Hey Creative friend, in this article, I want to show you how to plan your creative goals.
The beginning of a new year is always exciting. The possibilities and potentials are absolutely limitless. The other day I explained to you how to set SMART goals so you can make the most of your intentions and hopes for the year. Because just setting goals is not enough. Many people do that and it doesn’t get them anywhere.
One of the most important things you have to do to achieve your smart goals is to get started, But for big dreamers (YEP, my hands are raised too 🙂 ) you might have a problem. The size of your goals may scare you so much you can become overwhelmed, and paralyzed with fear that you’re unable to even get started working on your goals. (Ask me how I know)
The antidote to being scared senseless to even take action on your own smart goals is to plan your creative goals. Planning out your goals is the best way to give yourself a shot at achieving them. I’m a planner and planning has helped me to accomplish a lot of things. But I keep reviewing my plans. Because as I continue to take on more projects I find myself becoming overwhelmed again. Then I realized I needed to update my plans and review my achievements often to make sure they’re meeting my needs.
So let’s dig deeper into how to plan your creative goals.
Step by Step Instructions on How to Plan Your Creative Goals
Write Down Your Creative Goals
There is a study demonstrating that writing one’s goal enhances goal achievement. In this study, 3% of the participants that had both written goals and a plan, were making ten times as much of their income goals as the rest of the 97% of the participants.
Writing down your goals helps you synthesize your thoughts, clarify your goals and strengthen your intentions. In other words, writing down your goals has the effect of making you have a much-needed deep conversation with yourself. And the result of that is better clarity. Writing, in general, is a good practice.
Break it Down
As I alluded to earlier, most of the overwhelm we face when it comes to achieving our goals is related to the size of the goal and not being clear about how to achieve them. We often find ourselves tangled up in a web of questions: “how do I do this”, “when is the best time to do it”, “what comes first and then what next”, and so on. However, breaking down your creative project into smaller sizes removes overwhelm and ensures that you’re able to move ahead with your project.
For example, break down your yearly goals into quarterly goals and your quarterly goals into monthly goals and your monthly goals into weekly goals.
When you break down your creative goals, you no longer need to be overwhelmed by the big goals. Start small by working on your daily and weekly goals. Building something big by starting small makes you feel empowered, because what you work on every day of the week, chips away, even if only in a small way, at your big yearly goals. And before you know it, by year-end you’d have toppled down some mighty goals on your list.
Get an accountability partner
Hold yourself accountable by getting an accountability partner you can share your goals and intentions with. Sharing your goals with someone else means you’re not likely to easily give up when the going gets tough or when you hit a snag in the road.
An accountability partner should be someone who is interested in your success, someone who is happy to see you do your thing and someone who is not afraid to gently but firmly hold you to your word, and push you to greater works.
Join a creative community. It is a great way to get this kind of accountability going. Don’t be shy to reach out to the members of the group and ask for support with your goals. You’ll be surprised how many people genuinely want to support another like-minded creative person like you.
I personally use my own accountability partners and I can’t tell you how much support I’ve received from the various individual in my small groups.
Form Habits which Support Your Goals
Regardless of how you’re feeling on any day, whether good or bad, you need to work on your goals. Some days your efforts will tip the scales greatly. Other days, it will just make a dent in your goals. But the important thing is to set a schedule and form habits which will make it so easy for you to do the work that success is inevitable.
Doing the work is how your creative goals will get accomplished. But doing the work can be hard if you don’t have a routine or a schedule and you’re waiting for inspiration to strike first. That’s why putting yourself on a schedule will help make the decision to wake up on any given day and do your creative work easier.
Let me just be frank with you. There’s this thing about creating which is different from other types of endeavors. It is this fact that creative work is part play, part work. And so, we find it hard to consider it as “work” and therefore to dedicate the time and space we need to get it done.”
For this reason, you’ve got to put in schedules and form some serious habits if you want to do some serious play 🙂 It’s just the territory we creatives play in. And if you want to play and create meaningful work, you’ve got to go with the program. Most prolific creatives do just that. They discipline themselves by creating and sticking to their own daily rituals/routines. (affiliate link)
Celebrate your small wins
I’ve got a tendency for holding myself to high standards and focusing on the ultimate goal that I often miss my small wins. And having chatted with many creatives, I know a lot of you do the same. But a lot can be said about rewarding yourself for your small daily and weekly wins long before you get to the major wins.
The power of rewards is something you learn very early on in psychology class. Our brains have a funny way of responding to challenges. And when we celebrate our small wins and reward ourselves for them, it incentivizes us to work even harder at achieving more goals.
So don’t wait to get to the finish line before you start celebrating your progress. Making consistent progress in your creative life will get you really far. And if you keep at it, you’ll reach the finish line.
Finally, just imagine the possibilities. Imagine yourself being able to achieve your creative goals. Imagine all that you desire to achieve. All that you want to be. Take a moment and let it sink in.
You’ve got this creative friend. Go get ‘em!!!
PS: What are some of your creative goals you’ll like to accomplish? Share them in the comments below.
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Also published on Medium.