2020 has been really tough, so my mid-year goal review is a little late. But all's fair in love and pandemics, right?
Every 6 months I sit down and conduct a goal review. What have I achieved? What do I need to focus more on? Well, it’ll come as no surprise to discover that I’ve managed to do very little in 2020, and all the goals I set were pre-pandemic and no longer really apply at all. So where to from here?
My 2020 goals made sense at the time. They included paying myself, attending more conventions, posting regular content, creating my own design language, being prolific, creating long-term goals and reinvigorating this website. I’ve done almost none of these. Whoops.
Recently we’ve been enduring a “Stage Four” lockdown in Victoria. It’s not been much fun, but has meant that we’ve watch a lot of television. Some of which includes design competitions like Amazon’s Making the Cut and Netflix’s Blown Away. Which might sound like a nice relaxing night in, but to my depressed brain created the question “What if I throw everything out and become a fashion designer?” Spoiler alert: that’s not a sensible life choice for a human who’s main outfits consist of trackies and ugly-knit jumpers.
So what to do when you’re failing all your goals, the whole year feels like a waste and you just want to run away? Well, I cried for 3 days straight, then started asking why? Why do I want to be a fashion designer? Why do I want to be like the people on TV?
The answer I wrote in my journal was: I want to be a critically acclaimed designer. I miss being the best, and having my projects admired. Being acknowledged not for the mess of a person I am, but for the work I can create. So having a quick glance at the goals I set at the beginning of the year, it’s not surprising I failed so hard. None of them align with my core values.
The New 2020 Goals
This is the goal I’m most looking forward to. It’s fun to see what other people create, and how it could relate to my work. I miss the collaborative environment of a university classroom, and want to recreate that experience within my office. How am I going to do that? No idea, that’s why it’s a goal!
Be project focused
I’ve tried to apply this goal a few times, with varying levels of success. But looking at how different pieces of content fit together, I think a project-based approach is going to be the best fit. Just get the thing done before moving onto the next one.
Of course, this system isn’t perfect, and I’ll still be interspersing my projects with client work and blogs, but it’ll help narrow the focus to things that are actually achievable.
Apply for awards
This is a brand new goal for my list. Because how can I be critically acclaimed if my work is never judged? So I’m going to take a deep breath, and submit my work to competitions and award boards for review. It means that the new projects I work on will need to be of a very high standard, but I always seem to produce the best work under immense pressure.
Finish outstanding projects
This is a little bit of a more casual goal, but I’m over seeing half-done projects lying around. My hard drives are full of them, my desk has boxes of them. It’s time to finish some things. If you have suggestions for motivating myself to get them done, I’d love to hear them!
Refocus income streams
Finally, my least favourite topic to talk about, money. If I could do this forever without worrying about a dime, I’d do it in a heartbeat. But that’s not the way of the world, and it’s unfair on my partner to shoulder most of the financial burden.
This goal is going to take a lot of work. The economic climate is making everything challenging for everyone, and I hate thinking about how to monetise work. Ads are generally ugly, and most people have ad-blockers. Affiliate sales are hard to come by, and difficult to obtain without a large audience. Shop sales require a lot of traffic-per-sale, another metric that can be hard to achieve. I’m not one of the lucky few who have seen skyrocketing success, this is going to be something I need to work hard for.
If your 2020 has fallen apart due to unforeseen pandemics, or just pure bad luck, I suggest having a goal review and rethinking your direction for the remainder of the year. It’s not too late to make a start, and if you create a good foundation now, 2021 might just be your year!