Designers, You Can Use UX Processes To Achieve Your Life Goals

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Design Thinking

Create A Persona of You in The Future

What type of person would you like to be in a year (or two) from now?

Don’t focus on perfection. You can revisit this persona later on to review and change those goals.

In creating this future persona of you and putting them in hindsight, you will need to focus more on the end goals. You will then want to reflect on all aspects of your improvements and break them down into concise phrases.

Setting The Goals

After creating the persona of your future self, now it’s time to work backward and set a goal for you to become that person.

Now, when it comes to an iterative goal-oriented framework, SMART is my go-to method for evaluations. It involves:
  • S = Specific -> What are the goals you wanted to achieve?
  • M = Measurables -> How to track those goals?
  • A = Achievable -> How probable are the goals themselves?
  • R = Relevant -> How will achieving these goals help me?
  • T = Time-Bound -> When’s the deadline?

Let’s give an example of a goal.
An example of a SMART Goal writing
Goal: Be An Expert In Public Speaking.
Specific: Become better at explaining and convincing people of your ideas
Measurable: Get more than three opportunities to be a speaker in any design-related events/meetups.
Achievable: Yes, Clubhouse event, Offline meetups, Podcasts.
Relevant: Help with my self-confidence and presentation skills.
Time-bound: By the end of 2021.

There’s no limit to how many goals you can have, so feel free to create as many as you like.

Writing Down User Stories

Distil those personas into a small set of user stories needed to become that person in the end. Think critically about what personality or skill set you must have to solidify that image of the dream person you are becoming. Then keep iterating and building quantifiable goals upon those ideals.

For example:
As a confident person, I want to be invited as a speaker in any design-related event.

Remember to be specific when writing out these small goals. Being better at your job isn’t specific enough, but being invited to speak at an event is an actionable task. Creating challenging but achievable goals is also crucial. Being a billionaire by next year is unrealistic, while making a UI of a sign-in form every day for a year is too easy to do and will become boring after a while. Remember to spice things up and give yourself a challenge now and then to keep it interesting.

Break Those Goals into Tasks and Subtasks

Now to the most detailed part. You are creating as many tasks and subtasks to accomplish these goals as possible. The more you can break it down into an actionable format with clear pass/fail criteria, the better.

Be Flexible And Always Adjust Your Trajectory

Daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly - set aside some time to do a check-up on your own “project.” Prioritise and evaluate these goals as you would do in work projects.
All projects can suffer from overestimation and scope creep. Ensure that you know how to set the right expectations on your personal goals should those problems occur.

It’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint.

Some people may find themselves not needing any practising and are naturally good at something. However, you might not be that gifted in some aspects of your life.

When you are faced with a challenge, overcoming those may feel repetitive and discouraging. Like being caught in a hamster wheel, you would resort to doing boring and mundane tasks practising the same thing repeatedly.
To get to the next level and reach that plateau of learning, you will need to be disciplined and fully commit to those small incremental tasks. The more you overcome those obstacles and work harder, the more you will improve. For instance, to be good at presenting, you might have to practice a speech in front of the mirror for 5 minutes every morning. It could go a long way toward improving your skill over time. The race is against yourself and not with the others (who may or may not have an easier time than you).

Get The Momentum Going

Don’t overdo it -- find a comfortable pace. It doesn’t matter if you spend only 5 minutes every morning. Being there and focused throughout those 5 minutes every day is what matters the most.

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Gavin Chiemsombat
I'm a full-time Product Designer (and a Front-end enthusiast) at OOZOU in Bangkok, Thailand

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