This has been a year for personal and professional growth. In the beginning of the year, I created a list of self-improvement goals and used planning apps to keep track on progress throughout the year. When goals became a little less important because my needs had changed, I quickly updated and adapted my plan to help me best accomplish them by end of year. I spent my free time reading new books, playing old and new video games aside from League, learning about personal finance and debt repayment, hit the gym, etc.
At work, I was quickly challenged on learning more about user testing, UX patterns, maps, web, content strategy, mobile gestures and optimization, interaction design, visual design, etc. I wanted to create awesome player-facing experiences, but I had to learn so much and work in an agile mindset to create the best product within the time frame. I felt a bit anxious, reluctant at times to take that dive, but I was filled with determination.
2018 was the year I overcame Impostor Syndrome. I had my moments of feeling completely overwhelmed with a new project I knew little about. Moments where I wouldn’t voice my thoughts and pray no one would notice how clueless I felt. Moments where I questioned how I even passed my job interview. But with practice, drive to learn more and experience, I became more confident and felt validated in my career as a designer.
I also traveled to Vancouver, Seoul, Chicago, Indianapolis, and Puerto Rico. While traveling is not part of my goals, it’s important for me because I enjoy going to new places and seeing the world.
In short, 2018 had a lot of successes with some areas of improvement:
- I DID read 11/12 books this year. Not all were self-improvement focused, but I think that’s okay because I went from reading 0 books to 11 in one year! Baby steps.
- I DID play a new/different game each month. I played a variety of older and newer titles each month. Some of my favorites were Frostpunk, Persona 5, Undertale, Rainbow Six Siege, and all the Kingdom Hearts games. I learned how games use their medium to deliver story rich and emotionally-packed experiences. This was my favorite goal to accomplish, by far!
- I DID watch a new anime each month. This was a new goal I added in the beginning of the year to help me reduce the anime backlog I’d accumulated throughout the years.Some of the shows I enjoyed were Hero Mask, Mirai, Castlevania, Violet Evergarden, and Made in Abyss. While it helped me stay knowledgeable with what’s current in the anime world, I felt it was a bit overkill. Anime is not THAT important in my life anymore, and I realized that this year.
- I DID NOT pay off all my wedding debt. Initially, I had paid off my debt halfway, but with poor travel planning, we ended up bloating our credit card with travel expenses for 4 consecutive trips. The lesson here is to never schedule travel you can’t afford, especially in short succession from one another. Ugh. Looking forward to less vacations and more staycations for 2019.
- I DID NOT lose weight. I started in the summer, but with the 4 trips in the later half of the year, I ended up having a rough time getting back on track between trips. The holiday season didn’t help, either.
- I DID write some medium articles, if these count! I DID NOT write any sharing design knowledge, though.
- I DID NOT find a new church. This became less important to me over the year, but it’s something I want to attempt sometime in the future.
That’s pretty much my year. Thanks to awesome people out there that have been my support system and inspiration for growth.
This is just the beginning of my leveling up process! I’m even more optimistic for what’s to come in 2019. It’s going to be a year more professional accomplishments and growth, financial stability and progression, healthy habits, and many blessings.