Goal-setting that really works: a guide from Inspired Selection

Website header showing a mug with the word 'BEGIN' on the side

Happy New Year!

I love the start of a new year. It is like the smell of a brand new car or the start of a new term at school. A reason to be better, do better and achieve some fantastic new goals in life. A fresh page or chapter in your book and nothing from before can stop a fantastic feeling of opportunities, which are now yours for the taking.

I have always said I do not like resolutions. The main reason being that I never stick to them. Psychologists have also said that as soon as you tell yourself you cannot have something, you want it more than anything else. Therefore, for me, resolutions do not work. I do love goal setting though and have found in my life and career that goals work so well because I write them down, believe I can achieve them and then every decision I make revolves around the question “Is this going to get me closer to my goal?” and if the answer is “yes” then it’s full speed ahead.

If you are going to set some goals, let me give you some help and tips along the way.

1. Make sure you set yourself some short term, mid-term and long-term goals.

In this case you may actually find it easiest to work backwards. So your ‘long-term goal’ is to be in a new job by the July 2020. If we think about every decision we’re making aiming to lead towards that goal, we can quite clearly set ourselves a ‘mid-term goal’ of making job applications by March 2020 and a ‘short-term goal’ of updating our CV by the end of January. While being in a new job by the summer can at first feel quite an overwhelming task to accomplish, you can see here that by breaking it down, we are asking ourselves to complete something achievable which we can do really well – i.e. a fantastic new CV over the course of the next couple of weeks.

2. To live life in a full and balanced way, make sure goals are split across financial, work, education, friends, family and fun

While setting huge numbers of goals may leave you feeling confused about what you’re trying to achieve and, worse, demotivated to start any of them, having a range of goals is really important for a full and balanced lifestyle. Why not pick 3 long-term goals for yourself that each cover a different area of your life. Within each one, you’ll then set yourself a short and mid-term goal to get you there and by December 2020 you’ll be able to look back on not just a successful year, but a happy one also.

3. Write them down – either as a list or as a visualisation board

At Inspired, we love a visualisation board and this can be as creative as you like. Simply write down key words on a piece of paper that represent the goals you have set or, if you do want to get more creative, draw or find images that really speak to your goals. Have the visualisation board (or written list) somewhere you will see it regularly. This will help you keep on track and accountable to yourself for reaching the targets you really want to see yourself achieve.

4. Every time you make a decision, consult the list or board to ensure you are goal orientated

It’s so easy to get off track with your goals. Getting a new job or a promotion is common New Year’s goal but life takes over and we focus on other things. When you’re choosing how to spend your time, or what new responsibilities or training to ask for at work, consult your goal list / board and make sure you’re helping yourself get to where you want to be by making the right call. Be on your own team, in other words, cheering yourself on to get to your goal all the time.

5. Every time you reach a goal tick it off, replace it with another one, and say thank you and well done to yourself!

This isn’t about setting yourself things you can get done by the Spring and having a rest until December! Keep yourself moving and developing right up until December. This requires lots of treats, though, and we fully encourage celebrating each success, however big or small! Hopefully this means you’re going out to celebrate with your new team or boss after a promotion and your career is that bit more advanced than the start of the year when you were so diligently updating that CV of yours. Well done you!

I am sure by now you have read lots of blogs on goals and resolutions so I’m hoping mine is also helpful for you. We are in the business of career development and progression so if one of your goals is promotion in your career and you work in publishing, do not forget we are here to help so get in touch with one of the team today. Find us at www.inspiredselection.com or call us on 02036686733.

May 2020 be your year to shine, be happy and most importantly healthy!

Suzy Astbury has been working in publishing since 2003 and publishing recruitment since 2008. She acquired Inspired Selection in 2013 and has since gone on to win two awards: Best Company to Work For at the IRP Awards 2019 (The Institute of Recruitment Professionals) and Best Small Business (Southwark Business Awards 2019). Inspired also celebrated turning 20 last year. Suzy  is a huge fan of goal-setting in her personal and professional life, so much so that she gets her business and all its people to set themselves goals in and outside of work too.

Related Articles


  1. Nice piece, Suzy! In particular, starting with a long-term goal and then breaking it down into smaller, nearer-term goals is a great approach. 🙂

  2. Really good tips. It’s also worth thinking about using a coach can help get you stay on track and achieve those goals, also help to think through ways to get passed your barriers, challenges or when you are just a bit stuck.

Comments are closed.

Sign up to our Newsletter


* indicates required

BookMachine Ltd. will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at hello@bookmachine.org. We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp’s privacy practices.