How to Stay Committed to a Goal

by Mitch Reid

Whether you’re hoping to find a new career or reach goals in your current one, a number of obstacles can sap your motivation or steer you away from your target. With some careful planning, and a little help from friends and co-workers, you can remain committed to your most important career goals.

Learn From Set Backs

US News's University Directory warns that setbacks are bound to happen. Rather than letting each problem demotivate you from your goal, treat set backs as learning experiences. This is especially helpful if your goal is simply to land a job. For each rejection letter, ask for a little feedback that may help you succeed when applying to other jobs.

Work With Others

Surround yourself with people who are interested in the same goals as you. If you are in a business environment and already on a team with co-workers, get to know them and spend time with them outside of work. This strategy can increase teamwork and productivity in the workplace, but don't be distracted by socializing. If your goal is to switch careers, avoid anyone who is likely to lead you astray or convince you the goal is not worth pursuing. Search for role models, not bad influences.

Break It Down

"Forbes" recommends separating your goals into short-term, intermediate and long-term goals. If your goal is a long-term endeavor, break it into smaller chunks. For example, if you’re a painter assigned to paint a house, picture each room as a separate goal. This strategy makes the job seem less daunting. It also allows you to schedule your work sessions more easily. Reward yourself after each session to celebrate a short-term victory.

Set a Schedule

Make a habit of working on your project at the same time every day. This routine ensures that you get at least a little bit of work done daily. In a business environment, you may be required to do this, but even from home you can maintain this routine. For projects that require you to work in long sessions, schedule breaks. A 2013 "New York Times" article reports that working in 90-minute intervals results in increased productivity; don't work hour after hour without a break in between.

View Your Progress

Record your progress in a journal or reflect on all the work you've accomplished so far. This keeps you motivated as you move toward your goal. After all, there's no point in wasting the valuable time and effort you've already put into your work. If your current goal is to find a suitable job, review your resume as you reflect on your career accomplishments. Make sure these successes are covered in your resume the next time you apply for a job.

About the Author

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.

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