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Goals are for Skeptics Too!

July 15, 2010

setting goalsRemember those goal setting sessions you had to do in high school?

I used to hate those things. I thought it was a stupid, pointless exercise. The act of putting pen to paper and formally stating short and long term goals seemed utterly redundant to me. Obviously, those who were going to accomplish their goals would and those who weren’t wouldn’t, regardless of who wrote down what.

As a high achieving, goal oriented person anyways, I was skeptical of something so organized and deliberate. Surely it was enough to know what you wanted and just go ahead and do it.

That frame of mind worked when I was a teenager and life was simple. Now that my aspirations involve more than getting a “B” in math and getting a summer job, I have learned the value of goal-setting.

When I started this blog over a year ago, it was one part of an ongoing attempt to take my art career to the next level. I started keeping a “journal,” a notebook where I would jot down art ideas, write articles, and yes, goals.

A year later, I make a point of flipping through my notebook periodically to refresh my memory. Some goals I have accomplished. Some I’m still working on, even after a year. Others I haven’t touched yet, and others still aren’t even relevant anymore.

The important thing is that there is a record of my ideas. For us creatives, inspiration can come in an overwhelming flood. Writing down the things you want to accomplish gives you a constant reminder so that those spectacular ideas don’t slip your mind when you get distracted.

Setting goals to paper also serves another purpose: it turns that abstract idea into a concrete, tangible thing. It’s like a butterfly fluttering around in your mind that you capture and pin down so that you can look at it closely. Maybe not the best analogy, but you get the point!

The simple act of acknowledging your goals can get other ideas rolling. Once you know what you want to do, you can start examining the steps you need to take to make it happen. Even the most intimidating goal can be broken down into smaller tasks, letting you tackle one thing at a time. Getting a gallery show is an intimidating goal, but once you break it down, it’s a lot easier to manage. 

Goal-setting doesn’t need to be a rigid and structured process. It’s up to you!

Keeping track of ideas in a notebook is simple, informal, and  has transformed this skeptic into a believer of the benefits of goal setting!

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From → Art General

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