Listening to Joe Pulizzi’s podcast about how Michael Jordan set his goal to be the best basketball player on the field, made me think about my personal goals. What this year was for me and what I want in the next year that is here to come.
Yes I know, it’s that moment of the year when you write down on a piece of paper some new year resolution, and you look at it every day trying to follow the plan. But after a month or two, the new year resolution is gone, you are in the same spot that you were last year and your life is moving on.
Today let’s try to make something new – don’t write down another new year resolution. Stop a little bit and think about what 2015 means to you. How you managed your time? How was your interaction with the clients? How you’ve done your job? How responsible you were for you and your personal life (family or friends)?
Think about this simple questions.
Now that you thought about this questions and as I mentioned before I want to challenge you for something new – Your 2016 Creativity Challenge.
What does the “2016 Creativity Challenge” means?
I will write down the 5 steps about this challenge, and at the bottom, you will see what I want you to do.
1. Do your best job
This is not a motivational article that you will read now, share it in a moment and then move to your Facebook or Twitter feed. I want you to understand that every time you design something, you put out there your work and a piece of who you are, something that defines you. So if your “project” doesn’t reflect your professionality, then why are you doing it?
My challenge this year for you is this: every project, every work you do today, tomorrow and every time, give your best. Make your work worthy of being published in the biggest publication – is this something you are proud of it? So, even if you are doing just a logo for a small business that you want to help, make sure is the best you’ve got. Even if you design a banner ad for a friends blog, make it the best.
2. Help the community
I heard a lot about “sharing is caring,” and I admit that sometimes it’s just a bit frustrating for me. But what about that moment when I didn’t know how to solve a problem, and I found a solution on the web? What about that piece of content, let’s say a tutorial, that showed me how to solve a situation? Exactly. That is the real meaning of this quote.
If you are a designer or a creator, and you do something interesting or you have a story worth shared with a community, why don’t you write an article on Medium or your personal blog post?
Maybe you will say that it’s your secret and if you put it out there, others will take advantage of it. So what? Let me tell you something, you are not the only one who came to that point, but you can be the first who gives back to the community.
The challenge for you this year is to help your community. Give them something vital for you and eventually this will come back to you.
3. Connect more offline and less online
We use every day the internet and almost every moment of our daily life. Since we wake up and shut the alarm, we put some music from Spotify or Youtube, we read our e-mails from our clients or boss, we connect with our friends on social media and in the evening we relax with Netflix. And that’s ok, sometimes.
But let’s not forget that we are human beings and we need to connect with each other in this real life. Let’s not forget that we need to talk with people by looking at their real faces, not through some display and hearing their real voices.
I’m a digital guy and I like a lot being on social media, reading all kind of articles, listening to music and watching documentaries but I realize that I need offline connections too. It’s better for me to go to an event and talk with somebody. It’s better for me to close my phone when I go to meet somebody and drink a coffee.
As a designer (or a creator) you need to talk with people and get inspired by them. You need to connect with them offline because your brain needs some rest from the digital world.
4. Personal life
This is something that was really hard for me to understand. I like my job so much I didn’t look at it as a daily job, for me, my job is a lifestyle. When you are passionate about what you are doing, it’s not as hard anymore. But I learned that besides my career I have a personal life, I have a hobby, and I need to do something that is not in close connection with my job.
If you are a designer and you understand me about loving your job, you surely have, or had, this kind of issue, right? I understand you, I really do but, sometimes, you need to do something else besides your job. I don’t know, maybe get a dog, do some sport or do some volunteer work.
Think about this challenge as one of your biggest challenge looking at it through a professional or a personal perspective. How can you do the best of your work if you are not taking care of your own life?
5. Discover something new
When I saw Jacob Cass and Emily’s Globetrotting around the world I knew it that this is not just a one-year resolution, this is a big challenge that Jacob needs in his professional life. Let’s face it that not everybody can do what Jacob is doing, traveling around the world, but we all can discover small places around us.
This is why I challenge you to take 2 weekends a month and go somewhere outside your city, or your comfort zone.
Why? Because you are a designer and you need inspirational moments, places and sometimes the internet can’t give you the sound of a forest or the view of a landscape.
Every creator needs a moment of inspiration and this world is waiting for us to discover it.
Please don’t look at this article as a motivational one that you can read every time you scroll on Twitter or Medium. Look at this 5 steps and take minimum 2 for your next year creative challenge.
And don’t forget about what M.J. said in his “Failure” commercial about success in his career:
Let me know in a comment what are the challenges you take and why. I can not wait to read them!