The season of interviews is wrapping up. First, however, I want to share some points about achieving goals and setting them.  This past season was a little different from other ones for the podcast.  It required a different approach.  That has helped me gain new insight into ways we can plan out milestones and find ways to hit them.  It is not easy and requires effort.  Nevertheless, here are some steps you can take to find success.

Achieving Goals Requires Deadlines

The key to achieving a goal is to meet deadlines.  First, you have to set them.  Then, you have to meet them.  I have had numerous conversations over the years with those that are trying to push themselves.  Those often include a softer view of deadlines than when someone else sets them.  Many of us find excuses to pass on a personal deadline that we would not if someone else set it.  That is the challenge of being a self-starter.  We need a reason to do many tasks, and often we rely on others to give us that impetus.  Deadlines and milestones provide a mechanism for driving us forward and taking the necessary steps.

Appropriate Markers and Deadlines

A journey requires us to progress towards the destination.  Random progress markers do not help.  They might even take you off track. Instead, set milestones that are pulled out of the progress you naturally will make.  Avoid adding tasks that are simply there to show progress and instead use existing tasks.  Find points where you have a well-defined success-fail measure and then set a date for that to be achieved.  This process may seem simple.  However, it can be handy in providing accountability and pressure to keep you on track.

Build In Buffer

Side hustle tasks and similar “not our day job” work can often be pushed aside. However, we are far more susceptible to letting life get in the way of those goals.  Priority setting is essential, and we need to include that in our side hustle and other areas of life.  When you feel you do not have enough hours in the day, it is an indication to scale back somewhere.  Likewise, tasks with lesser priority need to include some buffer time in the planning.  You know you will push back a milestone for something more critical so give yourself some time to account for it.  Then, be aggressive in tackling your milestones sooner rather than later.  You might get done early and be able to shift focus elsewhere or otherwise build some buffer for life’s more significant distractions.

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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