Goals! I need help!

so i’ve been with my current company 15 years as an in-house designer (manager, not director). i’ve seen leadership come and go, and right now we are in a good place with a new leader. i’m about 4 years away from retirement as well.

however, its time again to make goals for the next fiscal year. i mean seriously…i know if must have something i need to learn or put down as a goal, but i’m wracking my brain to come up with what!! my recent evaluation, i was given “outstanding” on every item by my director.

now there are tons of things i could learn, but they wouldn’t be useful for the type of work we do, so it seems pointless to put them down as a goal. i do feel like i stay current on design and typeface trends, etc., but as far as learning something “new”…i’ve pretty much done it all at one point or another.

i do like challenging myself to think outside of the box when it comes to the “normal” flow of projects, and trying to keep brands (we have 5 organizations under us) up to date and fresh. i just don’t know how to translate that into goals, as its something i’m always doing…sort of part of my dna as a designer.

hope this make sense… anything anyone can say to help me (at this point in my career) come up with new goals, would be helpful. thanks!

(p.s. in the 15 years i’ve been here, we hardly ever circle back to the goals we wrote the previous year, so i guess i could put anything down…but even then…)

I would suggest that you maybe re-frame the question to be: What would I like to have done before I retire in 4-years?
And then build your goals off that.

If you feel like you’ve hit the ceiling when it comes to design execution, are there other parts of the business that you’d like to dip your toes in?

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good suggestion! food for thought!

thing is: i don’t feel like I’ve hit a ceiling…i really enjoy doing the day to day projects, and look at them with the goal to freshen them up or make them better than previous years (we have a lot of repeat annual projects).

Ahh ok, in that case - what aspects of your design work do you think could be improved?

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ok work related or setting up a post-retirement activity;

Work related

  • software always has a learning curve - try exploring the unfamiliar functions of familiar software.
  • is there something you don’t enjoy doing? Learn how to do it properly and the problem disappears, plus you will have a new skill.


  • your work life has been immersive so you need something to replace that, something completely new that will give you different skills to learn. Maybe learn to play a musical instrument or scuba diving. I went with virtual modular synthesisers and I set new goals every day. Currently trying to perfect a drum machine that plays different styles.
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You might consider framing your objectives as less “personal” (like learning, etc.), and focus more on the business and your role in fostering its continued growth.

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