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Today’s is the day D. Yes, we are about to set fulfilling career goals together, shall we? I am pretty excited and scared every time I am thinking about my intentions and goals.  

Will I be able to achieve this? Could this really happen this year? 

 – are common fear-fueled-thoughts racing through my head especially when I dare to write a goal that feels totally impossible.  

But what if this could be possible … ? Wouldn’t it be great if … ?

– is my response every time I am about to dismiss the possibility that something extraordinary could happen in my life.

These two questions usually work the magic. I become more curious and courageous to explore new possibilites …

It wasn’t always like that though. 

Years ago, goal setting turned into some sort of forecasting and an action driven exercise without any connection to my feelings and soul. Done, tick-off … that kind of thing. 

I was working towards achieving my life-long dream, became a manager. I was happy … so I thought. 

The wakeup call came when my mother questioned once “I no longer recognise the happy daughter I used to know, what is happening with you my lovely?”  

The thing is she was right. I put a brave face on that everything was all right, but it wasn’t. I questioned my career direction. I felt confused, overwhelmed and sometimes alone. 

This simple question from my mother started my journey of discovery and a quest for joy and fulfilment.  Changing the way how I set my career goals was an inevitable part of that journey.  

So here is the last step of process for setting fulfilling career goals – step 3, polished through years of personal transformation, nicely tried and tested by my clients as well.


Set HOLISTIC career goals to achieve more balanced and fulfilling outcomes

3 things to mention here:

1. There is nothing wrong with using SMART GOAL setting. You can use this technique as a starting point

If you are not familiar with SMART goal setting, here are the basics. Set your goal using the following principles:

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S – specific (For a very generic goal, try to narrow it down to something more specific)

M – measurable 

A – achievable 

R – realistic or relevant

T – time-bound (By when would you like to achieve this?)


This is the part that I always liked, it helped me to have a structure and focus. But what I was missing was the connection to my life and soul. 

I mean, if I for example set my goal “to earn £xx,xxx as my salary by 2013” – yes it was great and motivating, but when I got there; salary wasn’t making up fo the lack of fulfilment and joy in my life.

The question I had to answer was: 

“What does? What makes me feel fulfilled, joyful and alive?”  

 “Which outcomes are going to fill my hearth with joy, career with purpose and life with fulfilment?  


2. Is focusing on your career this year really a PRIORITY for you? 

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Remember the Wheel of Life we completed in Step 1?

It’s time to check if your career goals are aligned with all important areas of your life.


Let’s look back at the Wheel of Life and areas that you marked as most important to you.

Then a few simple questions can help here:



  • Is my career goal aligned with other important areas of my life (health, relationships, children, etc)?
  • If I achieve this outcome is there any impact on other areas of my life that are very precious to me – health, relationships, love life, children, personal resources, finances, free time? If you feel for instance burn out or stressed out too much, really consider – is aiming for another promotion or pay rise going to make a difference to your mental health? Or would it be just better to slow down and focus on health this year first?
  • How can I alter my goal so it’s supporting me to live a healthy, more balanced and fulfilling life?

These questions may sound logical and straight forward to you. 

Answering them honestly may feel sometimes uncomfortable and bring excuses:

  • I want to spend more time with my children and wife, but I really feel the need to support them financially. 
  • I want to make some time for dating and finding love of my life, but I really love my career and working long hours just seems to make it impossible. I better focus on my job right now and the Mr Right will just come one day …
  • I want to feel healthier, but it’s simply impossible to return to regular exercise and better eating habits, my work is just killing it. I can’t give up junk food, coffee, chocolate, wine …  and when I feel exhausted from work, I’d rather rest on the sofa than go for a run.

Sounds familiar?

The point I want to make is – just be aware what really matters to you and consider how your CAREER GOALS impact your life.

Which small adjustment you can make this month, this year to feel better, healthier and happy that you find the time for what matters to you?


3. The last question when you’re reviewing your goals is: Who am I doing this for?

Look at your career goal and answer honestly Who are you doing this for?

Are your CAREER AMBITIONS triggered by peer pressure, comparing with others, past decisions, or fear to disappoint your loved one (partner, parents) …

Is your goal really what you desire?



If you have read The TOP 5 regrets of the Dying written by Bronnie Ware, you know that:

#1 regret I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

#2 regret “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

Maybe you desire to spend more time with your little ones, maybe you wish to spend your evenings dating instead working on meeting project deadlines, maybe you wish to pursue a different career direction from what you chose earlier in your life … 

But your fear keeps you saying YES to following the path already lined up.

… if you answered: “Nope, I am not doing this for myself …” nothing is lost.

You can simply alter the career goal so you also consider your needs and desires, just the same way as you consider others.

My goals for this year?

  1. Put health as my priority – move it, move it, move it – walk to my work min 2-3 times a week, start swimming, cycling and hiking – min 2-3 weekends during the month. Eat more frequently smaller portions – min 4 times a day. Regular rest and putting “nothing” in my diary.
  2. Love life – create special memories from dancing to a favourite song in our living room; making cooking our magical time during the evenings, to turning arguments into dialogues with compassion.
  3. Work life – discover and expand my leadership skills by leading a bigger team, lead with purpose, kindness and commitment to excellence (how do I measure the outcome – performance of my team, atrition rate, engagement and happiness of my team)
  4. My career blog – publish one article each week (52 articles this year) and launch ZERO TO DREAM JOB ONLINE academy
  5. Finances – improve my saving habits, challenge my impulsive shopping habits (I love buying books and online courses, some of the books I never read or courses stayed not completed). I am going to buy wisely this year.

That’s it for now 🙂

Looking forward to read your goals.

ps: Finding your dream job is more fun when you’re in a community of like-minded people, I invite you to join our Facebook group –  ZERO TO DREAM JOB CLUB.

Author: AdriAna Kosovska

Professional and certified coach & founder of ZERO TO DREAM JOB ACADEMY


I work with employees, couples and organisations that care about

Stress reduction |  Talents and strengths development | Dream job