7 Secrets to Kick off Your New Year Career Goals

The New Year is always a great time for a change and new beginnings, be they related to your personal life or your career goals. And after 2020, change is definitely something everyone will welcome with open arms. Especially since it’s a planned change.

So, if you’re still in the process of creating professional resolutions for 2021, here are seven great tips that’ll help you achieve what you put your mind in.

1) Choose and Adopt Powerful Habits Related to Your Goals

If you wish to achieve your career goals successfully, you need to integrate and practice habits that drive you towards them.

Habits are behaviors that reinforce the necessary self-discipline required to achieve goals. For instance, good time management and self-organization are two goals that can help you complete new learning modules and training to boost your career.

2) Ensure Your Career Goals Align with Your Abilities

A common mistake most professionals make is setting goals that go against their abilities. As a result, their goals become unrealistic and ultimately unachievable.

To best assess your abilities and skills, here are some valuable tips you can use.

  • Step back and reread the job description for your current position. This will give you an idea of why you were hired and help you zone in on the skills your employer wants.
  • If you rarely get the chance to improve soft skills like communication and leadership skills, this may be it. You can improve these skills to complement your technical abilities.
  • Reread your old performance reviews. Chances are you may find some criticism that can help you improve your weak areas.

3) Specify Micro Goals

Answer this honestly – do you take the time to assess the progress of your goals?

If you answered ‘No’, don’t worry. You’re not the only one.

Most people abandon achieving their goals because they lose track of their own progress. This can be due to different reasons, including:

  • Forgotten Goals: You may have set your new year goal only to forget about it. That’s why you need to make your goals more real and tangible by writing them down somewhere.
  • No Link to a Higher Purpose: You may lose track of your progress because you don’t think of the ‘why’ while planning. Knowing the end purpose of your goal will be a driving force to achieving it.
  • Weak Strategy: Only a strong strategy can help you stay on track. Therefore, you should create an environment where you can seamlessly work on your goals.

One of the effective ways of combatting this issue is setting up micro-goals. In addition to helping you track your goals in a systematic way, they provide you with the necessary motivation to continue.

For instance, if your goal is to ensure a better work-life balance, you can set mini-goals throughout the week to ensure you get your tasks done before the weekend.

Here’s what you need to do to begin planning your micro-goals –

  • Create a To-Do List: Achieving bigger goals is tough, but not impossible. What you need to do is plan what you’ll do to reach your goals on a daily basis.
  • Think of Now: Ask yourself – what can you easily do at this moment to keep yourself on the right track? Your answer will help you formulate the necessary strategy to move forth.
  • Create Manageable Segments: Breaking your micro-goals into manageable segments that are easier to tackle. Once you finish a segment, you can move on to the other.

4) Don’t Forget to Reward Yourself for Your Achievements

After all the efforts you put into achieving your targets, make sure to reward yourself with something you’ve been wanting for too long.


Reward and actions are related. For instance, you expect a monthly salary (and a raise yearly) for your hard work. If your action isn’t tied to an outcome, or if the results don’t show before a long time, you may lose the motivation to keep going.

Rewarding yourself will help you stay pumped up and dedicated to your goals. Besides, it doesn’t necessarily need to cost you at all. For instance, you can treat yourself to a movie after work or sleep an extra hour.

To help you decide the best type of reward for you, here are four tips you should consider following.

  • Prioritize what can motivate you. Doing so will help so set levels of rewards and motivations for yourself.
  • Set realistic rewards with the right proportions. For instance, reward yourself with a candy bar for a small goal, and a weekend trip for a bigger one.
  • Keep in mind that rewarding yourself shouldn’t slow down your efforts towards your goals. That’s why you need to start small and move your way up the rewards.
  • Always set a reward that can’t be replaced easily. This will keep you motivated at all times.

5) Surround Yourself with the Right People

Keep people with similar goals or those with the same aspirations around you. If you feel distracted or detached from the goals you’ve set for yourself, they will drag you back on track.

Look for such people in your direct social circles. They can be a good friend, colleague, or family member who you can trust to keep you accountable for your actions. Them periodically asking for your progress on your goals will make you obligated to the new goals you’ve set.

Just make sure to explain why you’ve set these goals so they can share your passion. And remember that it’s never nice to lie to the closest people in your life. So, make sure to share your progress honestly.

6) Learn to Set Strong Work-Life Boundaries

This is an important bit of advice, especially if you’re still working remotely.

Without proper work-life boundaries, you won’t be able to have the time or necessary mindset to work on your personal career goals.

One of the first things you need to do is to set a routine. Make sure to communicate your timeline with your teammates and others dependent on you at work.

Other steps you need to follow are:

  1. Set Priorities: Spend 5 to 10 minutes a day and think of the most important things for you. Ask yourself the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘when’ to better analyze yourself.
  2. Plan Regularly: Successful people spend time planning things. So, set your day and evening activities to stay aligned.
  3. Keep a Balance: Take time for your mental and physical health. Leave work at work so you can relax and invest the remaining time in yourself.
  4. Ask for Help: Always ask a relevant person for support and guidance on achieving your goals.
  5. Work Smarter: Before you start spending your hours on something, think of the value it has. This will help you manage your time more efficiently.

7) Document Your Progress

Just having a mental note of your progress isn’t enough. You need to make sure your progress towards your goals is documented. After all, you need to reward yourself accordingly.

There are a few good ways to document your progress, including:

  • Entrusting a Buddy: You can have someone remind you of your everyday tasks and the next step towards your goal.
  • Set Reminders for Yourself: Have reminders about action items to get you closer to your goal.
  • Professional Manage Your Activities: There are many apps that can help you professionally manage your regular activities. These allow you to set due dates, targets, and achievable tasks in an organized manner.

Good Luck for Your Career Goals in 2021!

You’re all set to successfully achieve your goals for 2021. And if you need help formulating these, make sure to check the important skills every professional should have in the new year.

About the Author

Ayesha Saleem is the Senior Specialist Content Development Person at LearningCert. Interested in travel and blogging, she's passionate about everything related to eLearning and IT Trends. Find her on LinkedIn

Leave a comment


User Registration


Reset Password