I had an epiphany recently about goal setting and professional development:
Every time I have set my sights on a specific work-related goal I have not reached that exact goal.
An example- early on in my career I was a fresh faced SDR with the whole world in front of me. I decided I wanted to follow the traditional path of becoming an AE and began working on what I thought was a fool proof plan to get there. I met with all the right people and checked all the right boxes, but after applying multiple times I didn't ever get that AE position for a multitude of reasons. I did however make some great connections in my company, I showed initiative and drive to grow out of my current role, and learned a lot that I would not have otherwise been exposed to. In the end all of this made me an ideal candidate for management and I ended up building out a whole new segment in the SDR org for our company. I did also eventually become an AE. And after I got some experience there, my previous management experience made me eligible for lots of other roles I would not have otherwise been considered for.
All this to say, it is important to set goals, but reaching that specific goal isn't always the best outcome (even though we might stubbornly want it to be). Being flexible and focusing on the work you have to do to improve yourself is what ends up being the most important thing. Do the work, try to achieve your goals, be flexible and patient when you don't, and you will probably end up opening doors you didn't realize existed to begin with.
Just some food for thought.