What Does Success Look Like?

Today’s Bloganuary prompt is how do you define success? If you’d like to participate, consider sharing your post here…I’m dropping a link once I hit publish: https://bloganuary.wordpress.com/2023/01/11/how-do-you-define-success/.

It’s a great question for an instructional designer, because it helps us create stuff that’s actually useful. If we’re trying to grow a specific skill for our learners, we need to know:

  • What success looks like

…and yet, IDs and the folks who want us to “create training” to reach a goal often struggle with what that actually means.

So I often rephrase it, and I’m still practicing. Here are a few things that help me as an ID and when I’m trying to define success for myself. ID’ing my own learning. Super-nerd status over here.

  1. What do you want to be different from how things are now?
  2. What does “good” look and feel like, for the learner and for the folks impacted by the learner’s learning? (Okay, need some editing help here).
  3. At the end of this, what needs to happen for you to say “that was worth it“?

Still not enough? Okay, I’ll wrap with how I define success for myself:

I’m better at this than I was yesterday.

Sometimes “better” means stronger performance, and sometimes it means…just giving myself a break. Or revising what success looks like for me, if I’m frustrated that it’s not “there” yet. Success is putting one foot in front of the other, getting out of bed in the morning, being more helpful than harmful toward yourself and others.

That’s it. Success doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t need to mean an “A+.” It’s just…moving forward. Or taking a moment to appreciate where you are. Success changes with us — as our goals and circumstances change, so must our definition of success.

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