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⏰ Time travel to reach your career goals

Time travel to reach your career goals

Listen carefully Marty, whatever you do, don't talk to your past self

The 2 rules of time traveling:

  1. Never talk to your past or future self
  2. Don’t mess with the past to influence the future

We’re about to break both these rules.

Because after “time traveling” to the past, you’ll:

  • Be able to measure your goal’s expectations vs reality
  • Find a greater level of self-awareness
  • Feel more motivated by how much progress you’ve made

Keep reading for the step-by-step guide on how to time travel for your career.

P.S. step 5 is my favourite (and might be yours too!).

Step 1: Convert your goals into systems

In case you missed it, goals are better when you turn them into systems.

By doing something daily or weekly to reach your ideal goal state, you’re more likely to become a winner.

For a deep-dive into how and why you should do this, check out our previous article - Goals are for losers - winners use systems.

Here is how you can change all your goals into systems 👇🏾

1. Start with your goal or end state
2. Working backwards, ask - what does it take to get there?
3. Translate this into an action you take daily or weekly.

What's a goal that you can turn into a system?

— Caleb Maru ⭕️ (@calebmaru)
Aug 17, 2022

Step 2: Think of who you’ll be 1 year from now

If you’ve done step 1 correctly, your future self will have that list of habits to work towards your goal.

What does the result of those habits look like 1 year into the future?

Here are some questions to help you visualize it:

  • How does future you spend your time?
  • What accomplishments have you had?
  • What does your day-to-day life look like?
  • What are some of your future self’s regrets?

For example, if you want to get a remote job as a data analyst, you could think about how you get to work from home every day. Consider what projects or tasks at work would get you excited.

Step 3: Write a letter to your future self

We’re about to break rule #1 of time travel: never talk to your future self.

Here’s how.

Visit and start writing.

Write down all your habits, your ideal goal state, and everything you expect (or hope) to happen in a year.

Be as detailed as you can. Hopefully, this will get you excited and motivated to start crushing your goals.

Write a letter to your future self using

Step 4: Set up your habits

Now, it’s time to set your future self up for success.

Yup, we’re about to break rule #2 of time travel: don’t mess with the past to influence the future.

But I’d say it’s worth it if it gets you to where you want to be - that new job, a successful startup, or whatever your ideal goal state is.

Here’s how to start.

First, grab your list of habits from Step 1. These are the habits that will bring you to your goal.

Then, use a habit-tracking app like Loop Habit Tracker or Daylio to notify you to do that habit every day.

Daylio app screens - habit tracking calendar and charts

Example: your goal is to get a job as a data analyst.

To break it down into habits, you commit to:

  1. Learning something new about data every day (through a course like EntryLevel’s)
  2. Submitting 1 job application every week
  3. Getting feedback on your resume and portfolio at least once a month

Now, all you have to do is set your habit reminders. This makes it easy to track your progress and ensures you won’t forget.

Psst: I go one step further and track my time. You can find out more in our previous article: Stop setting New Year’s Resolutions.

Step 5: Analyze results 1 year into the future

Now it’s time to be patient.

A lot can happen in a year.

Once 2023 is over, you’ll have:

  1. A letter from your past self
  2. Data on your habits

My favourite thing to do is look at all the data from the past year and analyze them against my goals.

For example, I’ll look at where I fell short of my expectations and try to figure out why. “Failing” isn’t bad - it’s how you learn. So I’ll try to use data about my habits to learn as much as I can about myself.

Then, I’ll look at where I succeeded, and figure out why. Was it easy or difficult? What helped me succeed, and how can I do more of that?

Before and after taking EntryLevel data analyst level 1 program: bad data dashboard vs beautiful data dashboard

Here’s a dashboard I created. In March 2022, I was horrible at analyzing data. You can tell from my dashboard that I didn’t know what I was doing.

Fast forward to October 2022, after I took EntryLevel’s Data Analyst Level 1 program.

I learned how to clean data (and trust me, there was a LOT of data I had to clean after exporting from my habit tracking and time tracking apps). I also learned how to make a data visualization, which you can see in my data dashboard above.

Confession: I spent way too long on the dashboard colours.

I separated my personal data dashboard into sections:

  • Mental health
  • Social
  • Physical health
  • Work

Now, I can use 2022’s data insights to make 2023 successful.

(This is why I turned from a spreadsheet hater to a spreadsheet lover.)

(Also, why should you never trust a data analyst? Because they like to spreadsheet 😂)

(Sorry if you’re a data analyst or aspiring data analyst.)

If you found this article helpful, why not share the love?

We have a referral scheme - share the link on your social media or in a WhatsApp group chat. With 10 successful referrals, you win a free EntryLevel program - including the Data Analyst program that I took.

Start 2023 by investing in yourself - I’m cheering for you!

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Date originally published:
Fri, 06 Jan 2023 07:11:00 +0000
Date last updated:
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⏰ Time travel to reach your career goals

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