It is the end of 2018 and I wanted to write something about why goals are important. Especially as it relates to goal setting for developers and those of us in the field of technology. Goals are not something to shy away from and can be the difference between success or stagnation. Software and technology is a very fast changing field and it can be very difficult to stay up on trends and new developments. I have seen in my own life that by setting a few short-term and long-term goals this makes it more feasible to stay relevant and grow both professionally and personally. I have not always been one to set goals, but the last couple of years I find myself doing this a bit more. Goals help me to be accountable to myself and also act as a compass in my life, both in my career and in my person.
I am not going to go into the details of how I set and plan some of my goals, but I use the ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ and Stephen Covey’s recommended methods for goal planning. I personally believe that with goals which are in line with my personal beliefs and principles, I am more likely to follow through with them.
A Barometer for Growth
In order for goals to work, we need to have a way to measure them and also a way to be accountable. I currently have some goals that are surrounding my family life which will hold me accountable and lead me to be more of a presence at home. There are both short-term and long-term benefits to this. I also have some goals related to my professional development but are in many ways applicable to other areas of my life as well. These are actually more of what we commonly called soft-skill development and are surrounding me not engaging in negative relations at work and gossip about co-workers. This may not stop the issue that I see, but at a minimum, I don’t have to be a part of the drama.
So how are these things measured? Especially as it relates to soft-skills? Well, I have confidants which can help to hold me accountable. People that I don’t work with and most of whom are not even in software. These friends I am able to discuss some of these things with. This can be somewhat difficult as they are a bit more of subjective.
Following that, I do have a couple of personal projects, such as this blog. Whether or not this post gets read by someone, helps to hold me accountable for staying current with this platform. I also have the goal to learn more about Amazon Web Services, as I am working on a couple of projects that require migration of our current physical infrastructure to the cloud. This goal can easily be measured by whether or not I pass the Certified Developer Associate Exam, or whether the project runs to completion and on time.
I don’t want this post to turn into something other than what it is supposed to be (I want it to be inspirational and motivational for others), keeping with that I don’t want to tell you how to plan or set goals for yourself, other than I think that they are important and crucial for personal development. However, when you do make a goal, be realistic with yourself. Don’t try to do it all at once. Ambitiousness is great, and as such make your goals a bit more piecemeal if necessary so that the things you do set out to accomplish are attainable. Don’t make your goal so unattainable that you give up. That’s a trap. Make it doable and incremental, especially if it’s something large. And something that I am planning on doing this coming year is to look for a mentor. I have a couple of friends that are both entrepreneurs and in the technology field who I feel I could help, in turn for some guidance in areas that I need help with.
I’m going to say happy new year, and leave you with a quote that has impacted me, it comes from the previously mentioned book and it relates to this post in that goals will help us to maintain focus on what is important in our lives and careers. “Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” ~ Stephen Covey