How to Achieve Goals in 8 Steps (With Common Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 4 September 2022 | Published 22 November 2021

Updated 4 September 2022

Published 22 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Setting goals plays an important role in attaining success. At work, setting clear goals can help you and your team achieve more in a period and ensure that the department is on the right track to boosting overall efficiency and achieving the company's vision and mission. Knowing how to set your goals and then taking actionable steps to achieve them is an essential part of being productive and making progress. In this article, we explore how to set and achieve your goals and list the potential benefits of setting goals.

Related: How to Set Personal Development Goals (Plus Benefits and Tips)

What is goal-setting?

Goal setting is the process of determining specific, achievable, realistic, measurable and time-oriented objectives. It's helpful in both your personal and professional life. Goal setting is also essential to the organisation's long- and short-term strategic plans. It enables you to decide which tasks you want to accomplish and which tasks are less important to your overall goals. It helps to organise your priorities and narrow down your focus so that you can decide on the day-to-day tasks you'd like to spend your time and energy on.

Being specific and prioritising tasks that help you achieve your objectives keeps you on the right track and allows you to make progress towards those long-term goals. Once you have simplified your objectives into smaller and more achievable day-to-day tasks, you may see an improvement in self-confidence. This can also increase your motivation to stay on course and focus on your goals.

Related: The Primary Difference Between Goal vs. Objective

How to achieve goals

Knowing how to achieve goals is important to succeeding in your career. Here are some tips that can help you outline and set your goals so you can take actionable steps to reach them:

1. Set specific goals

In setting your goals, it's always good to be as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying something vague like '**to be an accomplished writer,' you can choose a more specific goal like 'to write a book on work-life balance for young professionals by the end of the year.' Being specific in your goals can eventually help you to have more clarity on what steps to take to achieve the goal. Setting a specific goal also helps you to visualise what achieving that goal would mean for you. It's important to visualise so that you can stay motivated to follow through on your goals.

2. Set measurable goals

Aside from setting goals that are specific, it's also important to set goals that are measurable. This helps in deciding whether or not you have achieved your goal as it makes it easier and clearer to track your progress and completion in objective terms. For example, it's easier to track a monetary goal if you're trying to make a specific amount of money. You may also be able to divide that amount into smaller portions so that you can know how much to make each day to achieve the goal.

In tracking your goals with measurable terms, like in dollars, you can tell if you're close to accomplishing your goal by reviewing the set time frame. Tracking your goals may help to determine which area to focus on to achieve the goal. Doing this can also help to gauge how much more time you may set aside to achieve the goal.

3. Set goals with a deadline

After you've decided on a specific and measurable goal, it's important to set a deadline for the goal. Setting deadlines for your goals is instrumental to the overall goal-setting process as it helps you to track how much time you have left for a specific goal. You can also decide to adjust your efforts on a daily basis to achieve the goal.

In setting a deadline, it also helps to choose a specific date. When setting a deadline for the goal, be sure to set a deadline that's realistic and attainable. Setting a realistic and attainable deadline ensures that you're setting yourself up for success.

4. Write your goals down

The process of writing down your goals can help you achieve them. Writing down your goals enables you to clarify exactly what these goals are. Having them written down on a piece of paper also ensures that they're set and serves as a reminder to you to keep working on your tasks daily to achieve them.

Having your goals written down also helps with accountability. It's a good practice to share your goals with someone after you have written them down. This person can then act as your witness that these are the goals that you have set out to achieve, and they can help to hold you accountable and provide moral support and encouragement. This is important especially since goals usually take time, effort and consistency to achieve.

Related: Career Goals: How to Set, Examples and Tips for Achieving

5. Divide your goals into action steps

Goals can seem like a lot of work especially when you're looking at them as one large objective. One helpful tip is to break down your goals into smaller, more actionable steps. Doing so can help to make the goal seem more achievable. It can also help to ensure that you're clear about the objectives to attain.

6. Create an action plan

Once you've decided on your goals, it's important to create an action plan to achieve these goals. This action plan serves as a road map and acts as a way of maximising the chances of you achieving your goals. With a road map, it becomes easier to see the end goal and make priorities. When creating an action plan, it's important to determine the objectives to meet to achieve the long term goal. You can decide the steps to take for each objective, then formulate a timeline and a due date for each step.

Once you've decided on clear objectives with specific timelines, you can start to write these down onto a daily, weekly and monthly planner. Organising your goals into smaller, actionable steps within a planner ensures that you know exactly what to do on a particular day. When you're able to do this, it helps you to focus on specific tasks. By doing this, you can increase your overall productivity and increase the chances of successfully achieving your goals.

7. Take action on your goals

Learning how to set goals is the first step to achievement them. To achieve your goals, it's important to act on them daily. Review your action plan or planner each day and complete the tasks you've set. To stay motivated, consider setting reminders for yourself or other incentives. For example, you might reward yourself with a break after completing a daily task.

8. Monitor your progress and adjust your approach

Things can change while you're trying to reach certain goals. You may constantly evaluate and adjust your approach to ensure that you're on the right track. Keep in mind that it's important to remain adaptable and to adjust your plan accordingly whenever there are changes.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition, Template and Examples

Benefits of goal-setting

Here are a few of the many benefits of setting goals:

  • Provides direction: Setting long term goals can give you direction, purpose and an overall vision in life.

  • Helps with organisation and time allocation: Having goals provides you with a clear focus on where and how you would like to spend your time and energy.

  • Gives you greater overall productivity in the long run: As long as you stick to your goals, you may find yourself achieving more cumulatively over a long period of time than if you hadn't set out to determine and achieve those goals.

  • Frees up more time. Setting your goals and writing them down as more achievable steps helps you to determine how much time in the day to allocate to each task. Doing this could eventually free up more time for other areas in your life as you're able to clearly define your day-to-day schedule.

  • Helps in decision making. Having your overall goals in mind makes it easier to decide on the list of things to do throughout the day or week. This can help you determine which are the critical tasks and which are the less important ones.

  • Helps to shape behaviour. Having clearly outlined goals can help you change your behaviour in a positive way. You may be more motivated to work and complete productive tasks.

Explore more articles