How to Set Goals as a Designer
Updated: Oct 9
They say that a life without purpose is futile. We, as Fashion Designers, couldn’t agree more. As designers, we need to have something to look forward to daily - a purpose, a mission, a goal. Today, with the increasing competitiveness in the fashion and design world, it has become all the more important to define your own goals. These have to be unique and all about you and what you want. That’s what paves the way for a meaningful and fulfilling life for you. Especially, when you belong to a creative profession like fashion designing, you need to identify your exact goals.
The next step? You need to pan out a path towards that goal. If you’re in fashion, you may end up having a simple vague goal like study and taking up a job. But, is that it? Definitely, not! You need to have a clearer goal or at least a clearer idea of one. It doesn’t have to be too specific but at the same time, it cannot be too vague as well. Say, in the next five years, you want to work at a senior position with a designer in your niche. Now, that is what a clear goal looks like. On the other hand, simply saying that you want to work as a designer is a flat goal with no substance and zero passion.
Why Do You Need Goal Setting as a Designer?
When you have a particular goal that you want to attain in a span of time, you wake up every morning with that in mind. This consistency and constant desire to reach that goal are exactly what makes you more focused. Focused towards your goals, focused towards your work, your plans, and right to your daily tasks too. With this undeterred focus, you never falter and stay on the path no matter what. As a designer, your job is mostly creative and burnouts are common in this case. But with set goals, your focus will bring you back to track every time it wanders away.
What we want today from our life or work may change a little tomorrow. However, when it shifts or changes completely, take it as a red flag. Say, as a designer you want to pursue trousseau designing but next month, you find yourself inclining towards slow western fashion. This red flag indicates that you are probably not on the right path and you lack clarity on what you want. This is exactly why goal setting is important for you. With a set goal, you know what results you are looking at and how you can get there. And, when you do carve out these goals, the process also helps you identify things and get clarity on every aspect of it.
3. Lets you cut to the chase and dive into the real thing
You studied fashion designing and now you’re wondering what the next step is. You partake in some more courses and then decide to take up an internship. Midway, you realize that kind of work is not meant for you. And, you find yourself lost with no direction as to how to proceed. Well, when you set certain goals for yourself, you also end up carving out a path with mini-goals along the way. This gives you a direction and lets you get to the real thing, the real work without wasting time and energy on things that don’t matter.
5 Ways to Get Started with Your Goal Setting
So, now that you know why goal setting is of utmost importance for you, let’s dive into how you can do so.
1. Ask Yourself These Questions
First things first, consider this as an interview with yourself. Dive within and answer these questions for yourself truthfully and mindfully. Introspect, think, and find out the answers below to get started with your goal setting.
- Why do I want to do this?
Find out the WHY behind your career as a designer. Why did you decide to pursue it in the first place? Think back to the times and moments where you realized that this was your calling. Why did you see yourself doing this? Answer the Whys to understand your goal better.
- Would I want to wake up and do this every single day?
Now that you reflected on the past and why you wanted to pursue it, think of the future now. In the next five years, do you see yourself doing this every single day? When you think of your life ahead, do you see this as your source of income and a sustainable career choice? Think that if you woke up tomorrow morning, would you be happy doing this?
- What are some principles and ethics I would not compromise on?
Everyone has some values that they consider the most important and cannot compromise on in their profession. Say, you’re a believer in body positivity, but is the industry too? Not so much. And if you’re still inclined towards this profession, well there are other doors within designing to knock on too. So, answer these questions for yourself, dive deeper into your mind and heart, and identify what it is that you cannot let go of at all.
- Why me?
Why are you a fit into the designing market? Why can you be a part of it? What is it about you, your passion, skills, and hard work that will set you apart from the herd? Why you? Find out that unique factor and own it.
2. Seek Clarity from an Ikigai Chart
Once you find answers to the above questions, you hop on to find your exact purpose, your reason for being, your ikigai. Ikigai is a Japanese word that translates to ‘A Reason for Being.’ According to the concept, your ikigai is a combination of what you love, what you are good at, what you can be paid for, and what the world needs.
Source: Singularity Hub
Again here, what you love is a combination of your passion and mission in life. What you are good at is a combination of your passion and profession. What you can be paid for is a combination of that profession and vocation, which is where your heart lies, your calling. And, what the world needs is a combination of your vocation and your mission. Now, while some of these things run on excitement, delight, wealth, comfort, and satisfaction, others lack one of those. When you combine a little of all, you get a perfectly balanced blend of everything – your purpose, your ikigai. So, go ahead and make your own ikigai chart and determine each of these areas to find your true purpose in life. Use the answers to the above questions to guide this activity.
3. Research on Courses, Colleges, or Companies
Now that you have better clarity on your purpose and goal, get started on deriving a clear and actionable path. Do you need to study next? Do you need to upgrade a little more before you get into the real world out there? Is it time to get that first fashion job or internship? We’re sure you have the answers to these questions by now, so get your notepad out and begin browsing through your options. Research on what exact course you can take or what kind of brands or fashion companies you want to learn under. Make a list, weigh the pros and cons, see if they match with your criteria, and begin with the process of applying or working towards it.
4. Form a Vision Board
You’ve got your goals, you’ve got your plans in place, and you’ve got a vision in your head. Now, it is time to materialize that vision into a board to keep reminding you of it, every step of the way. So, you never lose sight of what your end goal is, no matter how many failures or hurdles you come across. Trust us, a vision board is not just a creative piece of art, it is a constant representation of your dreams.
Source: Source My Garments
Make a vision board and include pictures, quotes, fabrics, trimmings, or anything else that could stand for your goal or contribute to it. Be specific about these goals and what you use to represent them. Say, if sustainable fashion is your calling then using a fast-fashion piece on your board will defeat the whole purpose. Similarly, if wedding trousseau is what your goal looks like, then sticking a picture with western couture will be futile. So, be specific and make sure your vision board depicts your goal clearly.
Lastly, whether you have set your goal or are in the process, don’t underestimate the power of networking. Meet new people, engage with your industry, and network socially and online. As you learn new things and meet more people, you can attain more clarity on your goals. It is never too late to tweak those goals a little each day as you explore and grow too!