EchoUser team members have various personal and professional goals for 2023. These include embracing change, immersing oneself in non-noisy places, building self-confidence, basking in details, leveling up, bringing clarity to the research and design process, being present and building connections, and living more intentionally.
Looking at my resolutions from 2022, I’m happy to say that I incorporated those intentions for myself throughout the year. But I caught myself as I look forward to 2023 falling back on old habits. My gut reaction felt like the right next thing for 2023 was to move toward action again. That is me and my doer nature slipping backward down the slope! Instead, as I thought deeper, I have two core intentions for the year ahead - a continuation and an evolution. I want to continue a practice of mindful reflection, and I want to learn how to fully embrace change.
In some ways, 2022 saw a lot of what feels like ripple effects from the pandemic. From death and divorce in personal circles to large-scale tech layoffs affecting our clients and colleagues. The hard stuff seems to continue. On a personal level, I received a health diagnosis that is not life-threatening but requires a significant change in lifestyle. And so working on fully embracing the change, embracing what might be ugly, sad, or hard, feels important. Learning to focus on what I can control and let go of the worry and anxiety around those things that I can’t. There is an element of getting real too. Not pretending it isn’t hard or trying to appear Instagram-perfect. F that. Rather, my intention is to embrace the mess, take time to reflect, learn, and move forward.
I recently came across someone’s resolution from a few years ago about ‘less noise, more focus’ (cough, Rally). I paused to think how “noise” only seems to be cascading evermore out of control since then.
But then also this saying came to mind: You are what you pay attention to. It can be difficult to limit noise in noisy environments; looking at you, all social media. So my 2023 resolution is about going beyond limiting. It’s to actively immerse myself in non-noisy places; e.g.:
All in all to be less about strained mindfulness in noisy places, and more action, intention, and purpose about embracing quieter, more enriching paths.
2022 was a year of learning for me. I was given the opportunity to try new things and experience a whole new world. Being able to take on projects, collaborating with others, and learning from constructive criticisms. With that being said, I am still learning.
My resolution for this year is to build more self confidence within the workplace. Learning that no question is a “stupid question” and that it is validated. Speaking up when there is not enough information to start and pushing back when things are not ready to be done. Constructive criticism is meant as a recommendation and I don’t have to always agree with them. I am learning that when it comes to any project, it will never perfect the first time. It is about trial and error. I am learning to let go of that pressure and everything else that I can’t control.
Dine In Work Out
See More Text Less
Level Up Drill down
Binoculars On Screen Off
Mind Open Alarm Shut
It’s already time to talk about resolutions for 2023? What happened to 2022? 2021? Time feels like it’s flying by. I recently read an article that said, yes, time does go by faster as you get older. And so much of that is because we get into our routines and essentially go on auto-pilot. In that spirit, I resolve to slow time down. Ok, maybe not physically, but I’m going to try and mix up my mundane daily routines a little bit and remind myself to pay attention and savor all those moments that make up the experience of life.
I think one of my superpowers in UX research and life is noticing themes, connecting seemingly unrelated pieces into patterns. But in 2023, I want to retain the details and stories within those patterns, to preserve each layer rather than reduce the picture with a broad brush stroke.
I had a mentor once observe that I can appear “quick to be on my way.” In this jump to themes, I’m describing some self-preservation or distance from the subject I’m studying. Yet I know that often the real insight is in the close observation and nuance. Those are the stories that can move our customer experiences from good to exceptional.
I can tell you that a chai latte is soothing for my soul. But this specific one I’m drinking right now has an exceptional grittiness - I can almost chew bits of clove and catch a flake of pepper. And its frothiness is perfect, forming a barrier and a preparatory ‘swoosh’ before the sweetness rushes through.
2022 was a year of exploration for me as a new UX practitioner. EchoUser empowered me to recognize my strengths and work on my weaknesses. It was amazing witnessing my incremental growth throughout the year.
Now that I’ve learned the basics, in 2023, I challenge myself to level up and increase my productivity throughout the research process. I’m also setting to strengthen my T-shaped skills — honing my research and analysis skills, diving deeper into insights and product implications, as well as working on related skills. The end goal is to figure out what kind of UX researcher I am and know myself better.
I’m ringing in the new year with my new role as a design researcher! But not only do I want to up-level my user research skills, I also want to bring clarity and structure to that fuzzy, ambiguous area that lies between research and design. The questions in my mind are: how do we transition from research findings to tangible design direction? What activities and artifacts can support this transition? How can we define that process? Where exactly does research end and design begin? I hope to get answers by applying these practices in client projects.
Before I start writing about “What are my goals for next year, How do I hope to grow, What next etc… type of questions, I want to acknowledge this past year of 2022. It was a magnificent year! I find myself and in others around me this urge of desire to move on quickly, forward motion with haste as if there is so much to do, so many goals to hit where I/we lose sight of the value of acknowledging whatever we overcame. It becomes devalued as soon as we reach the destination of the goal. And sometimes when something is unfulfilled or not exactly what the expected outcome arrives, we slip into worries that if we stay a tad bit longer with the unwanted things and feelings, we are stuck. We would get sucked in. It crosses my mind, often!
So for these reasons now, I want to stop and reflect on how magical this past year has been for me and my littles! An amazing year that brought separation and strangely also connecting in different and dare I say more intimate ways. We had a healthy, mostly joyful and a very delicious year, as well as some small/medium breakdowns that required maintenance of tenderness and compassion :) I am grateful for the beautiful moments I got to share with my loved ones, with my work colleagues as well as collaborating with amazing clients. It was a year full of adventure! Thank you 2022, you and I were powerful tigers.
When it comes this next year 2023- I am excited and ready for it! This time I am up for adventurous rides more than anything else. And I am much more curious for more discoveries of the self and the world at large with no specific goals, besides being more present and cultivating a “go with the flow” mindset. After all, everything is working out for me on my dance with the universe :)
Let’s go! Cheers
Next year, as I prepare to welcome a new little life to our family, I’m focused on being present and building connections. I expect these two things will be challenging as I balance self-care, work, and a new role of caring for a tiny human. I hope that in 2023 I can find the time to maintain connections with friends and family, build new relationships with great people, and feel in tune with myself and my needs. I also hope that I can practice being present. To not rush the frustrating parts of life and instead appreciate those fleeting moments. And in work, when things feel overwhelming, or the data feels like too much, I can step back and recognize how far I’ve come and all that I’ve learned.
It’s strange how quickly 2023 has snuck up on us. This year, I’m hoping to do everything in my day-to-day with intentionality. Whether it be continuing to foster meaningful relationships in my life, both personal and professional, or spending my time in ways that are fulfilling – I’m excited at the prospect of living more presently.
Additionally, further developing my interpersonal communication skills and getting back into the habit of organizing more design workshops, community events, and mentorship are top of mind going into the new year.
Published on January 6, 2023