top of page
Ability to set life and career goals

SMART goals are: Specific, Measurable, Action-Based, Relevant, and Timeline-driven. They have start and and dates and exact metrics. SMART goals map to scheduled actions that make them easier to reach. The goals turn into doable calendar items.  


There’s little motivation for success if your goals don’t connect to your values. Of course, to make this work you need to know exactly what your values are. We recommend looking at 5 areas of your life — career, self, family, community, and spirit — and consider how you’re living out your values in each of those areas. Gaining this perspective will give you some ideas about what you might like to change or improve.

To do this, consider:

- How do you spend your time and energy?

- What are you passionate about?

- What do you need to do more of?

- What should you cut back on? And What’s missing?

Take time to process your thoughts and feelings, and consider feedback you’ve been given. List 5 things you’d like to change or do differently. Write them down as possible goals. This is the critical first step to turning your intentions into reality.

1. Decide.

Think of something you want to do or work towards. It doesn't matter what, as long as it's something you want to do - ideally something you're interested in or feel excited by. It should be something you want to do for its own sake not for something or someone else. It can be a big thing or a small thing - sometimes it is easier to get going with something small. And it often helps if it's something that's just a little bit beyond what you currently can do - goals that stretch us can be motivating!


2. Write it down.

Carefully. Writing down our goals increases our chances of sticking with them. Write down how you will know you have reached your goals and when you'd like to have achieved it by. Ask yourself: what it will 'look' like and how will you feel when you've done it? How does it connect to who or what you value in your life? Describe your goal in specific terms and timescales e.g. 'I want to plant lettuces, carrots and peas in the empty patch in my garden by the end of May' rather than 'I want to do some gardening.' Write your goals in terms of what you want, not what you don't want. For example: 'I want to be able to wear my favourite jeans again', rather than 'I don't want to be over-weight anymore'.


3. Tell someone.

Telling someone we know about our goals also seems to increase the likelihood that we will stick at them.


4. Break your goal down.

This is especially important for big goals. Think about the smaller goals that are steps on the way to achieving your bigger aim. Sometimes our big goals are a bit vague, like 'I want to be healthier'. Breaking these down helps us be more specific. So a smaller goal might be 'go running regularly' or even 'to be able to run around the park in 20 minutes without stopping'. Write down your smaller goals and try to set some dates to do these by too. Having several smaller goals makes each of them a bit easier and gives us a feeling of success along the way, which also makes it more likely that we'll stay on track towards our bigger goal.


5. Plan your first step.

An ancient Chinese proverb says that the journey of 1000 miles starts with one step. Even if your goal isn't to walk 1000 miles, thinking about the first step on the way will really help to get you started. Even if you don't know where to start there's no excuse - your first step could be to research 'how to…' on the internet or think of people you could ask or to get a book on the subject from the library. Then think of your next step…and the next…


6. Keep going.

Working towards our goals can sometimes be difficult and frustrating - so we need to persevere. If a step you're doing isn't working, think of something else you could try that still moves you forward, even a tiny bit. If you're struggling, ask people you know for their ideas on what you could do. They may help you see a different way.


7. Celebrate.

When you reach your goal take time to enjoy it and thank those that helped you. Think about what you enjoyed and learned along the way. Career development goals determine the success you will achieve in your career. They help you devise methods to improve your skills as a developer and gain more experience to be a CTO. Before you set your career goals, you need to understand what you want for the next step in your career.


You can come up with a project idea but how you plan to do the project to complete it is what matters. For instance, when developing an application, you can start by simply creating a static page with links to your favorite website, reading, and learning only what is necessary to complete the project. You can then tackle the next task of talking to a third-party application programming interface (API). The following are tips on how to set your goals accordingly.


Ensure the goals you set are S.M.A.R.T.


When establishing your career goals statement, try using the SMART goals framework. Here’s what that stands for:

• Specific: Clearly state what you plan to accomplish (i.e. “start my own marketing agency focused on software clients”).

• Measurable: Similarly, outline what your benchmark for success is so that you know when you’ve actually achieved your goal.

• Achievable: You don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment, so make sure that your goal isn’t so lofty that it’s unattainable.

• Relevant: Ensure that what you want to accomplish is actually relevant to you (this is where that self-reflection really comes in handy!).

• Time-bound: A goal is nothing without a deadline for when you plan to achieve it by. Your career goals statement should be somewhat long-term (and not something you want to accomplish by next week). But “long-term” can mean six months to some people and 20 years to others. Get clear on exactly when you want to reach this objective.

Once you’ve read the text on the topic, it’s time to test your knowledge.

Solve the following practice exercises!

bottom of page