Resolutions are dead. Long Live Goals!

2017 Goals With Real Metrics

It’s been already 8 days since we welcomed the new year and all I see was “New Year Resolutions” everywhere, starting from at least 2 weeks before new year’s eve. These resolutions also include subjective stuff like “be a better person” or “travel more”. After reading a few, you realize that they look a bit more like new year wishes instead of objectives to improve yourself.


I’ve never thought of resolutions for any year in the past but this year, I wanted to set measurable goals for myself. I’ll be writing a retrospective report at the end of the year to see the parts that I failed. Hopefully, I’ll be learning from my mistakes. Even if I accomplish them all, it means I could handle a bit more loaded schedule so I’d still count that as a mistake to learn from somewhat.

Why are you doing this?

It’s been nearly 2 years since I’ve started freelancing and I’ve seriously learned so many things about myself on the way. One of them is the fact that I’m always more motivated when I keep a list of things that I should be doing, no matter it’s work related or not. As long as your goals are not subjective, they can be crossed out from your list and you can track your process any time.

Another reason is, I’ve complained about so many things that I couldn’t accomplish in 2016 but I’ve never taken action for any of them. Instead of being a crybaby this time, I want to move with a clear plan in mind.

I’d be more than happy if I could engage anyone to set measurable goals instead of “wishes” for 2017. Please share it with me if you’re going to make one!

How’d you come up with the list?

Actually, almost all of them are the things that I wanted to do in 2015–16 but as I said, I didn’t push myself through. For the sake of not rushing it, I spared the first week of the year to complete the list. Each of them came up spontaneously while chatting with a friend or working on a project. Challenging part was to make sure I wasn’t “pushing” it. I had a few more items in my list but I wasn’t completely sure with them, because they felt like I was just writing down new ideas just to populate the list.

Goals of 2017

Read At Least 6 Books

Unfortunately, only book that I’ve read in 2016 was the “Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. This year, I made a list of 6 books and I’ll try to stick to it. I don’t like reading translated (Turkish) versions but it’s both hard and expensive for me to buy original hard copies so I’ll be reading them on my phone probably.

Here’s the list:

  • Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf
  • Best Interface Is No Interface by Golden Krishna
  • Hooked by Nir Eyal
  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
  • Mindset by Dr. Carol S. Dweck
  • Launch It by Shane Mielke

Post At Least 1 Dribbble Shot Every Week

For those who don’t know, Dribbble is a website that you post bits of your works. It works a bit different than Behance because your “shots” are limited to 400x300 or 800x600 resolutions so you share small pieces of your work instead of detailed case studies.

I’ll make sure to post at least 1 new shot every week because as much as it’s a community made of designers, it’s also a great place for finding new leads. Even it doesn’t bring me any new business inquiries, I’ll be trying out something new every week, which is amazing anyway.

Write A New Medium Article Once A Month

It’s been ages since I’ve written my first article. It was about a redesign project of a Turkish social media app, which brought me two new gigs back then.

Content marketing aside, main idea behind this goal is a bit different. I’m reading so many newsletters/blog posts/articles everyday and I’m learning something new everyday just because these people spare their time to share their knowledge. I’d like to give back to this community as much as I can by sharing what I know. Even what I know is wrong, I’d appreciate any feedback to fix my errors. Also, I think it’s a great way to practice English.

Give A Speech

This one’s a bit interesting actually. When I watch someone giving a speech, whether it be a local meetup or big conference, I admire those speakers because as I said earlier, these people are sparing their time, preparing presentation decks and sharing their knowledge to give back to the community. I don’t think I’m ready to give a speech yet, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to do this in 2017.

Create At Least 4 Side Projects

I won’t be talking about the benefits of side projects here but I really recommend reading the story behind Unsplash by Crew. I’ve no intentions of making money out of a side project at the moment (but I wouldn’t say no, of course). Side projects are basically my playground and I like the idea of solving a small problem in limited time. It’s enough for me if it solves my own problem, but I’d be glad if it helps others too.

PS. We’re launching Woota soon!

Travel To At Least 4 Different Cities

This one is crucial. No matter what country, I want to travel A LOT in 2017. I like traveling, camping and shooting photos at different locations but I’ve always postponed it because of financial issues. I’m seriously willing to spend all of my money traveling this time if it’s what it takes.

I’m traveling to Berlin between 18th of February and 8th of March as a first step! I’d be thrilled to grab a beer or a cup of coffee to talk about the startup scene , freelancing , daily life in Berlin (or anything else you’d like to chat about) if you’re living close. Make sure to hit me up via email or social media links below.

Eventually, I want to live as a nomad (remote work or freelance doesn’t matter) even for a while, but I feel like I’ve got some way ahead of me before I’m able to support nomad lifestyle financially.

It’s Enough.

I know, right. I really feel like 2017 will be a great year, hopefully for all of us. We’ll see how I did through out the year together in the review post.

What’re your goals this year? If you don’t have any, you’re not late and I’d suggest you to make a list and try to stick to it as soon as possible!


Nejat Seçkin is a UI/UX Designer based in Istanbul, Turkey that has a huge passion for creating interfaces that people would love to use everyday with ease. You can find me on Dribbble, Behance, Twitter or Instagram.