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3 Goal-Setting Steps Every Career-Minded Person Must Know

A goal is the end result of focused action in an aimed direction. Imagine if you were to get in your car and start driving with no road map or destination in mind. Where would you end up? Many entrepreneurs approach life in the same fashion. You are taking steps with no intentional focus on what you want to achieve. Goal setting helps you to put together a plan so your actions will line up with where you want to go in life. Career planning is the key to making those goals a reality.

Here are three steps to help you get there:


In order to create goals that will serve your future purpose, you must first have a vision. A vision is a defined view of who you want to be in life and what you want to achieve during the journey. Writing your vision down in clear detail is very helpful for the goal setting process.

In Stephen Covey’s book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” he challenges his readers to write their eulogy. What do you want people to say about you at your funeral? Despite the fact that it sounds slightly morbid, this exercise is a great way to help you stop and think about how you want to be remembered by the people you love the most. It will also force you to start with the end in mind, which helps in developing your life vision.

Here are some questions to help you define your life vision:

  1. Who do you want to be when you grow up? (I know, I know, just entertain me for a moment)
  2. What is your life’s passion? Try to be specific with this question. If the answer is helping people, then how do you enjoy helping people: in medicine, teaching, physical health, etc. There are many different ways to help people, but the more specific you are the better your goals will be to help you accomplish your vision.
  3. If money was not an object and all your bills were paid every month as long as you worked in some full-time capacity, what would you do for a living?

“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time,” Creighton Abrams.


Now that you have a clear vision of what you want to become in life you need to break it down into bite-sized pieces. Literally take out a blank sheet of paper and just write down everything necessary to obtain your life vision. Don’t hold back. If you get stuck, mind mapping is a very effective way to release your brain’s creativity.

Your goals will break into a variety of different categories and all these categories will tie into the overall life vision.

  •         Career goals
  •         Financial goals
  •         Family goals
  •         Spiritual goals
  •         Health and fitness goals
  •         Relationship goals
  •         Personal development goals
  •         Business goals
  •         Marketing goals

“Ask the right questions if you’re to find the right answers,” Vanessa Redgrave.

In an effort to clarify the actions necessary to bring your vision to life, ask the right questions. Depending on the area of life you are focused on, your questions will be different. Here are a few questions regarding career and business goals that will help get you started.

  •         What training, education, certification, and licenses do you need to obtain in order to get start your career?
  •         What financial resources will you need?
  •         What connections do you need to make?
  •         What books do you need to read?
  •         Who is your target audience and how do you get their attention?
  •         What type of marketing will reach your target audience?
  •         How many new clients do you need every week to reach your revenue goals?
  •         How much time are you going to dedicate to your business every week?

These questions will help you develop your framework. Crystal clear goals and defined action steps will accelerate your goal achievement because you are no longer wasting energy trying to figure out what to do next. Once you have the plan then you simply work the plan. You will make adjustments along the way, but your energy will be better spent.

Think of it as a blueprint for building a home. You would not start putting up sheetrock before you lay the foundation, right? So why do we put in action before we have a plan? Your blueprint will tell you how many bedrooms and where they should be located. If you want a master bathroom in every bedroom then your blueprint will indicate the necessary information. Goal setting is your blueprint for life and the awesome thing is, you are the architect. What do you want to build?

When you are clarifying your goals, remember to include the amount of resources necessary to accomplish them. This will help you to financially plan the cost for your masterpiece life and help you determine the amount of revenue you need to produce to pay for it.

“He who fails to plan is planning to fail,” Winston Churchill.


Effective goals have a timeframe. A big goal like, start my own business in three years requires building block goals with deadlines. Example: Have my logo designed by March 1, 2017, approximate cost is $300. Get three quotes from web designers by April 1, 2017. Have my website completed by June 15, 2017.

A timeframe on your goals will help you continually make progress. When you are making progress, your confidence builds and with confidence comes momentum. Focused efforts produce results. A timeframe helps you to take intentional action and holds you accountable to a deadline. Specifically clarifying your goals will help you to be realistic with how long each step will take.

“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor,” Brian Tracy.

The power of visualization

Goals tucked away in a drawer will never come to life. Your goals are a living document that needs to be reviewed daily or, at the very least, weekly. The brain has a funny way of manifesting whatever it focuses on daily. If you are reviewing your top goals daily then you will begin to have ideas on how to bring those goals to life. You find ways around obstacles and breakthrough barriers with greater determination.

As a part of my three-year workplace exit strategy, I created a destiny card. In August of 2015, I took two 3×5 cards and wrote on it: Life coach, published author, motivational speaker and full-time in my own business by August 2016. Underneath August 2016, I wrote down the dollar figure I needed in order to quit my full-time corporate job as director of staff development. I placed the card on my bathroom mirror and on the window in front of my desk at home. I looked at that card every day for a year. September 22, 2016, I resigned from my full-time position and transitioned into my business Breakthrough for Life full time with ease. I experienced no fluctuation in income and a large increase in clientele. It was not easy and there were many action steps in between. However, a well thought-out strategy with goals and solid action steps helped me to transition into my life vision. I am not extraordinary! I am just an ordinary woman who took extraordinary steps to live out my life’s passion.

If you write your life vision and make it crystal clear, while attaching timeframes with visualization, you will begin to move closer to making your dreams a reality.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you achieve your professional goals? Connect with Brenda, browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Brenda Underwood

Brenda is an innovative leader, certified life coach and motivational speaker. After 25 years of corporate level management for companies like Unisource Worldwide, Toshiba America and VoiceNation LLC, Brenda is reaching out to help others breakthrough to their next level of living. Her heart is to encourage, exhort and inspire people to capture all life has for them. Brenda has the capabilities necessary to coach individuals into personal breakthroughs that lead to successful lives. She has an astonishing knack of helping individuals reach to the heart of the barriers they face every day. By tearing down the road blocks and breaking through the blind spots her clients are able to live the life they always dreamed. Her company, Breakthrough for Life is where your full potential is fully realized. Connect with her on Noomii or Twitter.

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