How to Develop & Maintain Professional & Personal Goals

When it comes to setting goals, start off with what's important to you in life.

First, take out a sheet of paper and think about what you want to accomplish between now and the end of your life.

Second step, take out another sheet of paper, and this time consider yourself and your personal goals for the next 12-months. Personal goals may include, family, personal growth, finances, health, social, career, hobbies, spiritual, and recreation. Write down the things that you would like to accomplish or achieve or attain during this one-year period? When you are finished with the first two steps, go back and compare your two lists you've made. Make sure that the items on your short-term list will, as you attain them, will help you attain your longer term or lifetime goals. It is important that what you are doing short term is taking you in the right direction toward your lifetime goals.

Review your two list and the goals that are on your lists at this time, if there are any that you are not willing to pay the price for, and cross them off, leaving only those items you are willing to cause to happen in your life. Now, on still another sheet of paper, create the job goals that are important to you over the next 12 months.

Identify what outcomes you want to attain or achieve during this one-year period in your specific area of responsibility and authority. Some key areas in which you might consider writing job goals, if you did not already, include: quality, quantity, cost control, cost improvement, equipment, procedures, training, sales, financial, and personnel.

For each of the three lists that you have just created, take an additional sheet of paper and list the activities that you must do to attain the most important goal that you have on each of your lists.

Some Tips to Help You Keep on Track

Review and rewrite your goals at least every three months. Your goals will change as you change.

Recognize how focusing on what you do want, what you do intend to accomplish, also defines what you choose not to do in your life.

Every step along the way to achieving a goal is just as important as the last step.

Set goals with your family.

Decide what you should be accomplishing and then stick to it.

Specific goals provide direction and focus to your activities. They become a road map to follow.

Be sure the goals and activities that you are working for are yours and that you really want and desire to achieve them.

Don't try to be or do all things for all people.

Make goals meaningful. You will be more excited about accomplishing them because they are personally meaningful.

Create a time line or matrix chart on which you display your goals visually and the dates when you will have them accomplished.

Continually look for ways to integrate or blend personal and professional goals.

Set goals that are realistic and attainable.

Goals, when thoughtfully set, can provide strong motivational direction.

Establish measurement criteria to monitor progressive movement toward your goal.

A goal is "reasonable" when you can see the entire process needed to get to its attainment.

Develop an emotional reason why you should attain your goal.

You may like these other stories...

For the first time in the five-year history of’s rankings of the top 50 accounting firms to work for in North America, a firm has held the top spot as best accounting employer for two consecutive years....
With complex financial issues playing a larger role in litigation, and people increasingly turning to CPA experts to involve themselves in everything from criminal investigations to shareholder disputes to uncovering assets...
 Event Date: April 24, 2014 In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel. David will introduce the Macro Recorder, which transforms actions...

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Apr 22
Is everyone at your organization meeting your client service expectations? Let client service expert, Kristen Rampe, CPA help you establish a reputation of top-tier service in every facet of your firm during this one hour webinar.
Apr 24
In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA introduces you to a powerful but underutilized macro feature in Excel.
Apr 25
This material focuses on the principles of accounting for non-profit organizations' revenues. It will include discussions of revenue recognition for cash and non-cash contributions as well as other revenues commonly received by non-profit organizations.
Apr 30
During the second session of a four-part series on Individual Leadership, the focus will be on time management- a critical success factor for effective leadership. Each person has 24 hours of time to spend each day; the key is making wise investments and knowing what investments yield the greatest return.