Here's what you actually need to achieve your goals

Young professional working at laptop
By Lesley Stewart, CA Today

19 July 2017

Brace yourself, we're half-way through 2017. How are those career resolutions looking? Here’s our top five proven ways to create realistic goals and actually stick to them. 

Research shows that only 8% of the resolutions we set last year are actually being achieved, which is pretty dismal news for those of us hoping to learn a new language before 2018. 

There's a number of reasons we don't fulfill our goals, and according to the Harvard Business Review a goal being too vague or too ambitious rank amongst the top reasons for failure. 

Goal setting itself is an art. We've come up with constructive advice to make sure your career resolutions are achievable, well-planned, and above all - inspiring.

1. Conversations and collaborations

Bringing ambitious and entrepreneurial minds together? An obvious move for enthusiastic CAs. It can spark a whole new way of thinking, a new way of working, and help you realise your dreams. Collaborating with other individuals - especially the trailblazers - develops mindsets and behaviours to bring out the natural leader within. 

But how do you find the conversations and mentors that will keep you accountable and help you stick to your goals?

We took on the exciting challenge of finding seven influential CAs and putting them into the one room, with the aim of creating a vibrant speed-mentoring event. The outcome? An action-focussed evening specifically designed to build serious leaders. 

This September why not have those pioneering Career Conversations with the best and brightest? We guarantee you'll leave ready to take on the world. 

Throw in some top-notch drinks at this free event, networking at trendy craft beer mecca Drygate Brewery, and the chance to hear inspiring CA stories, and you're in for a great night.

2. Create mini-goals

Whilst goal setting is essential for developing a clear vision, creating milestones that lead up to your ultimate goal is the key to success. Think of a mountain climber - they don’t start with Everest. They start small and keep their eye on the much bigger prize. We are much more likely to reach the end goal when we have incremental steps which are specific and measurable, and let us either adjust or reaffirm that we're making realistic progress. 

3. Get a game plan

You are accountable for your own success - so aim high and be specific about what you want. Take your first-class business skills and apply them to making your career thrive. Discover what you need to do (and what you need to stop doing) to achieve your ambitions. It'll help you work out realistic time lines and set short term targets.  Document these objectives, develop a practical strategy to achieve them, and then plan what actions you need to take.

4. Get emotional

When you think about achieving career success, you need to think outside the box. Keeping up-to-date technically is one area where you'll be expected to be professional adept, but also take time to focus on the non-technical elements of your skill set. Focus on communication, emotional intelligence, and adaptability - these are just as likely to get you noticed, if not more so. 

5. Skill-up

Which leads us on nicely to upping your skills. If you're looking for something that will set you apart from the crowd, speak to us. ICAS and training partners BPP have exciting training packages, and for new members we've designed a pack exclusively for newly qualified CAs: a free online course pack and 50% off your first face-to-face training course.* And for all members we have free resources such as webinars and video updates for quick and easy development. And there's even a host of careers focussed content to keep you motivated and inspired.

* To book your first face-to-face course you can either email or call 0330 060 3303, quoting your ICAS membership number and code “PDICASNEW”. The BPP online course pack is subject to BPP Terms and Conditions. You must be an ICAS member to take advantage of this offer.


  • Career mentoring
  • Leadership and management

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