Goal Setting for Creative People

//

How To Get Results and Stay Creative

This is a relatively short but post but it will make a BIG difference to your life if you act on it.

It’s going to walk you through a simple but effective process of goal setting that will help you to get a big picture overview of your life or creative project, start to refine a VISION that keeps your passion ignited, and to make sure that the things you’re doing are actually REAL to you.

A lot of creative people hate setting goals because it makes them feel like they’re restricted in some way.  That can be true if we CHOOSE goals that are unreal to us or that we have to force ourselves to do but the bottom line is that – if you want to get RESULTS – then you need to find a way to FOCUS on the things that will take you where you need to be whilst also supporting and nurturing your creativity with DISCIPLINE and CONSISTENCY.

At the end of the day, the only thing standing between you and the life that you want to be living is the CHOICES that you make about how you spend your time right now in the present.  These choices will affect the ACTIONS that you take and the actions that you take (or don’t take) will close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future.

Here’s a process for setting goals without feeling like you’re killing your creativity – you’ll start to see almost immediate results if you start making changes to your life based on what you learn here about the actions you need to take.

You’ll probably benefit from grabbing a piece of paper and a pen to help you make the most of this.

Here we go:

Stage 1: Open Up the Vision

The first step in this process is getting a big picture overview of all the things you want from your life/creative project/whatever you’re working on.

In other words, you can use this process to look at your life as a whole or you can use it in relation to something more specific (like writing a book or creating a new work of art etc.).

Either way, the first step is to OPEN UP THE VISION by coming up with as many ideas as possible for whatever it is that you’re trying to set goals around.

This means pushing your creativity to the LIMITS and seeing how many different ideas you can come up with.

Here’s what you need to do at this stage:

-If it’s something general like your life, then you can use Be/Do/Have. This is a pretty famous idea used in the coaching world but it simply means writing down three columns and listing as many things as possible that you want from life in each area.

For example:

Be: “I want to BE rich/famous/stronger/healthy/whatever”

Do: “I want play the piano/write a novel/start a business/whatever”

Have: “I want to have a new car/a partner/a killer body/a dog/whatever”

In this first stage, the idea is to not hold yourself back with your thoughts about what’s possible or not – you need to be AUDACIOUS and to just be honest with yourself about the things you INTEND to bring into your life if there’s nothing stopping you(including yourself).

-If it’s a specific creative project that you’re working on then you need to figure out as much as you can about what this project MEANS to you and what EFFECT you want it to eventually have on people.

For example, if you’re writing a novel or something then you need to figure out exactly what it means to you and how you might translate this meaning into the right story. You need to write down as many ideas as possible for using this creative project to become a vessel for the kind of meaning you want to put into it.

You also need to think about the EFFECT or IMPACT you want it to have on people – for example, maybe you want them to feel inspired,  connected to you, sad, happy, or whatever else.

Use your creativity to flesh out the VISION for your creative project but – either way – by the time you’re done you should have an understanding of what the project means to you and how this meaning can be translated into something that IMPACTS people in the way that you want it to.

In short, the first step to setting goals as a creative person at this stage is to let your imagination run wild and to create a BROAD VISION for yourself.

Don’t stop writing until you’ve run out of ideas.

Stage 2: Refine the Vision

You started with a BROAD vision for the things that you’re interested in doing. The next step is to start reducing the items on your list by finding out what’s actually aligned with your REAL values, beliefs, and intentions versus what’s just something that seems ‘nice’ but isn’t necessarily that real for you right now.

For each of the things you put on your Open Vision List from Stage 1 you need to answer the following questions:

-1: What are my reasons for wanting to DO this?

-2: Would the REAL ME do this?

If your reasons for wanting to do whatever you’ve listed are unreal then you need to either remove that ‘goal’ from your list or to try and find a way to make it more real.

‘Unreal’ in this context means that the goals are either there because you think they’re going to fill some kind of void inside yourself, because they came from ‘other’ people and aren’t actually your goals, or anything else that’s going to stop you from growing in a way that’s aligned with your highest values and intentions.

The second question is a little ‘intuitive’ but all it really means is that you ask yourself whether the most real or authentic version of you would do the thing in question – if you feel like it’s a ‘No’ then there’s no point doing it because the whole point of setting goals is so that you can move towards a more REAL version of yourself in the long-term.

By the end of this stage you should have list of goals that are DEFINITELY something that will benefit your life and make you more real because you know that you have GENUINE reasons for wanting to do them and that they’ll make you more REAL yourself as you move forward and take action.

Stage 3: Categorise Your Goals

At this stage, your list of goals should be a lot shorter than it was but you’ve still been able to go through a CREATIVE PROCESS of making sure that the goals you’ve chosen are something that will make a big difference in your life.

The next stage is to get some clarity about how you’ll start to carry out these goals.  What this means is that you need to CATEGORISE them so that you can start to make a strategy for dealing with them (and actually getting RESULTS).

There are four different categories that we’ll be working with: Ongoing Goals, Short-Term Goals, Medium-Term Goals, and Long-Term Goals. In each of these categories, you need to give yourself a goal that’s SPECIFIC and has a DEADLINE.

It works like this:

Ongoing Goals – things you will do every day (or most days). If you have something vague on your list like ‘get fit’ then you’ll need to probably create a SPECIFIC ongoing goal here (e.g. workout for 30 minutes every day).

Short-Term Goals – things that will take a week to a month. E.g sort out your website, reach out to a specific person on social media, etc.

Medium-Term Goals – things that will take between a month and a year. For example, reaching a target weight or making a certain amount of money etc.

Long-term Goals – things that take more than a year to complete. For example, moving to another country, writing a book (maybe – some people might take less than a year), etc.

If you’re working with a creative project, then you’ll need to look at how the overarching vision fits into these categories. For example, maybe your goal is to “write a book” it might look like:

Ongoing Goals: Write every day, edit, research.

Short-Term Goals: Finish the next chapter by next week, have three chapters written by the end of the month.

Medium-Term Goals: Finish the first-draft six months from now, find some beta readers, etc.

Long-Term Goal: Publish the book and become a bestseller, etc.

Whether it’s your life or your creative project, you’ll benefit from being aware of what goals you have at each of these levels and what you need to DO and WHEN in order to make your vision actually a reality.

Stage 4: Motivation Check

At this stage, it’s probably going to look like you have a LOT of stuff to do.

To stay motivated you might want to make sure to remind yourself of why these goals are important to you. All this means is that you do a final check-in about your overall vision and make sure that it SELLS ITSELF to you.

The main question to answer for each of your goals is “What does achieving this goal mean to me?”

By answering that question, you’ll be giving yourself a reminder of WHY you want to do this in the first place as well as all of the benefits, etc. that you’re going to get from moving towards and then achieving these goals overall.

Stage 5: Create a To-Do List

The final step is to get into the HABIT of keeping a To-Do List and then making sure you actually DO the things that are on it. How rigid you are about this depends on you, but I would personally recommend sitting down every morning (or whenever you start work) and writing down a list of tasks that you need to achieve each day.

Because you’ve already categorised your goals in Step 3 you’ll know what you need to be doing EVERY DAY but you’ll also know what you’re working towards as well.

Of course, as you move forward and start taking action you might uncover some new goals that are important to you and you might learn about yourself and realise that some of the things you’re chasing aren’t as important as you thought.

This is totally fine and healthy and just proves that your goals are there to SERVE YOU and your growth, not an end-in-themselves that you just chase blindly for the sake of it.

Either way, the To-Do List reminds you that the only way to get where you want to be – your REAL LIFE or to see that CREATIVE PROJECT become a real thing in the world – is to take ACTION.

Go get it.

 


If this story inspired or helped you then please share it with others! 🙂

Sign up for my mailing list if you want to stay in touch (you’ll get access to the 7-Day Personality Transplant for uncovering your life purpose):

If you want to find your own real life, start moving towards unconditional acceptance, and finding a sense of purpose then check out this 7-Day Course that you can start right now:

 


Creative Status Podcast

If you're interested in growing REAL, creativity, and living a life that you really want to be living then check out the latest episode of Creative Status - a podcast about deconstructing ego, integrating the shadow, and learning to trust life.


7-Day Personality Transplant System Shock (for REALNESS & Life Purpose)


A REAL conversation can change your life...

Book a free 'virtual coffee' with me below to talk about anything you've read on this site and how to move forward in life in a real way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

The Veiled Veil: How to Escape the Matrix

Next Story

The ‘F It’ Moment: How to Stop Being Intimidated by Life

Latest from Coaching

Chat Now
a REAL conversation can change your life
olianderson.co.uk
Oh, hi there.

How can I help you grow real today?

(This opens an actual WhatsApp chat - it's not a bot!)