20 New Year's Resolutions for Your Career in Design - QC Design School

It’s that time of year again when New Year’s resolutions are on everyone’s mind! If you’re an aspiring or working home designer, now is the perfect time to set goals for yourself that you can actually achieve over the next 12 months (and beyond!). If you’re not sure how to come up with New Year’s resolutions for your career, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

So, here are 20 realistic (and achievable) New Year’s resolutions to help you become an even stronger home designer in the upcoming year!

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What are Good Resolutions for Work?

When considering New Year’s resolutions for your career, focus on achievable objectives that will help you make positive changes. Importantly, try not to set unrealistic goals that will likely end in disappointment.

For example, an unrealistic goal might be to get a major client you’ve been dreaming of in the next three months. Alternately, more realistic goal would be to focus on creating content that will help you attract and land your dream client at some point during the year.

With that in mind, here are 20 realistic New Year’s resolutions you can set for your design career in 2023…

20 Achievable New Year’s Resolutions for Your Career in Home Design

Resolution #1: Stay up-to-date on the latest trends in home design and interior styling.

In every field, staying current is essential. However, as a designer, this is ESPECIALLY critical! After all, if you don’t know what’s going on in the industry, you won’t be able to create designs that truly stand out. Furthermore, knowing the latest trends will help you ensure that you can deliver the most up-to-date services to your clients.

So, as you transition into the new year, pay attention to the latest trends in:

  • Materials;
  • Colors;
  • Layouts;
  • Styles;
  • Techniques;
  • And more!

Keeping up with these changes will help you stay ahead of the competition and make sure your designs are always on point!

FUN FACT: These 10 interior decorating trends are considered to be some of the WORST of all time!

Resolution #2: Attend at least one networking event at some point during the year.

Networking is an invaluable tool in any industry, but especially when you’re a home designer! Attending networking events will allow you to:

  • Meet other like-minded professionals;
  • Exchange ideas and advice;
  • Learn more about the industry;
  • Discover potential career opportunities;
  • And even land some leads, referrals, and new projects!

So, make it a point to attend at least one event this year. Don’t worry – these events don’t have to be formal or intimidating. In fact, there are plenty of creative networking events tailored specifically for home designers that you can attend!

If you’re unsure how to go about finding networking events to attend, ask around and look online for local design events. With a little digging, you’ll be sure to find something that fits your needs.

Resolution #3: Read one career or design-related book.

In today’s world, there is SO much to learn about the field of home design. Therefore, it can be helpful to read books that will sharpen your skills and help you hone in on what it takes to become a top designer.

From titles like The Interior Design Reference & Specification Book to Mastering Autodesk Revit Architecture to Design Zen: The Art of Home Decorating, there are countless engaging and educational books on the subject that you can explore. In fact, here are some quick resources you can bookmark for later:

So, make it a point to read at least one book this year! Doing so will help you develop your skills as a home designer even further.

Resolution #4: Learn a new skill that’s relevant to your design career.

Design is an ever-evolving field, so staying ahead of the game means always being open to learning new skills. This year, make it a point to learn something that will supplement your existing design knowledge and strengthen your portfolio.

You might choose to learn about color theory, layout techniques, 3D rendering software, furniture design, etc. Or perhaps you’d like to branch out into an entirely different home design service in order to expand your business, cater to a wider target audience, etc.

For instance, maybe you’re an interior decorator who’s also interested in providing home staging services. Alternately, you might be a professional organizer that wants to be able to start offering clients color consulting services as well.

Whatever it is you choose to learn, just make sure it’s something that’ll actually benefit your career and help you stay one step ahead of the competition. After all, any New Year’s resolutions for your career should actually, well, be helpful for your career!

Resolution #5: Take at least one design certification course.

This New Year’s resolution for your career piggybacks off of the last one we just talked about. Taking a certification course is an excellent way to learn more about the home design industry and stay up-to-date on the latest trends.

Plus, completing a certified course in a certain area of design is great for your resume! For starters, this demonstrates to potential employers and clients alike that you’re serious about honing your skills. Furthermore, certifications will help you stand out from the competition, make a great impression, and help you feel more confident as a designer.

As such, make it a point to take at least one certification course this year! Whether it’s an online certification course (such as the ones offered at QC Design School), in-person program, or something else entirely… Having that extra bit of knowledge under your belt is sure to be beneficial for your career in the new year!

Check out QC’s full list of self-paced, online design certification courses to learn more!

Luxury living room in house with modern interior design, green velvet sofa, coffee table, pouf, gold decoration, plant, lamp, carpet, mock up poster frame and elegant accessories. Template. New Year's resolutions article.

Resolution #6: Improve your organization.

If you’re like most home designers, your career requires a lot of organization. From paperwork to client files to project pieces, staying on top of all the details can be quite the feat!

That’s why it’s important for your New Year’s resolutions to include improving your organizational skills. This could mean anything from designing labels for all of your project pieces to setting up a filing system for your paperwork and contracts.

Whatever it is, having an organized home design workspace will help you stay focused and be more productive with your work as the year progresses.

Resolution #7: Step outside of your comfort zone at least once in the new year.

Sometimes, the best way to grow as a home designer is to do something that scares you! So this year, make it your goal to step outside of your comfort zone at least once.

This could be anything from creating a design project that’s totally different than what you would usually do or taking a risk on a potential client who might not be your usual target audience.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is an excellent way to challenge yourself and gain new insight into the home design industry. Plus, it’s also a lot of fun!

So, make sure you give yourself at least one opportunity to do something that scares you this year – you won’t regret it!

Resolution #8: Experiment with different marketing strategies.

Let’s not forget about one of the most important aspects of being a home designer – marketing! Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the design industry for years, it’s always beneficial to experiment with different types of marketing strategies.

As one of your New Year’s resolutions for your career in 2023, try things like:

  • Engaging with your target audience on social media platforms;
  • Optimizing your website for SEO;
  • Attending networking events (as we discussed earlier);
  • Creating advertisements;
  • Blogging and guest posting, etc.

By experimenting with different types of marketing, you’ll be able to find out what works best for your target audience and create a successful marketing plan for the upcoming year!

PRO TIP: Here are 20 tried-and-true marketing strategies that are guaranteed to benefit your career!

Resolution #9: Look over your resume and give it an update.

The start of a new year is the PERFECT time to review your resume and give it an update. Even if there aren’t any glaring errors or typos, it’s important to make sure that all the information is relevant and up-to-date.

For example, if you completed a certification course this past year/ earned a new professional designation, or attended a few networking events, make sure to add those to your resume. Or, if you changed the name of your design firm or added a specialty, don’t forget to make note of it!

Updating your resume on a yearly basis showcases that you have a commitment to growth and improvement as a designer. Plus, it also keeps you prepared in case any unexpected opportunities come calling.

So, make sure to add “reviewing your resume” to your list of New Year’s resolutions for 2023!

Resolution #10: Find one area of your design portfolio that you can strengthen.

Another great idea for your New Year’s resolutions list is to pinpoint one area of your design portfolio that you can strengthen and make even better. For example, perhaps the quality of your portfolio photos isn’t as high as you would like. Or maybe, you feel like your portfolio could use a few more projects that demonstrate your design specialties/niches.

Whatever the case may be, the new year is the perfect opportunity to up your game and really showcase your talents and abilities as a home designer!

Resolution #11: Think of 5 things you can do to be healthier on the job.

When it comes to New Year’s resolution for your career, you can’t forget about your health! As a home designer, you’re constantly on the go and often times it can be easy to neglect your own wellbeing. That’s why it’s important to think of 5 things you can do this year to stay healthy while still maintaining a productive work schedule.

For example, maybe that means making sure you get 8 hours of sleep each night, or taking a 10-minute break after every two hours to stretch and rehydrate. Perhaps it means packing a nutritious lunch every day. Or if you’re working from home, maybe setting up a designated workspace with good posture in mind.

When you take care of your health and prioritize it over other aspects of your job, it can actually help you be more productive in the long run! So, this New Year’s resolution should definitely be a top priority!

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Resolution #12: Make design your full-time career (or create a plan to get there eventually).

This New Year’s resolution is aimed at those who are either just starting out in their design career or looking for a way to transition from part-time to full-time. No matter where you’re at on your professional journey, dedicating yourself and making design your full-time career is an awesome goal to set for the upcoming year!

To get started, start by creating a plan of action to reach this goal. Break down what it will take to make design your full-time job, like networking, creating a portfolio website, signing up for online courses or even applying for internships. Each step you take will bring you closer to achieving your ultimate goal!

Need inspiration? See how QC Design School tutor, Tammy Hart, turned her interior decorating certification into a full-time career!

Resolution #13: Learn how to productively accept constructive criticism.

I don’t know about you, but I’m someone whose feelings can get easily hurt. (It also takes next to nothing to make me cry.) But on the job, personal feelings NEED to be set aside in order to accept constructive criticism in a healthy way.

After all, if you can’t accept constructive criticism, you’re missing out on a MAJOR opportunity to grow!

At the end of the day, design is a subjective art form and people are always going to have different opinions. As a designer, being able to productively accept constructive criticism without taking it personally is a must-have skill.

If this doesn’t come naturally to you, just know that while it’s not easy, it can be done. In fact, by learning how to respond calmly and thoughtfully to criticism (no matter how harsh it is), you can actually gain valuable insights that will help take your design skills to the next level.

So this New Year’s, make a resolution to learn how to productively accept constructive criticism and increase your confidence as a home designer!

Resolution #14: Take on more challenging projects.

One of the best ways to grow as a home design professional is to take on more challenging projects. This can range from designing for different types of spaces (like a luxury apartment) to tackling an unusual renovation or even creating something totally outside your comfort zone.

Whatever it might be, stepping out of your creative bubble and trying something new can open up a world of possibilities! Not only will you gain more experience and skills but it can also help you discover new ways to think about design that may have never occurred to you before.

And if the project doesn’t turn out as expected? That’s okay, too! After all, every failed attempt is just another opportunity to learn and grow as a designer.

So, this New Year’s, make a resolution to challenge yourself with more ambitious projects and push your creative boundaries! We promise it will be totally worth it.

Resolution #15: Find a work mentor in your industry.

It’s no secret that having a mentor can be incredibly beneficial to your career journey. From providing advice and guidance to opening up new opportunities, mentorship has the potential to open up so many doors for you!

And this New Year’s resolution is all about finding someone who can help take your design career to the next level.

The best way to start is by connecting with people in your industry. If you know someone who’s already established in the design world, reach out and ask them for advice or even if they’d be willing to mentor you.

Remember: everyone has something different to offer so don’t be afraid to try new things and take risks! With hard work and dedication, you can find the perfect mentor to help guide you through your design journey.

Resolution #16: Explore new ways to maximize social media.

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for any home design professional. From showcasing your design portfolio to connecting with potential clients and other industry experts, there are so many ways to make the most of these platforms!

This New Year’s resolution is all about exploring new and innovative ways to utilize social media for your business. Whether it’s creating interactive content, starting a podcast, or even setting up an online portfolio, the possibilities are truly endless.

By maximizing the potential of your social media presence, you’ll be able to reach a larger audience and increase your chances of success as a home design professional!

PRO TIP: Discover 3 ways you can increase your salary as a designer with social media!

Resolution #17: Review your profits from this past year – and then try to increase them in the new year.

As a home design professional, it’s important to have a good understanding of your business finances. Knowing how much you made last year (and where those profits are coming from) can help you identify potential areas for improvement and set realistic goals for the future. By taking some time to review your income from the past year, you can then make a plan to increase those profits in 2023!

Start by creating a budget for the upcoming year and setting clear goals for how much you’d like to earn. Next, create action steps that will help you reach those targets! Maybe it’s investing in a new marketing venture or taking on more challenging projects. Whatever it may be, take the time to create a plan that sets you up for success!

And remember: if at the end of 2023, you haven’t met your target, don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes time to reach financial goals – and no one is perfect. But you certainly won’t increase your profits if you don’t try, right?

Resolution #18: Try to send out at least one thank-you note each month.

This one seems small but expressing gratitude can have a huge impact! Whether it’s to a client, mentor, or even a colleague – sending out thank-you notes is the perfect way to show your appreciation for all the wonderful people in your life.

Plus, it’s just good business etiquette. When you take the time to let someone know how much you appreciate them, they’re more likely to want to work with you again in the future. So, make sure to send out some love each month and watch your connections grow!

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Resolution #19: Get a fresh professional headshot.

In this digital age, it’s important to have a professional-looking headshot for your website and social media profiles. A great profile photo can help you stand out from other home design professionals – and make sure that potential clients always have an up-to-date image of you!

This New Year’s resolution is all about finding the perfect photographer to capture your style and personality. Take the time to research, ask questions, and find a great photographer that you can trust. From there, all you need to do is smile!

Resolution #20: Create a healthier work-life balance.

Finally, we can’t discuss New Year’s resolutions for your career without talking about work-life balance. As a home designer, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of your job – but it’s important to remember that there is more to life than work!

Take some time this year to create a healthier balance by setting boundaries for yourself. Maybe it means no checking emails after 6pm or carving out an hour of your day for self-care. Maybe it means actually using up all of your vacation time this year, or taking a mental health day when needed.

Whatever it is, make sure to create a routine that works for you and helps you stay sane during the busy times! After all, you can’t do your job to the best of your ability if you’re burned out.

So, take the time to create a healthier balance in your life and reap the rewards!

Tips for Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Sticking to resolutions is always a challenge – but it’s not impossible! Here are some tips for staying on track:

  • Write down your resolutions and hang them in a visible place. Having the reminders around can help you stay focused.
  • Break your resolutions into smaller, manageable goals. This way, you’ll be more likely to stay on track.
  • Talk to a friend or colleague about your goals – this can help you stay accountable.
  • Recognize and reward yourself when you reach certain milestones.
  • Celebrate the small wins! Take time for reflection each month and adjust your goals as needed.
  • Life happens, so make sure to be flexible if needed. Remember that it’s OK to adjust or even abandon a resolution – after all, you are in control of your own journey!

How to Track Your New Year’s Resolutions

Here’s the problem we all tend to fall into at the start of the new year: we set our resolutions and then we forget about them. As such, it’s important to track your progress so that you can stay on top of your goals – and make sure you’re actually making progress!

Here are some ways to track your resolutions:

  • Create a spreadsheet or document where you can list all of your resolutions, along with deadlines and any other relevant information;
  • Set reminders on your phone or computer to keep yourself accountable;
  • Use a goal-tracking app like Strides to help you stay organized;
  • Check in with yourself each month and track your progress. How far have you come? What obstacles have you had to overcome? How can you adjust any of your goals if needed?

By tracking your resolutions, you’ll be able to stay focused and see the progress you’re making – and that’s a great way to start off the new year!

Final Thoughts

No matter what your New Year’s resolutions may be, it’s important to remember that YOU are in control of your career and your life. Take the time this year to focus on yourself – and don’t forget to enjoy the journey. With a few well-crafted goals and a dedication to tracking your progress, you’ll be able to make 2023 the best year yet!

Have any of the resolutions in this list particularly resonated with you? Do you have any others to add? Tell us in the comments below, as we always love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading… And Happy New Year!

Not yet a trained, certified designer? Become one in as little as 3-6 months with QC Design School’s self-paced, online certification courses! Enroll today and start your journey!

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