re not actually moving forward.

Make sure the goals you set align with your career trajectory, because you don’t want to waste time on objectives that won’t give you an edge in your field.

Setting the Bar Too High

Pushing yourself to exceed expectations can be good — to an extent. However, you’re only human and there are limits to what you can reasonably expect to do in a certain time period. Making goals too ambitious sets you up to fail, which will cause you to feel bad and can hinder your future success.

Having a Lack of Structure

Vague goals might seem clear in the moment, but allowing too much leeway can cause you to get off track. Making your goals SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound — creates no room for interpretation, so you know exactly what you need to do. This will keep you focused, increasing your changes of accomplishing — or even exceeding — your targets.


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