Rapid Goal Setting; Making Flexible Changes

May 01, 2022

May?? It’s MAY?? Okay, it’s May.

Many of us have lamented over the past couple of years how we think about time and experience it, 2022 has been no different. It’s been almost halfway into the year, so I think it’s fair time to do a personal goal check in and see how things are going.

I had forgotten to mention how I set up my goals and how to achieve them in my original post, it’s similar to creating SMART goals but tweaked a little bit. I have borrowed some of the structure from a friend of mine while we were reviewing possible goals from last year to work through and keep track.

The first step is to pick one or a small set of goals, the more succinct, the better. For mine, I picked three that would benefit a few facets of both my personal and professional life. Once these goals are chosen, there are smaller actionables that can be completed over a quarter of the year to continue progressing to the main goals. To keep them even more exact, is picking which month they should be completed by, bonus points if there’s a specific deadline to complete during the month.

Some of these monthly goals I’ve jotted down are not always related to the lofty goals, but some I’ve wanted to complete, such as replacing housewares or sorting my closet (still not complete 😅). The other half of flexible goal setting by quarters is they don’t always have to stay exactly as you first placed them. As it’s been a little bit after the quarter has ended from the original goals, some things have already had to be tweaked.

For the first goal I noted, I knew was going to be the most difficult to reach especially when you see most postings are for senior level developers; as well for juniors is difficult and can take quite some time, I have continued my self study. I did apply for a few places and interviewed realizing where my weak points were and how to adjust. Not all was lost in these practice interviews as I did get promoted to a team lead role and began a part time engineering internship! Nothing is guaranteed for a role, but it’s been a good start being able to broaden my knowledge, work on a different team, and continue learning.

For the second, I did start a couch to 10k interval schedule mid January until a couple weeks in, I went for a run and encountered some halting knee pain I thought I could push through, but went more south than I had thought after finishing. I could hardly walk for a week after and have taken a couple months off from most any exercise with that fear it will occur again. Since then, I now have bought some probably more suitable shoes, found a different schedule, and tried again briefly, but soon became overwrought with worry it will happen again whenever I felt some sort of pain or soreness in my legs. Instead, I’ve reframed it to possibly even just completing a 5k this year at some point or more consistent exercise in general to pass this goal. Exercise has been a way to expunge some anxious energy and has been a hit to my mental health not having this outlet and working to get around it in a different way.

The third goal on the list was reading one book a month and so far have completed 2 and on my third book; slow going and knew it would but I know by years end it will be more read than years previous!

So, we’ll see how the next couple of months go with goals and reaching them, maybe even further tweaks, but that is no issue with me. It’s not fair to your mental state to stay rigid with specific goals set months or even years ago, as long as you are moving forward inch by inch. Some days are rough and you need to take that day as a break too, not everyday is productive.

The below quote pops in my head when thinking of diversity in schools of thought how to work through a problem but also working to be flexible in life situations. I’ve felt pretty stagnant these past few months and I’m ready for some little celebrations to come. It’s okay to be flexible and changing priorities, since life is always changing.

“It is important to draw wisdom from many different places. If we take it from only one place, it becomes rigid and stale ” - Iroh

(yes, it’s from The Last Airbender, it’s one of my favorite shows 😁)

Written by Haley Elder, a web developer living in the Pacific Northwest, looking for their first developer role while working through CS50P (Intro to Programming with Python); more about this blog >>

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