Setting Goals As A Mentee
One of the most important things you need to do before starting a mentorship is setting an effective goal. In this program, you’ll have three months to work with your mentor - and while that’s a lot of time, it’s better to have a specific, short-term goal that you can work towards accomplishing than to have a larger, harder-to-measure goal. It’s great if your long-term plan is to self-publish your own game, but that is probably too big a dream for a three-month period. So, let’s break down how to set an effective goal.
When deciding on your goal, take a moment to think about the specific project that you’re working on. Is there something you’re having a particularly hard time with? Is there work you’re avoiding doing because it’s intimidating or challenging? Those can be good problems to center a goal around: “I want to come up with a better scoring mechanic for my game,” or “I want to record the first episode of my podcast.”
Think about how much time it might realistically take to accomplish these goals - things often take longer than we plan, so picking goals that are small and concrete increase the likelihood that you will accomplish them during the program. For example, “I want to pitch to three publishers by the end of this mentorship” is more specific and achievable than “I want to have a game signed by the end of this mentorship.” Focus on the specific steps that would support your long-term goals and your mentor will have a better chance of helping you achieve them.
Track Your Goals
So, how will you know when you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do? Picking something measurable allows you to assess how successful you’ve been and helps you keep your focus along the way. If your goal is something quantifiable, like “Playtest my game 12 times by the end of the program,” you’ll be able to check in throughout the program and see how you’re doing.
If you pick something more subjective, like “gain confidence in my skills as a graphic designer,” then try to check in with yourself before each mentorship meeting and rate how you feel about your goal (“right now my confidence level feels like 6/10”). This way you can track your growth and adjust your goals along the way if they start to feel unrealistic (your mentor can help you figure this out, too).
Write It Down
It’s easy to think of a goal and then lose track of it along the way. That’s why we recommend that you write it down and mark your progress throughout the program. We created a simple worksheet you can use, which you can download for free here. If you have set multiple goals for one mentorship session, we recommend you use a different sheet for each goal.
Many times people come into this program with one stated goal, and they realize after meeting with their mentor that they need to adjust their plans or come up with a completely new goal. Don’t be afraid to do that! Mentors are here to help you on your journey, so if they suggest a different goal then work with them to craft a new one. Goals are also how mentors keep track of how your mentorship is progressing, so being flexible and adapting to your current reality will help both of you feel good about the work that you’re doing.
All Progress Is Good Progress
At the end of your mentorship, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come. Maybe you’ll achieve your specific goals - that’s great! But even if you don’t hit all the milestones you had set for yourself, please remember that you’ve moved closer to those goals than when you started. Sometimes life gets in the way, and sometimes goals are just more challenging than we realize. It’s okay to adjust and keep working. Don’t get discouraged, and keep pushing forward. All the work that you’re doing will help you get better at what you do, and you should be proud of the progress you make every day.