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Architects: set your goals for 2014

Just because the year has already started it doesn't mean that it's too late to make your New Year’s resolutions and set your goals for 2014. You should start the year with a feeling of optimism and be looking forward to what you can achieve in the next 12 months. If you're struggling to move away from your current way of working, here are five areas Anderselite suggest you could consider.

Many of us end one year feeling that we could have achieved more from it. If this was your take on 2013, then don't let 2014 pass you by. You need to look at ways in which you can accomplish more from your career and work towards a brighter future.

Don't hold back
If you have tended to err on the side of caution with your design work in the past, 2014 is the year to become more adventurous. Often it is hard to be more innovative, especially if it's not an area you are known for. If a client is happy with your work, it's all too easy to keep on doing the same things.

However, if you are looking to make your mark in the industry, you need to try something new. If you have always been too concerned about your reputation to test these ideas out on new clients, put some of your own ideas together on imaginary briefs. This will allow your imagination to run free. You can display the designs on your website and add them to your portfolio for future clients.  

Become more sustainable
Often this is a phrase that is simply banded about by businesses, without any thought for how they are actually becoming more sustainable. People do not always stand by their commitment, but customers are looking to see exactly what you are doing on the sustainability front. If this isn't an area that you are fully confident with, then it's important to take everything on board before advertising it to clients. One way of doing this is to become more qualified in the area. You can take a course, which will show you exactly what you can achieve through sustainability. It would be good marketing for the business to become more vocal on the subject. Have a look for local action groups that you can join. Show how you mean business by becoming a more sustainable company overall. See what you can achieve within the office and become a more eco-friendly traveller by commuting to meetings by bus, train, walking or cycling.

Take new technology on board
Technology is constantly changing from one second to the next and it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments. However, new technology is an important aspect of enhancing how we work as architects. You need to know exactly what's available, how it can benefit your business and make life easier for you. Technology can open up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to your designs, such as better tablets, software and gadgets.

Use a greater range of styles
It is critical in the world of architecture not to become too set on one style. This can limit your potential when it comes to taking on new clients and broadening the scope of the business. If you become too focused on one area, then it can be difficult to get people to see you for something else. To help avoid this happening, you need to widen the spectrum of work you do and enhance your creativity. Try combining different elements and look at the ways in which new materials can enhance your work.

Become a reader
When we've all got busy lives, it can be hard to put some time aside to read a book. However, by doing so you can develop a wider understanding of what is possible when it comes to architectural design. Allowing yourself to become immersed in a wider range of literature enables you to take inspiration from the past, as well as more contemporary designs. You don't have to be restrictive with your reading materials and areas other than architecture can also provide valuable stimulation.

Hopefully this should provide you with some inspiration of ways in which you can spread your wings in 2014 and achieve your goals. Even if you just take one of them on board, you'll be on your way to achieving greater success.

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