How I failed to meet most of my goals for 2017...

…and why I am happy about it.

So today ends the first week of 2018, so let’s get to work and write some article! This was also my first week at my shiny, brand new job. I just started the very interesting adventure as a Mainframe Developer and I am really excited where it will take me. This is my first job as a professional developer, so as you can guess I feel pretty amazing right now.

Was that my goal for 2017 to find a job as a developer? Well, not at all. Of course at the end of 2016, when I was setting my objectives for the next year, I knew already that programming is something great. I have just applied for Android Scholarship organized by Udacity and Google (more on this here and here), and I was hoping I would get the opportunity to learn the secrets of Android programming. But to be a professional developer? To really be able to write programs others can use and to be paid for that? Well it didn’t even cross my mind. Those were the things beyond the scope of my possibilities (how wrong I was!).

Setting goals is important

I’m a big fan of good organization of work, establishing a well-constructed goals and I believe we should strive to meet them. I am a follower of Michael Hyatt, I often read books of Dale Carnegie or Stephen R. Covey. That’s why I knew that for the next year to be effective, I have to set goals that I want to meet and I will know how to do it.

I already knew that too many ambitious dreams could result in a failure, which is why I set only 4 goals for the whole year — one for each quarter.

Here you can find my 2017 ambitious (too ambitious as I later found out) goals:

1st quarter: to finish Android Developer for Beginners course
2nd quarter: to set up a charity and run a website for foreigners in my city
3rd quarter: to set up and run a website for my dogs related start-up
4th quarter: to finish the book I am working on

Looks legit, right? I had a whole year for it, what could possibly go wrong?

Changing plans can happen

Well, at the time I did not know that programming would absorb my entire free time and would become my passion. Already in March I felt that I would like to become a professional developer. I knew it would be quite difficult, so I decided to sacrifice all my time to achieve this goal.

Thus, I devoted almost a whole year to learning programming, primarily in Android, then I studied Java in more detail, I created my projects and I participated in community meetings (including Google Developer Days in Krakow — more here).

In this way, not only I met my first goal from the list of goals for 2017, but I expanded it and achieved amazing results. At the moment I can name myself a professional programmer already, while I am only at the beginning of this road!

The cost, of course, was a failure in fulfilling my other three goals. I strongly believe however that I will be able to achieve these goals in the future too. Today I already know how much time and energy is needed to finish a large project. If I tried to fulfill all my plans for the last year at all costs, I would undoubtedly fail to get a programmer’s job already. I can also say with certainty that none of those goals would be completely finished anyway.

Be smarter in setting goals for 2018

Does it mean you shouldn’t set goals for yourself? Or I won’t plan anything for the next year? Quite the opposite! We just need to expect unexpected effects our goals may bring and to be open for changes in our plans. You wouldn’t want to miss a great opportunity, just because you furiously stick to your schedule, right?


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