We’re big fans of making the most of the summer season. Long days, warm nights, and all that sun and sand can be a great reminder to work to live, not live to work. That being said, we’re also all about balance and knowing how important it is to make progress on financial and career goals. Now that the many distractions of summer are winding down, it’s a great time to start thinking about the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year.
If your career and financial aspirations took a backseat to summer fun, don’t worry, you still have time to get back on track before the end of the year.
1. Reflect and reevaluate
The first step on your journey to reclaim your career and financial ambitions is to take a moment to reflect. Find a quiet space where you can sit down and think deeply about any goals you set earlier in the year. Consider why you set them in the first place and how they align with your long-term aspirations. Were they fueled by a desire for growth, stability, or a sense of accomplishment? Once you reconnect with your initial motivations, you’ll find it easier to rekindle your determination.
It’s also okay if you realize your goals aren’t your goals anymore. If something isn’t a good fit anymore, think about how you can pivot your goals to work for what currently matters to you.
2. Assess your progress
Now that you’re reacquainted with your goals, it’s time to assess how far you’ve come. Create a list of the milestones you’ve achieved thus far, no matter how small. Did you save a certain amount of money? Did you complete a professional development course? Celebrate these victories—they’re a testament to your dedication and hard work. Equally important, identify any areas where you might have fallen short or made less progress than expected. Don’t be disheartened and instead use these gaps as opportunities for growth.
3. Set realistic milestones
While reaching for the stars is admirable, setting overly ambitious goals can lead to frustration and burnout. Break down your larger career and finance goals into smaller, achievable milestones. These intermediate steps will serve as guideposts on your journey and help you maintain focus for the rest of the year. For instance, if your goal is to pay off a significant portion of your credit card debt by the end of the year, set monthly or quarterly targets for the amount you’ll allocate toward repayment.
4. Prioritize and plan
Time management is your ally in the pursuit of your goals. With the summer’s distractions behind you, it’s time to revisit your schedule and make room for the activities that will lead you to success. Whether it’s dedicating an hour each morning to skill development, setting aside time for job searching, or establishing a routine for analyzing your financial portfolio, incorporating these tasks into your daily life is crucial.
5. Seek guidance
You don’t have to pursue your goals on your own. Seek guidance from mentors, friends, or professionals who have experience in your desired career or financial path. Their insights can provide you with valuable perspectives, help you avoid common pitfalls, and offer practical advice that you might not have considered.
6. Practice self-care
Amidst the pursuit of your goals, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Burning the candle at both ends can lead to exhaustion and hinder your progress. Ensure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and engaging in activities that bring you joy. A healthy mind and body are essential for maintaining the focus and energy needed to achieve your goals. Need some help getting started? These are 12 self-care practices you may not have thought of.
7. Stay flexible
Life has a way of throwing curveballs our way when we least expect them. While it’s essential to set a plan and stick to it, it’s equally crucial to remain adaptable. Circumstances may change, and your goals might need some tweaking along the way. The key is to remain open-minded and willing to adjust your approach without losing sight of the bigger picture.
8. Celebrate every step
As you work diligently towards your goals, take time to celebrate your achievements—both big and small. Treat yourself when you hit a milestone, whether it’s reaching a certain savings amount or securing a promising job interview. These celebrations will not only boost your morale but also remind you of the progress you’re making.
9. Visualize your success
Finally, never underestimate the power of visualization. Take a few minutes each day to envision yourself attaining your financial and career goals. Picture the sense of accomplishment, the security, and the satisfaction that comes with achieving what you’ve set out to do. This simple practice can fuel your motivation and keep you on track. Pro tip—We love a good vision board.