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Better Goals - Finding Cohesion Between Your Long and Short Term Goals

Published 10/12/2022

Our goals usually take two forms: what we want to accomplish, and who we want to be.

When we can align these things, we find cohesion in our goals, giving us more clarity and purpose.

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Square has APIs for almost every aspect of running a business from employee management, to order creation and tracking, to inventory synchronization. Square’s APIs also integrate with software business owners already use like tax and bookings. so business owners can have an integrated software stack that empowers them to achieve their goals. To get started building remarkable business applications, visit https://developertea.com/square to learn more and create an account.

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Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
What is a goal in the first place? How should you be thinking about your goals? My name is Jonathan Cutrell, I'm a Developer Tea. My goal in the show is to help different developers like you find clarity, perspective, and purpose in their careers. And you just heard me mention a goal here. I'm kind of breaking my own rules. How do I measure whether or not we're providing clarity, perspective, and purpose? The primary measurement that I use is kind of a soft one. I wait on your reviews. I wait on your feedback. I learn from our Discord community. You can join that at developer.t.com slash discord. What is a goal in reality? What we use goals in two kind of completely different ways in our careers, often the terminology is what gets mixed up. On the one hand, we have our long term goals. And on the other hand, we have the goals that we've been talking about more recently in the last episode of this show, our short term goals. The ones that would follow the smart framework, the ones that we can measure, the ones that we can say pass fail on. Our long term goals, we have a hard time imagining that we will reach a point where we say that we have failed that long term goal. In fact, much of the kind of measurement of those long term goals is done in our minds. It's done emotionally. And that's because these goals are not really measurable goals after all. Instead, they are states of being of identity. If they are measurable, those measures are simply indicators of what we expect our state of being to be. What we expect our emotional realization of that moment to feel like. So in today's episode, I want to focus on this larger idea of goal orientation for our long term goals. We're going to reframe this concept and use it to inform those shorter term goals. These two concepts are often kept in different parts of our life. The short term goals are the kinds of goals that we want to achieve in order to, for example, get a promotion next year or in order to get a good performance review at work. We may have short term goals in our personal lives, like clean out that closet this weekend or finish that project, that side project that we've been wanting to finish forever. But we often disconnect these from our long term goals. I want you to take a moment while you're listening to this episode and identify one. Just one of your long term goals. All you're thinking about that, we'll take a quick break to talk about our sponsor. This episode of Developer Tea is made possible by Square. There are millions of sellers across the globe using Square to run every aspect of their business. This is almost ubiquitous at this point. We've almost certainly used something powered by Square in the last week and maybe even in the last day or a couple of hours. Many of those sellers are looking for customized solutions that are deeply connected and easy to use. This is where you as a developer can come in. You grow your own business by extending or integrating with Square using Square's free APIs and SDKs to build specific tools for sellers. Help them solve their problems and earn more for your business in the process. Head over to developertea.com slash square, and you can start today. That's developertea.com slash square. Thanks again to Square for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea. What is your long term goal? We don't have to talk about all of them in today's episode. We want to discuss one of those goals. What is it? Very often, the way that we articulate these long term goals is through some identity language. In other words, this is who I want to be. Maybe you have a long term achievement that you've always wanted to reach. You've always wanted to run a marathon. You've always wanted to earn your PhD. Maybe you've always wanted to start a company. As long term goals, though they may be able to be measured as pass fail, are often not necessarily tactical. We're not trying to just earn any PhD. We're not trying to just push our bodies once to run a marathon. We're trying to become the kind of person who would run a marathon. We're trying to become the kind of person who would earn a PhD. We're trying to become the kind of person who would start a business. When we have these identity-related goals, they often speak directly to our core and deepest motivations. This is the grounds that you'll find your purpose. What is it about earning a PhD that you care about? What are the aspects of that identity that you would like to start to develop in yourself? From this, we can derive other goals. Notice that if you're trying to become the kind of person who earns a PhD, your goals along the way, your milestones, whatever you want to call those, the stepping stones between where you are and becoming the kind of person who has a PhD, those intermediary steps will be different. You have more opportunities than if you were just trying to earn a PhD. Notice that just trying to earn a PhD, your first steps might be to get accepted into a PhD program, maybe find one that you can afford, very tactical in nature. But instead, if you were trying to become the kind of person who holds a PhD, the goals might change. The theme of the goals becomes less about trying to chart your pathway towards a PhD, and instead, more about adjusting your behaviors. The kind of person who earns a PhD, for example, may read more often than the average person. This is almost certainly true. And so you may set a goal for yourself that has nothing to do directly with earning the PhD, but does absolutely have something to do with cultivating the who, the identity, the long-term goal of what you want to become. So here's your homework. Hopefully you have some goals, both short-term and long-term. Your goal is to try to understand, number one, if they connect and if so, how? Start by looking at those long-term goals. Identify what end those goals is common. What are those goals saying about who you want to be? How are they expressing your identity goals? And then secondly, once you have the identity identified in those goals, look at your short-term goals. How do these connect to who you want to be? Maybe you have a short-term goal of achieving a promotion in the next two years. And then perhaps even smaller goals that help you walk the path every quarter or so in order to achieve that promotion. You may also have two long-term goals that you identify. One is to become the kind of person who is able to make decisions about how they spend their time freely. This would require some level of financial autonomy and getting a promotion may carry you towards that. Another goal might be that you want to become a respected leader in your field. Once again, a promotion may be able to carry you in that direction. However, there are many other possible goals that could carry you towards those two longer-term goals. Once you have those longer-term goals ironed out your identity goals, then you can take a look at those shorter-term goals and determine are there other ways that I haven't considered yet? Or maybe my short-term goals need a little bit of refinement. Maybe it's not necessarily a promotion that I'm interested in. It's wider reach or more exposure. Maybe it's just simply earning more money. By looking at your goals in this holistic manner, you're creating a more cohesive solution. We're going to talk about cohesion quite a bit when it relates to our goals. Because when our goals work together, they become more intuitively connected to each other. In other words, when you start thinking about your goals in terms of the kind of identity that you're cultivating, this cohesion of your goals, instead of your goals, kind of acting as rules or purely as targets, arbitrary targets, they act as guidelines for that identity. They act as markers as measurements along the way. Having good cohesion between your goals, leading you to the identity that you care about cultivating, will often mean that by pursuing one goal, you are naturally pursuing the others as well. Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. Thank you again to Square for sponsoring today's episode. Head over to developertea.com slash square to get started today with squares free APIs and SDKs, building tools for millions of sellers around the globe. Thanks so much for listening to this episode. If you enjoyed this episode and you want to hear more Developer Tea, a couple of things. One, go ahead and subscribe and whatever app you're already using. Hopefully you've already done this if you're a listener of the show. Two more things. Having the developer to discord community, head over to developertea.com slash discord that's totally free. We're not asking for any information from you or any minimum level of participation or anything like that. This is just a community where you can join and discuss your day to day life as an engineer, how you're getting better. The questions you have, the problems you're facing, all of these questions, all of these kind of challenges that you're facing, others are facing it too. And they're in this community, developertea.com slash discord. And finally, we don't always ask for reviews, but they are super helpful in helping other software engineers like you find Developer Tea and decide to listen. This is the best way to make sure that the show can continue doing what we do because it will help us reach more engineers who would like this content. So leave a review in whatever podcasting app you use as well. Maybe at the same time that you subscribe. Thanks for watching and it's on next time. Enjoy your tea.