How UX designers can set and stick to goals to propel their careers
The turn of the calendar to a new year is traditionally the time when many of us look at what we want to achieve and how we’re going to get there. It’s time for goal-setting. The media talk about resolutions, which is a popular goal-setting method.But how many of us actually keep up with our resolutions?
Resolutions are hard to keep. That’s why goal-setting must be intentional and purposeful. In this article I’ll explain why we set goals, how to set up SMARTER goals, and how to stick the goals we’ve set.
Only 3 percent of Americans write down goals, according to a Harvard Business Study. And for those you set New year’s resolutions — only 8% achieve them.
Why are goals important? Goals are what lead to future success. Here are a few things to consider.
Guide and Align Focus
Goals guide us toward the vision we have for ourselves. Goals provide us with something to work towards. They align our focus and guide us in our decisions of how to approach a project.
Let’s put in UX terms, if we design something with no user in mind it makes it that much harder to find the right design. If we have a persona then we have something that helps guides our design decisions and use the persona as a reference point. Goals do the same thing in our life!
Turn something big into something snackable
When we create a SMARTER goal, we break something big into something that we can actually achieve. For example, if we want to eat a big pizza, we don’t spin it on our fingers and eat it whole like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. For most of us, we break the pizza into smaller slices that we then eat.
The same can apply to goals, take something big and turn it into a snackable pizza slice.
Goals allow us to continue to iterate on ourselves so that we can keep moving forward. When we have a vision of what we what to become or where we want to be that is different from where we are today, the gap between those two states can be large. Goals can help us make small improvements over time so that we’re always working toward the bigger vision.
Finally, goals drive us to seek accountability. When we are accountable to ourselves or others for accomplishing what we set out to do, it helps us grow and challenge ourselves There are many benefits to accountability, including providing a feeling of ownership and improving performance over time.
If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
Let your values guide you
Understanding your values is a great way to help you shape your goals as you create them. These can act as touch-points in the goal-creation process. If one of your values is creativity, it will be really important for you to consider goals that feed your creativity. You are also more likely to stick with the goal.
Identifying your values
Values are your guiding principles. When you know what guides you, it helps you focus on what’s important to you. Here’s an activity you can do to identify your values.
First, create a large list of words. Here are some suggestions, but definitely add to the below list.
Spend some time reviewing the list and narrow it down to 3-5 words that most resonate with you.