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GOALS, Not Resolutions

 In Achievemnt, Art Process, Business

Here we are in January of a new year and it’s time to set some goals. No, I don’t mean making more new year’s resolutions-they are just destined to be broken. Have you ever been surprised when you hear someone lament the failure of their resolutions? Resolutions are bound to fail. They are declarations of pie-in-the-sky aspirations that have no way to get there.  Lots of creative people want to accomplish things but don’t know how to use goals to help them get where they’re going.



Goals, on the other hand, are intentions that  take you on the path to where you want to go.Lots of creative people want to accomplish things but don’t know how to use goals to help them get where they’re going.A good goal is one that is well articulated in a way that lets you lay out the steps to get there. In fact, there are specific         characteristics that make a goal an effective one.


Here are 8 aspects of a working successfully with goals:

Pick one or two goals (one is better) that really have juice for you. Don’t let the “shoulds” in! Shoulds have no place in creative work. Choose a goal that is something that will make your heart sing- to do it and to attain it. No one has ever been motivated to do a laundry list, so leave the list for the wash.

You want a goal that is clearly defined with specific parameters. When you have clearly defined what your goal is with its limits and areas that it encompasses, you will find it easier to know definitively what you are going for.

Make sure that your goal is one that gets you where you want to go. By that, I mean-where does this goal fit within your over-arching vision? Is it going to get you closer to where you see yourself going or is it just a side diversion?

Is it quantifiable so you have measurable ways to define it? When you have elements in your goal that are subjective, like “a good painting,” “lots of drawings,” or “a large sculpture,” you won’t know when it is that you’ve actually attained it. If it is a painting with certain, specific laudable (defined)characteristics or 50 drawings or a sculpture that is a minimum of 3′ high, you have a much clearer understanding of when you have achieved your goals

You need to be able to lay out the particular steps needed to reach the goal. We never achieve something without going through steps to get there. By laying out the steps, your goal becomes more attainable because you know how to proceed and what needs to be accomplished, in what order so you’ll be able to get to that bigger goal.

The goal should be accomplished in a predetermined length of time. Most of us work better with deadlines. If we don’t have them, it’s easy to get lost in a mañana mentality, procrastinating until we never get it done. So give yourself a deadline and try to stick to it.

Write it down! Have your goal(s) and your action plan- what do you want to have happen by when- written out and keep them where you can see them. In a book is fine if you look in there with great frequency. Even better is pinning them on the wall in your workspace so you see them all the time. If your goals are in the forefront of your mind, you are more likely to accomplish them.

Get yourself some accountability! Find a like minded soul who will confab with you every week or two to whom you can share what you’ve accomplished. Or maybe you want to declare your goals and deadlines on facebook (or other social media) or to a coach, to keep you on track.

Now you’ve got yourself well onto the track with productive goals. How about following these steps and getting yourself going by declaring them here? I’ll help you keep on track.

Acrylic ink, abstract floral, work in progress by Karen Eve Friedland

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