The ONE THING That Will Help You Reach Your Coding Career Goals

What are your coding career goals? To learn to code and become a JavaScript developer in 1 year? To start a thriving, cutting-edge web agency? Whatever it is, if you fail to plan your steps you will find yourself sidetracked and distracted by every new course and program out there. In this post, I want to show you a framework to help you better reach your coding career goals.

coding career goals pinterest

I just got around to reading The One Thing by Gary Keller, and I see why it's a national "bestseller." If you lay hold of this principle, it will change your life. My gears were spinning with every page. 

Essentially, one has to set priorities in life based on what's most important. In addition, we have to look ahead to see where we want to end up, and then work out way back incrementally to determine what it is exactly that we should be doing each day, week, and month to get there. 

It keeps us focused on this ONE THING, discarding all other distractions.

The Temptation of the New Programmer

I'm thankful to live in a time where so much information is available. When it comes to learning to code, there are SO MANY great resources out there. 

But one trend I am noticing today is that with all of the options available (the online courses such as Treehouse, Lynda, FreeCodeCamp, Udemy, blogs, etc.), there is a huge temptation to spend time jumping between all the programs and not actually learning anything!……getting caught up in the bells & whistles and not ever reaching our desired outcome(s). 


Well, here's a test. Answer these questions:

  • How many coding subscriptions and courses do you own or are signed up for?
  • How many have you taken? 
  • How many are you currently "in progress" with?
  • Have you reached your desired goal?

It might go something like this: 

I'm doing JavaScript 30 but I stopped on day 3. I'm also slowly going through Free Code Camp. I'm learning Python on Treehouse, JavaScript with Brad Traversy on Udemy, React with Wes Bos, AND I just missed a day of #100DaysOfCode. I feel swamped and am never going to get that coding job in time. Well, beginning Monday I am going to start fresh with JavaScript from the very beginning (even though you have been learning JavaScript for three months now). 

Does this feel like you?

I've been there and it's actually very easy to slip back into this state.  (I'm convinced that the majority of JavaScript courses teach essentially the same things. Just pick one, work through it, and keep all other options out of the way).

Today, Things Can Change

The problem is that you have not determined the ONE THING. Because you have not set any specific future goal, your month, week, and daily goals are just as vast. What is your ONE THING? Learning to code and getting a job as a back-end developer? Learning Python and building an app? Starting a web agency and hosting 10 sites within 6 months?

Let me lay out a few things to help you regroup, determine your one thing, and then nail down what you need to be doing daily to reach your coding career goals successfully.

The ONE THING To Reach Your Coding Career Goals: "Goal Setting to the Now"

In Gary Keller's book, The One Thing, he promotes a process called "Goal Setting to the Now."

In this exercise, you start with a specific future goal and work your way to the present. It looks like this:

Your Someday Goal

What's the one thing I want to do someday?

Five Year Goal

Based on my Someday Goal, what's the one thing I can do in the next 5 years?

One Year Goal

Based on my Five Year Goal, what's the one thing I can do in the next 1 year?

Monthly Goal

Based on my One Year Goal, what's the one thing I can do in the next month?

Weekly Goal

Based on my Monthly Goal, what's the one thing I can do in the next week?

Daily Goal

Based on my Weekly Goal, what's the one thing I can do in the next day?

Right Now Goal

Based on my Daily Goal, what's the one thing I can do right now?

The key is to determine that ONE THING, look to a someday goal with that ONE THING, and then work your way backwards to the now.

Let's consider a fictional example, Jim. Jim is a 30-year-old warehouse manager. 

Jim has just started learning to code and wants to eventually change careers to become a JavaScript developer. Jim also just had his second child and not only wants to become a JavaScript developer but wants to meet the goal of making $90,000/yr as a full-time JavaScript developer within 2 years!

So consider Jim's ONE THING: Learn to code such that within two years Jim has a full-time job, making $90,000/yr, as a confident JavaScript developer.

coding career goals

Your One Thing?

What's your one thing?

Be specific. Look two years out. 

Where do you want to be in two years? Be specific, write it down. Then work backwards "to the now."

Now this is important:

Somehow you need to revisit this list daily. If you noticed from the example above, Jim's monthly goal is to "Nail down the basics of HTML & CSS." Next month may be to "Learn the basics of JavaScript." The next may be, "Take an advanced JavaScript course." The next may be, "Build a todo app and a calculator with JavaScript." And on and on. Each month you need to revisit this to reach your yearly goal, and ultimately your two-year goal. 

The same goes for weekly, and daily. These should be revisited accordingly and updated, always looking to that final coding career goal. 

For me personally, I use the Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt. It's a bit expensive, but it's a high priority issue in my life and I am willing to invest in it.

With the Full Focus Planner, a new planner is shipped out quarterly. So goals are set and measured quarterly in the big picture. Then it allows me to set my monthly goals, my three weekly goals, and my daily "Big 3."

Whatever you use, a journal, moleskin, a simple notebook, visit your one thing EVERY MORNING. 

Based on your big goals, what must you be doing monthly, weekly, daily? So update your daily, daily. Your weekly, weekly. Your monthly, monthly, etc. 

Conclusion & Free Download

Your first step is to determine your ONE THING. Where do you want to be specifically in two years. Then work your way back. Get specific, down to the very course name, class name, or project steps (see how Jim's weekly goal included a SPECIFIC path on a SPECIFIC website, Treehouse. This means that Jim will not need ANY OTHER COURSE for that week. Only Treehouse. He is not going to let himself get sidetracked with other courses or options out there). 

To help you get started, I have created the chart above for you to download and fill out. Look at Jim's chart and fill out your own. 

Download it here: My Two Year Coding Goal To The Now

You can also get my 6-month blueprint with step-by-step, week-by-week, instructions on How to Learn to Code and Get a Job in Six Months. This guide will keep you on track all the way to intro coding concepts to nailing the coding interview

Be intentional about your coding career goals and remove all the distractions that interfere with your ONE THING, and work your way to the now. 

Have you read The One Thing? What goals have you set and what steps have you taken to reach your coding career goals?


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About Me Author

Travis of

Travis Media

Who Am I? I was 34 years old in a job I hated when I decided to learn to code. Read More

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