How to Set Ongoing Goals in Your Career

Let’s talk about career goals!

We’ve touched on this a little bit here in previous posts, but with the start of Season 9 of the podcast this week with Episode 105… I wanted to dive into a topic that can be a little intimidating at the start of a new year.

This season of Productivity Paradox is all about how we can become the best versions of ourselves that we can possibly be so that we can truly lead the life that we have always envisioned… and to me, getting ahead of the game when it comes to your career is a big part of that!

So today, let’s discuss some of the ways that we can ensure long-term success by setting ongoing goals in the workplace.

Ready to get started?


How to Set Ongoing Goals in Your Career



Recent studies have shown that… in order to experience long-term success when it comes to your career, then it’s best if your goals are as specific as possible.

One way to ensure the achievement of an ongoing goal–let’s say, for example, that you’re vying for a position at the top of the ladder that will take you some time to fully accomplish—is to create a vision for your ideal self and the career that you want.

What would your typical day at work look like in one, five, or ten years from now? Consider those benchmarks as you’re envisioning what your life at work might look like once you’ve achieved the position that you want.

By clearly visualizing your desired outcome, you can begin to see the possibility of achieving it… and you can start to take the steps to build your long-term action plan.



Let’s face it… If you believe a goal is important and attainable, you stand a much higher chance of achieving it.

If you’re looking to make a change in your career of any kind, then it’s not only imperative that you visualize yourself achieving your goals… but that you also make sure that you’re 100% committed and that you’re in it for the long haul.

Success (for the majority of people—at least people that I know!) does not happen overnight. It happens with hard work, determination, and commitment. If you want to meet success in the future, then make sure you’re committed to the goals you set in your career.



Another hard truth about ongoing career goals? They require two things: time and patience!

To prevent yourself from burning out too soon and quitting on unrealistic goals, I want to encourage you to create intermediate objectives that you have plenty of time to complete alongside your real-life commitments—those at home and in the workplace.

Once you have a handle on those… Put them into practice!

For example, if you are hoping to achieve success at the top of your career ladder, then maybe something you want to build on is your networking skills. After all, the more people you know in your field, the more connected you are… right?

In this case, you could build momentum toward your ongoing goal by practicing your networking skills. Are there any networking functions that you could attend where you could practice meeting new people and making connections monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly?

No matter your career destination… Set yourself up for long-term success by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone a little bit more each time you sit down to assess your goals and to determine the course you need to chart into the future.



Two important questions to ask as you’re setting ongoing career goals include… What do I want? and What is everything that needs to happen in order for me to achieve this?

We have talked about looking at the big picture when it comes to our goals and then breaking that picture down into bite-sized pieces so that it feels more realistic and attainable… And this bears repeating here, because the entire journey—especially when we are faced with a lofty ongoing goal like a major promotion or the like—is incredibly important!

If we know what needs to happen in order to achieve a long-term goal, then the better prepared we are when we set out for the long road ahead.



In order to understand how well an action plan has been working for you when it comes to any ongoing goal… it’s vital that you sit down and take some time to reflect and assess on how far you have come.

Plan for some time each quarter to assess your progress as it relates to your ongoing career goals. How well has your action plan been working for you 3 months, 6 months, or 9 months into the new year?

Be honest with yourself… and adjust your sails accordingly depending on your answers. Could you be spending a bit more time prioritizing your tasks as they align with your ongoing goals? Have you been pushing yourself past your comfort zone by reaching out to others in your same field enough? Have you been slacking on your quarterly goals? Has your destination changed since the last time you envisioned yourself in the future?

Consider everything that has been working well… and really hone in on what needs some tweaking as you push on toward the success you want in the long-run.


What are some of the ongoing goals you have in your career?

Share your ideas and the steps you have taken toward their achievement so far… and tune into Episode 105 of Productivity Paradox this week where we’re kicking off a brand-new season all about creating a life that YOU want to lead!

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  • Kaethe Pittman

    One of my career goals is to spend more of my day creating rather than cleaning (I am a needle artist and a homemaker). To start toward this goal, one of my habit trackers this quarter is “needle and thread” — did I spend time everyday creating something in my studio?

    January 15, 2019 at 3:19 pm

  • Amy Pike

    I am trying to figure out where I’m supposed to be. We moved “back home” in May last year, and I left a job I really enjoyed. So now I’m starting over to figure out where I belong. What I’m doing right now, isn’t my favorite and I’m trying to figure out how to make the best of it. So I’m not sure how to write a goal to get on track with finding my true passion.

    January 22, 2019 at 2:24 pm

  • inkWELL Press

    Hi Amy! Thanks for sharing with us! I’m sorry your having a rough time… but it sounds like you’re trying the best you can to have a positive attitude about it, and that can really help propel you forward. Maybe also try looking at this transition as an adventure. If you’re not liking where you are, you CAN change that. We have a lot of support for goals and figuring out passions and priorities over at inkWELL Press Productivity Co. (our FB community) if you haven’t joined… I highly recommend it! Our group there is incredibly supportive and they share so many wonderful ideas. <3

    January 24, 2019 at 8:56 am

Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton