How to Set and Accomplish Your Career Goals in 2021
January 5, 2021
BR Setting Goals

The new year is upon us and it’s time to get ourselves together. This past year was a wild time for those in the workforce, and we’re all hoping 2021 has something better in store for us. However, we can’t leave our professional success up to fate. In order to achieve our goals, we first need to decide what those goals are and how we’re going to accomplish them.

As motivation, many of us have probably decided on our New Years’ resolutions. Unfortunately, we don’t always accomplish these. It isn’t necessarily because we don’t have the drive or we aren’t motivated enough, but life has a way of getting in the way. This year is going to be different because we’re going to teach you how to set attainable goals to excel in your career.

Setting goals

Setting goals sounds easy, and it can be if you know how to properly do it. Perhaps the biggest mistake we can make is being unrealistic with ourselves. When you set unrealistic goals, you’re bound to fail. It’s probably why you may have failed to reach your goals in the past. We’ve all done it at one point in our lives, myself included. Here’s how to fix it and set goals the right way.

Be realistic

Like I already mentioned, you’ve probably failed to accomplish your goals in the past because the goals themselves were unrealistic. I know I do it all the time. Not only does this mean you’re less likely to achieve your goals, but you’re probably also going to begin feeling discouraged.

Instead of saying, “I want to be promoted in six weeks,” and thinking that’s it, really ask yourself what you need to do to receive that promotion. Once you can see the big picture, be honest about what steps need to be taken first. You should find that receiving that promotion in six weeks isn’t very obtainable. Hats off to you if you accomplish it, but don’t beat yourself up for not reaching goals that were near impossible to begin with.

Set goals for your goals

Sometimes when I see a big project in front of me, I get overwhelmed at first. It’s tough to see the top of a mountain when you’re standing at the bottom. Sometimes, it makes you not want to start the hike in the first place. But does that mean you shouldn’t? Absolutely not.

When I have a goal in front of me, I like to break it down into smaller goals that will accumulate to the real thing. It makes that goal seem much less intimidating, and I’ve found that I’m more likely to stay on track to reach it. For instance, if I want to have 30 articles written and scheduled within two months, I break it down by how many articles I need to have done each week to reach that goal. Then, when I look at it, only having to write about 4 articles each week is a lot more digestible.

Set SMART goals

Knowing how to create SMART goals is going to be a game-changer for you in 2021 if you don’t know how to create them already. To keep it simple, SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. But you can read more about SMART goals here.

Accomplishing goals

Okay, now we know how to set our goals properly. That’s a great first step! But that isn’t the hard part. The hard part is actually accomplishing them, which is ultimately why you found yourself to this article in the first place. So let’s jump into it.

Hold yourself accountable or have someone else do it for you

If nobody knows what you were trying to accomplish, they won’t know when you fail, right? Well, this was my excuse for the longest time. If nobody knew I wasn’t going to touch my phone for the next 2 hours so I could send a few emails and write an article, who was going to judge me when I didn’t make it that long?

This mindset only got in my way. I’ve always struggled with holding myself accountable to do certain things, even if I really wanted to do it and it meant a lot to me. If the task or goal took too long, I found myself getting distracted from it. What helped me most was speaking my goals out loud to those around me. This way, I felt obligated to accomplish what I said I would. And if I didn’t, they would call me out for it.

Establish a reward system

Providing incentives is a great way to help yourself accomplish your goals. Who doesn’t like to be rewarded? Depending on what your goal is, your rewards will change, but they should always be relative to the goal.

For instance, if your goal is to finish your next project within two weeks, tell yourself that you can go out with friends once you’re done (socially distanced, of course). Having something to look forward to makes goals worth accomplishing (aside from the obvious feeling of accomplishment that comes with it).

Setting and accomplishing goals helps get us to where we want to be in our professional and personal lives. Once you know how to set them correctly, you’ll be on your way to success. If you need a bit of help reaching those goals, come talk to our team at BrandResumes about how we can help. Good luck!



  1. 5 Methods for Combating Imposter Syndrome | BrandResumes | Professional Resume Writing and Career Advancement Service - […] One of the symptoms those facing IS may have to overcome is being unable to set obtainable goals. One…

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By Emily Provost

Emily is BrandResumes' Content Specialist and is an Associate Resume Writer. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Publishing Studies with double minors in Marketing and Journalism from Hofstra University. She has had editorial experience working as an editor for various publications from Hofstra and worked as a writing tutor for undergraduate students.

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