Goal setting is something a lot of people do. But did you know that a whopping 92% of people who make new year’s resolutions don’t achieve them? As we approach the end of the year, many of us are reviewing our year and making resolutions about what we’ll like our lives to look like in the coming year.
Last week, we talked about the right way to review your year without discounting some of the important achievements you’ve made. But let’s face it. Something happens long before you get to the point where you review your achievements – you set goals.
Yes! Goal-setting precedes assessment of achievements. So it goes without saying that in order to review your achievements at the end of the year, you must have started by setting goals the right way.
Why is it important for Textile Artists to Set Goals
Creative types have a reputation for being disorganized, using their time inefficiently, and all sorts of other negative things. For creatives, goal setting is a way to overcome some of these negative stereotypes and work to transform all the great ideas in our heads into actual things people can see and use.
The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.– Bill Copeland
There are many great benefits of setting goals. Goal setting increases your persistence, helps you stay focused, teaches you to organize your time and your resources so that you can make the most of your life.
3 Reasons You Set Goals That Fail
However, when we set goals we usually don’t achieve them. Three reasons why we fail to achieve the goals we set are:
- We set goals to please other people or the society in which we live
- We set goals that have no meaning to us or do not satisfy us on a deep level
- We’re unrealistic about what we can really achieve based on our skills and the available time frame
SMART Goal Setting for Textile Artists
The better way to set goals so that it’s more likely for you to achieve them is to make them SMART. SMART is an acronym used in business but we can apply it to our personal and creative lives too. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.
Let’s quickly look at what each letter means.
Specific Goals are goals which are not vague. When you set a goal like this, “I’ll create more this year” That’s vague. A specific goal will be, “This year, I’ll create 7 art quilts about the town in which I grew up”. You’re more likely to accomplish your creative goal if it’s specific.
Measurable Goals are those you can easily tell when you’ve achieved them. For example, if your goal is to be a better quilter by year end, how do you measure when you’ve become a better quilter? There will always be room for becoming better. Right? A measurable goal, on the other hand, will be, “I’m going to learn free motion stippling”.
Achievable goals are those that really take into account our current abilities and our constraints. Let’s look at this goal for example. “Learn free motion quilting in the next six weeks and win the ribbon for BEST QUILTING in the local quilt show”. This right there may be an unrealistic and unachievable goal if you are a newbie quilter.
Relevant Goals align with your true values. They matter to you and they fit into the overarching plan you have for your life. If you set a goal that works against your beliefs or big picture plan for your life then that is not a SMART goal for you to have. You’ll have a hard time achieving such a goal because nobody likes to work against themselves.
Time-bound goals are those goals which have a deadline or a “complete by date. Without assigning a target date to your goals, they can be difficult to track. Also setting time limits for your goals helps you know how to prioritize your daily work. An example of a time-bound goal is: “By the end of March, I’d have learned thread sketching.
Here are some strategies to help you achieve your goals. Accountability: Get a support system of people who are happy for you to succeed, and with whom you can share your goals and who will hold you accountable. Review and share your progress with your support team. I like to call it “practicing in public”.
Related Post: How Creativity PLUS Community Equals Exponential Growth
A great example of a SMART goal was my stitch the sketch challenge. I had all the necessary elements. I decided to create one 12” x12” piece of work using thread sketching techniques every week. That goal was specific, time-bound, relevant to my creative growth, and achievable. Then, I wrote about it here on the blog weekly and recorded video tutorials for accountability. I must tell you, in terms of prolificity, that was my best year ever. I created more than 50 pieces of work because of that one SMART goal I set for myself.
You can do the same for yourself now that you have a good idea of what SMART goals are. Use this information to start setting goals for your own creative projects in the coming years. Remember to include impact goals as well as personal health and wellness goals, in addition to your creative projects. Don’t forget to download my beautifully designed SMART goals worksheet to help you set your goals. It’s FREE.
I must admit, last year, I didn’t do a good job with setting clear and SMART goals. So when it came time to review my year, I struggled. This year, I plan to do a better job.
What has your goal setting habit been like? Do you set goals for the year or do you not?
Share your thoughts below.
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Also published on Medium.