In the previous post, we stated how you could define your professional goals. We mentioned the importance of defining a technological perspective for the future and updating it based on your strengths and weaknesses. That was the first step on the path to becoming a professional programmer.
Today, we will supplement this knowledge and focus on answering the question of how to reach the goals you specified earlier. This topic seems like a natural continuation of the previous one, because when you already know what you want to achieve, the main problem is overcoming two major obstacles which are time and will. The lack of time is a technical issue related to the main problem, and the lack of willpower is more of a philosophical one. Let us begin.
The power of a routine
The first obstacle in attaining your programming goals is the technical “how” — how to do what I plan to do? The problem is usually related to the lack of time for personal and career development. Of course, we won’t discover any incredible solution to your lack of time. Still, when you find even half an hour a week to work on your career and do this regularly, you will establish a critical bastion that will help you follow the right path.
Having a routine is vital because, from its definition, it is systematic and predictable. When you make your technical development systematic and predictable, you can make better decisions and ensure reaching your objectives. This kind of incremental development is the most efficient technique you can adapt.
Creating a good routine is the necessity to move forward. When you have a profitable foothold in your week-plan, you can expand. One option is to find some less favorable routine of yours, like TV or Netflix, and move some of that time into your useful endeavor. The trick is not to do this all at once but to do it gradually, so you don’t experience a massive discomfort. Start small and improve one thing at a time. The vital obligation is to improve the quality of your routine consistently.
The last technical element of achieving your aims is to plan the path to success carefully. You don’t have to be totally strict about that; some people prefer to keep the plan vague, others — very precise. Nevertheless, dividing your path into steps that are specific goals measurable in time makes your plans more achievable. You should be able to define actions properly and distinguish between the following ones. In addition, remember to estimate and validate the time and track it in relation to your routine.
Those technical suggestions should help you achieve your goals.
The second impediment is the philosophical “why” — why should I do what I plan to do? In this case, the problem is motivation, the willingness to attempt challenging and dull tasks that take time and do not yield results right away. It is definitely a more complex problem because there is no specific, technical solution to this. The improvement is hard to measure, and stopping wasting time is not enough to force yourself to do meaningful work. It is more about your own perspective on your career and choices that come along.
Motivation may be divided into two categories: an external and an internal one. The external motivation is usually easier to achieve because it is more tangible. The plan you created may be enough to trigger your impulse because, during this plan, you will chase things that constitute your external motivation.
The more static but also more ambitious to establish is the internal motivation. It is a drive within you that keeps you going. It is precious because it frames your will and, combined with a relevant external factor, could fire you up like nothing else.
To develop the internal motivation, you should really appreciate the idea of being a professional programmer. That is because the very concept of remaining competent is a decision you have to make and stick to it.
It is often the case that you won’t see results right away, and starting from a low level of competence may be very challenging, but you need to realize that you have the power to change and evolve. The promising prospect is yours. Generally, when you commit to something, you will eventually get some results, sometimes small, sometimes big, but there will be feedback along the way. Then, you can use it to validate your position and goals, but making this journey is a necessity you cannot skip, so better start right now.
Another general rule is that when you push hard and long enough, you will likely overcome major obstacles and later find yourself in a more straightforward situation to follow new objectives.
When everything works great, try to expand and take more responsibility to keep on rolling. Winning small games sweetens the main path, so pay attention and appreciate them.
When something is wrong, remember that it tends to get better after the struggle. Still, during hard times, try to find your strength in humility and commitment. Conflict and strain are not pleasant but necessary to build up your character and for you to do better in the future.
Appreciate your success and your defeat.
Achieving your professional goals is not an easy task, but having a good routine and proper motivation is beneficial.
Routine implements an incremental development. You should establish at least one good habit that will move you forward. Then, try to expand and replace bad behavior with a good one. Dividing your goals into specific and measurable parts will help you to keep track of your development.
Motivation may be tricky because the most efficient one involves an outside objective with the internal drive to do better. Don’t be afraid to start small and evolve because it is the mandatory path you need to take. Look at good things and appreciate them. Look at bad ones and learn from them. The answer to why you do this will be your infinite fuel.
Take some time to think about your routine and motivation. See you!