Achieve your Art Dreams! 6 Creative Steps to Goal Setting (Online art lesson # 44)

Solar lights seen from the studio window celebrating the New Year with snow party hats

Solar lights seen from the studio window celebrating the New Year with snow party hats

Instead of “May all your dreams come true in 2012”, this is my wish for you…  “May you have the tools to turn your art dreams into goals so that you can achieve what you really desire!”.

Celebrate the New Year with a well thought out creative goal!  It’s the traditional time for goal setting, so let’s go over some tips that will help you to accomplish what you really want with your art.
The primary concept is that goals aren’t the same as a Santa wish list.  Goal setting can be a practical exercise in planning and getting in touch with your deeper / higher self so that you can … (you finish the sentence).

Photo: L Kennedy  www.WeeklyArt, Winter Snow - Studio Garen Picnic

Goal setting can be a bone chilling time of reckoning. Well, maybe it won't be so bone chilling if you don't sit here, come on inside to the studio.

  1. Goal Statement.  Define your goal as clearly as possible in a sentence.  For this exercise, choose  one (relatively small) art  goal that you think you would like to achieve.  Hand write the answers and keep adjusting them until they feel just right!
  2. Set a deadline.   Also write the current date and the amount of time you have before the due date.  Without a deadline, it’s not a true goal.
  3. Are you DETERMINED  or FANTASIZING?  Write down the answer after really thinking about the question. We all have loads of vague dreams.  Dreams usually don’t come true without a lot of work.  If a new goal comes in, something else may have to go.  Don’t fool yourself – reset the goal  if it’s too much or you are not able to make a full commitment to go for it.
  4. Problems anticipated.   Obstacles stand between you and successful completion of the project (or else it would be done already).  In this section brainstorm  and write down what might derail you.  Make a list of possible (sometimes unavoidable) problems that you think might come up.  Think about possible solutions for each potential issue.  That way you won’t be completely thrown when you run into trouble.
  5.  Measurable objectives: sub-goals with deadlines.  When you have a big goal, you can break it into steps and do a goal sheet for each step.  Think about how to reach your goal and have fun in the process – the more fun you can have with it, the more likely you will stay motivated to do it.
  6.  Reward for completion. This seems frivolous but really is important.  Depending on the goal my rewards range from getting to take a trip to Costco (to each her own) to fabulous “vacation” trips (during which I’ll work on yet more goals).

Yes, it’s a never ending cycle.  Don’t look to complete all your goals and then to be “done”.


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8 Responses to Achieve your Art Dreams! 6 Creative Steps to Goal Setting (Online art lesson # 44)

  1. Ahhhh…the task of coming up with good goals and actually achieving them… daunting, yet tantalizing. Yes–you have nailed it! I have to quit fantasizing and work toward more achievement. The obstacle issue seems to be my main issue. Some of my obstacles are things I am not able to throw aside, so I need to be able to work them into my schedule without letting them overcome my limited time to paint. If I were a betting lady, I’d bet many, many people are like me. It’s a good thing we have people like you to help us!

    Happy New Year! …and may we all achieve our goals!

    • Lillian Kennedy says:

      Thanks Margaret.
      Yes, The obstacles are the thing. I have goal sheets that I print out and fill in. I made them years ago and still love the clarity that they give me as I go through the process of sorting things out. I get frustrated if I just want something to “come true”. I need to figure out on a paper if I can really make it a goal that I can expect to achieve. I go back to the sheet a lot and reevaluate and sometimes rewrite the whole thing as I figure out more detail about the obstacles and their solutions.

  2. Nyla Witmore says:

    When I was a professional “writer”–my rule of thumb was to put up a statement over the typewriter (we had them then!!) ….and if the “mission statement” didn’t match up with what I was writing….then cut that paragraph, paragraphs, or even chapter—no matter how cute or clever or well-written.

    As a painter—I have mounted over my painting area large typed inspirational quotes to keep me on target. (I consider these to be a conversation with my “muse”) One says, “CREATIVITY CAN BE A REWARD, HABIT OR A NECESSITY…IT SHOULD BE ALL THREE!” Now to apply that. Such quotes “work” on your subconscious as well as your conscious efforts. Another one is…”When you think your painting is 80% done….you’re done!” (I use that one to keep me from overworking some paintings.) I don’t always follow that because some paintings will always be a “work in progress”—just like me!

  3. Janette Rozene says:

    Lillian, Thank you for another great post. My art goal right now is to paint every day that I am not working at my “day” job. Just taking my watercolor kit out and picking up the paintbrush. Thank you for all of your inspiration. Happy New Year! Janette

    • Lillian Kennedy says:

      Janet, What a great goal. Don’t forget you need a deadline, and probably a place to keep track of your record. Is it a goal for all of 2012?

  4. Elaine Krupnick says:

    My goal this year is to really do a sketch of my topic and then put in the darks and lights when I start a painting. I always mean to do this but seem to get too anxious to start and then find myself always correcting. I will start next Monday when I am home from the Keys and work on it until I leave the middle of February and see if I can keep the focus and see if I improve.
    Think I will have to put up a huge poster to keep me focused.

  5. Pingback: Step, Step, Masterpiece (Online art lesson #46) |

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