The start of a new year brings new beginnings, opportunities and change. For UX designers, this means breaking new ground in the design space and setting trends for 2018.

Kickstart your year with these five resolutions for every UX designer.

1. Continue to upskill

Your skills can always be improved – especially since the field of UX grows at such a rapid pace. No matter who you are, there is something more you can learn. Upskilling can involve researching professionals in your field, taking courses, reading books, blogs and more. Your sources of knowledge are important to consider. Some great examples for the UX industry are, Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden, UXPin and Usability Geek.

Find the best platforms and sources for your industry and feed your knowledge daily. Be humble with your position, and recognise that you can always learn more in your industry and improve your skills.

2. Study emotional responses

This sounds like a no brainer. You are more than likely emotionally aware, being interested in UX. It’s still a great reminder to continue to sharpen your awareness so you can form an emotional connection with the user. This adds significant value into your UX solutions.

Emotional intelligence and emotional awareness give UX designers the ability to apply emotions when thinking and problem solving. For example, a UX designer that is emotionally aware of users on a banking app would understand that convenience is more important in this context compared to an in branch or website experience.

It’s not a bad idea to regularly brush up on your emotional intelligence and awareness.

3. Be proactive

Take initiative in your workplace, there’s nothing better than starting the year all guns blazing. It’s a new year and a new you, so take the time to look for things to improve, now that you’ve had a break away from work. This could be new processes that improve efficiency in your team, technology that will streamline your work, or simply taking the time to get to know your colleagues better.

Regardless of what you do, take a proactive approach to each day. 2018 is your year to shine.

4. Organise your time

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being on top of your work. Starting the year organised sets you up for a successful twelve months. You’ll find you have a greater work-life balance and better productivity.

One of the best structures to organising your time is checklists. Write down every task you want to have completed within a week and prioritise.

Pro tip!

Try labelling tasks as 1s, 2s or 3s. 1s being tasks that will have high impact and need to be done urgently. 2s have high impact but don’t need to be done urgently. Lastly, 3s are “nice to do” tasks but can either be delegated to someone else or have no time limit associated to them.

This helps you set goals for your week, visually. You are able to see what is important, as well as the satisfying feeling of checking off a task. Reap the benefits of being able to manage your own time.

5. Healthy mind, healthy work

A healthy mind is subjective for every individual. What I determine to be my healthy mind, could be the polar opposite of yours. Regardless, having a healthy mind is imperative to having a healthy work lifestyle and therefore, great work. One of the many things we try to avoid are burnouts and we are living in an age where we are constantly connected. Work lifestyles are getting busier and busier, so don’t forget to stop and smell the roses from time to time. Reflect on what you’ve done and what you can do better.

You can also achieve a healthy mindset through slight adjustments of your day-to-day lifestyle. For example, give your mind a break throughout the day and walk around outside, finish work at a reasonable hour and set time aside for the fun things in life. Don’t forget that more often than not, you find more inspiration outside of work when you’re in a more comfortable environment.

Take these tips loosely and adjust them according to your lifestyle. Make 2018 your best year yet.