Harnessing momentum to achieve your goals

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Setting goals helps trigger new behaviours, helps guides your focus and helps you sustain that momentum in life. It can give a greater focus to a purpose, increase productivity and stimulate higher levels of motivation. And, of course, for those who are career driven, setting goals will help them keep focused when working successful career progression.

Start by setting yourself a goal of where you would like to be in five years, get a really good understanding of what the role is or does and what skills and experiences are required. Research as many details about it as you can. Try and talk to people who do that role, or similar roles if you are able.

‘By planning on how to achieve your end goal, breaking large intimidating goals into smaller ones helps,’ says Chris Willsher, accountancy and finance recruitment expert at Reed.

‘Once you have a good idea of the role you want and what experiences you need to be able to get there, put together an action plan and realistic timelines to achieve the goals by.’


The person who is most likely to be able to assist you in your career progression within your current organisation is probably your manager, so schedule some time in with them, being upfront and clear about what you want to discuss.

‘Be prepared to listen to their advice and experiences – they were probably once in your shoes,’ says Willsher. ‘You want your manager to be on your side and champion your cause, so stay positive and professional. Agree together what changes can be made to your current role to suit your chosen path, and consider any other ways in which you can help each other.’

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Even with the best will in the world, we can all get sidetracked, or bogged down in one thing or another and lose perspective on our endgame. But enlisting someone as a sounding board to help you keep on track can be very valuable and help keep you accountable.

In your networks, find somebody who would be prepared to give you an outside, unbiased perspective on your career development, and be there for advice and guidance when required. A good mentor would be someone who is more senior than you in their career, who has perhaps taken a similar path but who isn’t someone directly involved with your day-to-day work.

Willsher adds: ‘The goals that you define for yourself will shape you into the person you want to be and therefore help you achieve your career aspirations. By setting goals you can measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

‘Make sure to put some time aside for a personal review, too; our goals and aspirations often change, so taking time to check you remain on the right path is just as vital.’

Author: Alex Miller, writer

More information

This article was first published in Student Accountant in August 2022Get the SA app now

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