Goals- simple title, and seems like such a simple concept, but there’s so much more there that most people don’t realize. We take them for granted, even I do sometimes despite myself. I was at a reception the other day for a fellow artist and started talking about how I made my goals and strategized in order to become a full-time artist. One person in the conversation said that I should look into giving courses on goal attainment because it’s a “big” business. That latter part may be true, but I will stick with my art. However, I thought it would be a great post to help out those in the arts, whether they are new or old to it. So here goes:
– First, make a list of the goals you’d like to achieve. Brainstorm and write down any and all goals. This can apply to all areas of your life, but let’s stick with your art career. Write whatever you want to achieve, desire, dream, etc.
– Cull from that list the things that are more attainable given your career at this given time. This will be your list of goals for the year. I like to have two lists, so that one is more “now” and the other is for “later.” Reason being, it may not be feasible to get your work in the Louvre within a year.
– Put your goal list somewhere visible- maybe on your studio wall? You might even want to make copies of it and put them elsewhere- on the fridge, in your car, your wallet, etc. Sounds silly, but it will keep these ideas in your mind and help you stay on target.
– Now come up with your strategy. On a different piece of paper or your computer, etc., come up with a strategy(ies) to attaining your goals. What are the steps you need to take in order to accomplish goal 1, goal 2, etc.? Be specific.
– Be flexible. You may come upon the end of the year and find that not all of your goals were reached or maybe they weren’t what you expected. Maybe you took all the steps needed and the goal didn’t pan out. It happens. So what can you do about it? Look at what has worked for you and what hasn’t. Get rid of the goals that aren’t the best use of your time and energy and focus on what does work. Make changes or alter your strategies in order to meet goals the second time around. And continue to meet goals that do work well for you. For example, if showing in a particular city has resulted in good sales, you should plan to show there again next year, or maybe more often.
– Prioritize your goals. You may need to accomplish one goal before you can realistically meet another. Or you may find an urgency in accomplishing a particular goal before others.
– Revisit your goals often. Aside from marking off goals as you reach them, you should be reviewing your goals list every few months to stay on track. Bigger decisions such as what worked or didn’t work for your career should be left to the end of the year for a better analysis.
– After analyzing your goals at the end of the year, make your new list for the new year with your accomplishments in mind. Continue to do the things that work. Include goals that were not reached and devise a new strategy to meet them. Remove goals that turned out to not be such a good idea. And, of course, add new goals that you should tackle.
Seems like such a simple concept and many of you may find this silly or unnecessary, but holding yourself accountable is the only way to accomplish something. You’d be amazed how 15 years can go by without making any real progression in your career, if you do the same thing day in and day out.