As a designer, taking a big goal like “Learning to Hand-letter” or “Learning WordPress Development” and breaking it down into smaller chunks has been my saving grace. I don’t normally have a ton of patience, but when I determine I really want to learn something and make a definite plan of action towards it, it seems this dedication, hard work and time is almost a magical component that later I wake up a year later and have gotten significantly better. Here are 3 things I learned from hand-lettering every day for a year that perhaps I understood on an intellectual level but that I know in a deeper almost physical way now:
1. Taking things one bite or steps at a times do focusing on the next step instead of in huge goals is seriously motivating.
“A year, are you kidding me?” My brain protested the day I put pen to paper the first day of 365 and tapped the letters proclaiming my new effort. But in this type of commitment, if you have the right attitude, one’s protest is soon supplanted by “I just need to do today’s lettering piece.”
2. Setting a big hairy audacious goal that will really move the needle and plotting out the next small step will supercharge your career.
This one step at a time type attitude, combined with a very specific bigger target set squarely a year in the future has the potential to drive the area you’re dedicating time to level up. The goal in my case was around hand-lettering because I wanted to be intimately familiar with letterforms and learn about how to wield letters together – in hand-lettering and in digital design.
3. Doing physical creative work with my hands is necessary for me to stay feeling connected and energized in my creative work.
I also know how connected I feel when putting pen to paper, and for me a balance of what you’re trying to do with your career and with what energizes and fulfills you in the moment should set the tone for your next big hairy audacious goal. You don’t want it to be totally off-topic from what your real long-term life goals are, but don’t feel confined by your specific job title at the moment. The best goals have a mixture of having the possibility to dramatically effect your effectiveness at your current job position and are super fun.
What year or month-long goal could you set right now that would help you get to the next level and that would be a fun challenge? Set one now, and find some accountability with a person who cares about your well-being and career goals. I personally use social media (Instagram) mostly to help me stay accountable to my goals because I proclaim them publicly and post every day on there with a visual regarding my goal, but yours could be with a close friend or partner or however. I do think accountability is crucial though.