How many of your New Year resolutions remain unbroken? And how many of the professional goals you set yourself back in January have you actually achieved midway through the year?

It’s easy to make promises to yourself but harder to keep them. But the writer George S Reid was spot-on when he said: “A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.”

You’ll get nowhere near your career goals without effort. So let’s take a look at Reid’s advice.

Dream to goal

What did you promise yourself? A new job that you’d find more interesting? A promotion that takes full advantage of your skills?

You have to know what professional goals you want to achieve, and know them precisely. Choose those that are most important to you.

You want to score these career goals this year – so you’ve already got your deadline.

Now write the target and the date down and pin it somewhere you’ll see it every morning. Heck, make it your phone’s lock screen.

Get motivated – you’re trying to make a better you.


Goal to plan

You’ve got your target. Ask yourself how you’ll achieve it.

Are there any skills you have that you’ll need to enhance? You’ll need to hone them. Are there skills you’ll need that your don’t have? You’ll need to learn them. Is the job in a different area of the business? You’ll have to look for vacancies.

Think about exactly what you want to do and examine the problem in your head. Try drawing a mind-map, writing the goal at the centre, with the ideas it gives you forming around it, building up into a web of ideas.

Use this to bring structure to your plan, establishing a pathway to success. It will help you figure out what you have to do when to achieve your professional goals.

Plan to action

Now comes the hard work of actually making your career goals a reality. If you commit yourself to each stage of the plan, improving and learning along the way and thoroughly applying yourself to each task, you can become the change you want.

Success can’t be given to you – it has to be earned. Do you want it? Go out and make it.