Committing time daily towards a goal that is specific, time-bound, and challenging will increase your chances of achieving that goal. Your chances increase further by committing to your goals publicly. Share your goals for learning data science with your peers below!
Read on if you want to know more about setting goals
What is Goal Setting?
Traveling can be exciting. But if we don’t have a final destination, we may wonder: Where am I going?
Not having a destination in mind can also cause us to be distracted; we will wander around chasing everything that catches our eye until we realize we’ve wasted time. Similar to having a final destination, it is essential to have goals.
Let me ask you this question: why do you want to learn data science?
Thinking about this question will help us understand the reason we’re learning, and help us work towards achieving our goals. Goals provide us a reason to be motivated, a reason to be focused, and ensures we will stay on track!
Benefits of Goal Setting
- Goals help us to be motivated
- Goals can prevent distractions
- Goals can show our growth
- Goals can give us an estimated time of completion
- Proper breakdown of goals can make complex tasks simple
- Succeeding to complete a goal can boost our confidence
- Failing to achieve a goal can show us our current capability
Prerequisites of Goal Setting
CommitmentSetting goals is easy. But if we lack commitment to our goals, we would lack the motivation to reach those goals.
AttainabilityWe must believe that we can attain or partially achieve our goal. If we won't, it's likely we won't try.
Self-EfficacySelf-Efficacy refers to the ability to exert control over our motivation, behavior, and social environment to deal with a situation without being overwhelmed. The higher our self-efficacy for a specific task, the likelier it is that we will set higher goals, and the more persistence we will show in achieving them.
How to Set Goals Correctly?
You Know ‘Why’
It is essential to know the why behind our goal, which will help increase our commitment to it - especially for goals that are long-term. Make sure to remind yourself of the ‘why’ occasionally.
Having specific goals increase task performance. For example, ‘I will complete the Data Scientist In Python path in 12 months’ vs ‘I will learn data science through Dataquest’. Specific goals will allow you to measure your progress.
Have Short Term Milestones
While completing the Data Scientist In Python path in 12 months can be seen as a realistic goal, it is a long term goal. So, the chance of us losing motivation early on is very high.
Having smaller milestones towards our goals will ensure we can stay motivated. For example, ‘I will complete step 1 of Data Scientist In Python path by the end of this month’, ‘I will complete the first course in step 1 in 2 weeks’, ‘I will complete two missions this week,’ etc.
Make it Challenging
When goals are easily within our reach, we don’t have to put in much effort, and they become less valuable to us. For example, picking the apple at the bottom of the tree isn’t as valuable as reaching the crisp apples at the top.
The more challenging the goal, the more effort we will put into it, and the more value we will gain from it. However, there is a catch here! If the challenge is unrealistically high, it will result in little, if any, effort directed toward its achievement.
Let’s do 100,000 pushups a day to stay fit!
Pursue Your Goal Daily
To prevent drifting away from our goals, we have to make sure that we are pursuing them daily. Even small steps toward your goal, like completing a mission screen or reviewing your solution code to improve it, will do the trick.
Bonus Tip: Use Reminder HabitsHabits from our daily routine can help us to create new habits. For example, 'I will read the newspaper for 30 minutes every day after I brush my teeth'. Here, brushing your teeth is a habit that you can rely on to remind you to perform a new task. Regularly doing tasks after your habit will help you build them into your routine easily and reliably. In the same way, we can use our habits to learn data science every day. For example: 'I will learn data science from Dataquest for at least 30 minutes every day after having dinner'.
If we can commit time daily towards a goal that is specific, time-bound, and challenging, it will increase our chances of achieving that goal. And if we post our goals publicly, we’ll become more accountable (and motivated) to achieving them.
I’d love to know the why behind your decision to learn data science! Share your goals with me and your peers below