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  • Writer's pictureMelanie Reinersman

Defining Goals: Setting Intentional Directions

It is easy to identify synonyms for the word goal: ambition, intention, objective, target… It is more difficult to define individual goals. As pervasive as goals are in the language of the career development professional, the challenge with goal-setting persists and the solutions are abundant (although not necessarily all evidenced-based). Read the various thoughts surrounding the topic of goals in this month’s issue, then pursue your own goal development through reflection, discussion, and action with clients. ~ Melanie Reinersman,

Photo by Abbie Parks from Unsplash

FOCUS ON: Key Factors when Goal Setting

SMART goals are an effective tool when defining goals. It is also important to define genuine goals, make them measurable by breaking them into small tracks, and take consistent action toward the goal. Read more from GoalsOnTrack.

FOR PRACTITIONERS: Three Steps to Align Intentions and Actions

When motivation, inspiration, and satisfaction with career progress are lacking, a coach can help the client to better align intentions with actions. Clarity of intention, insight into presentation, and increased emotional agility may help close the gap between intentions and reality. Read more.


Employing goal-oriented tools supports clients through additional depth of understanding and insight. Caitlin C. Williams suggested that the tools not only expand the range of goals being assessed but offer creative ways to help the client get “unstuck” and reach the goals. She recommended life coaching exercises, such as 21 Questions for SMART goal setting as well as generating a vision or dream board. Read more from Williams in Career Convergence.

JOB SEARCHING: Engaging a Personal Board of Directors

Particularly when goals are not yet solidly formed, a personal board of directors can increase clarity by providing other perspectives to help achieve success. Selecting a personal board requires consideration of the level of experience in the field, problem-solving approaches, and realistic optimism. The wealth of knowledge gained from a personal board can assist career achievement. Read more from CompTIA.

TOP TEN: Mentorship’s Effects on Goals

The purpose of the mentor-mentee relationship is goal-setting. Identifying a goal-driven mentor is one of the first steps. The commitment to shared goals aids the transfer of skills and knowledge. Clearly defining the expectations of the relationship will in turn aid the definition of career goals. Read more ways goals are affected by mentoring from MentorCruise.


“It's not just words. Action expresses priorities.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.” ~ Albert Einstein
"If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." ~ Zig Ziglar


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