Deep Thought Thursday: Goals

Do you set goals? If so, how often? Is there a formal process?

How important are goals to your art career?

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14 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday: Goals”

  1. I sit down each year (usually around fall..with kids my year runs on a school schedule) and review my prior goals and refresh them for the coming year. I also set long-term goals(3yr, 5yr, 10yr etc) 3 years ago when I started as a “full-time” artist and instructor. I also review those goals and see what needs tweaking. I firmly believe goals help give you direction and focus. It also helps you treat yourself and your career more professionally, which will encourage others to treat you more professionally.

  2. Setting art career goals has allowed me to accomplish more than I had ever thought possible! I always set goals, thanks to the motivation and advice from your newsletter and blog, Alyson! Although, I usually only complete about 60-80% of my goals. But if I had no goals I would have completed the equivalent of about 1-5%! I set 10, 5, and 1 year goals. and from those I set monthly and then develop weekly lists. As soon as one month ends, I set the next month, etc.

  3. I set goals that work for my personality. In the past, I’ve tried to imitate other successful folks, but following these goals didn’t work for me. Now that I’m older and hopefully a bit wiser, I spend more time revising my goals so they are a good fit. It’s important that I acknowledge whether I have the energy, resources, and perseverance to reach them. Lori

  4. Yes, I set goals. Personal as well as professional. Unfortunately I’m better at setting them than I am at reaching them and I’m working on that by breaking things down into manageable bite sized goals….so far that is working for me. My biggest problem around goal setting is that life gets in the way. People around me get sick, need help, die…I know that sounds morbid but that’s been happening in our lives these last ten years (all of our parents, a step parent, four very good friends!) and it has had a huge impact on our work and our time. I had my own serious illness as well. It is hard to stay focused on work related goals with so much else going on that needs attention. As I write this I’m thinking, wow, no wonder I didn’t hit every goal…. Anyway, if I hadn’t set goals during these times especially it would have been very difficult to achieve anything at all and I actually got a lot done and moved my career forward–though not in the ways I originally planned!

  5. I have general goals that I want to accomplish and then I have more specific ones as well. I have a plan that I started a few years ago that has 10, 5 and 1 year goals. Each year I break the goals into quarters and this list is the most specific eg specific shows and exhibits I need to apply to. I’m coming up to the 4th of my 5 years and so I’m going to do a reworking this year. I do also make sure that I list my accomplishments for each year so I don’t get disheartined if I don’t get into particular shows. Then I create a strategy for the next year. I try to stay flexible though.

  6. Alyson, Thanks for responding to my post regarding goals, and especially for calling me out to clarify my list. I responded on my blog comment “Yes you are correct, I did not fully disclose my detailed goals. I actually hesitated the first time I posted them in my early blogging days. =) Now I am more comfortable “exposed” in the public eye of my blog. The “organize” list actually breaks down the most in my personal list. We artists KEEP so much STUFF; Creating supplies, inspiration, packaging, framing, grant and gallery package items … the list is long. However my only deadline for every goal was December 08! The yearly goals will need to break down monthly. The oil painting goal was vague, parallel to weighing the toxicity of working regularly with the medium regarding health issues. Yes, I am nodding in agreement, I do need a specific number on all items. That is such good advice. I am so encouraged that you responded to my goal list outcome. I can’t wait to dig in to create my 09 list following your outline ” Goals: Measurable, Challenging, Specific, and with a Deadline.” THANK YOU! I appreciate you!” Robin

  7. I am really in the early stages of putting my art out there and it is a learning process, so I am starting out with small goals that I can a achieve with the goal of adding more and bigger goals as I go along. For the month my goal is to finish my current piece in time for the person who wants it and also to start on my next one. My next goal into next year is to apply for a different art in the park than the one from this year which provides more exposure and to have another at home spring sale. I also want to continue to find innovative ways to promote my work and increase my commission opportunities. I have to add a time line to some of those but for now the first one is to apply for that art sale by its deadline and to have enough of my new style produced by then. I also would like to spend more time learning from this site and the books for sale here.

  8. I hope I state this correctly but one thing I learned almost immediately in ABP is that we do have power in setting goals- our goals can be molded to fit. Which means that in setting them we have growth and freedom by allowing them to morph and energize us. To have a goal to reach the top of a mountain is not enough. I want goals that will help me get there.

  9. Hi Alyson, I do set goals…not always in a formal or spoken way but I have goals set for each day, each week, month and year. If I didn’t do this I would just sort of float through the process of creating my Spirit Figures for which I seem to never run out of inspiration. It helps that I belong to a gallery and we change the show every 8 weeks. I always strive to have new works. And there are several annual events that I participate in and those also keep me on a creative track. So really the creative side of my art life is working pretty well. It is the marketing that most often is put to the side (and housework, and sometime family & friends). However, I have your book Alyson, and plan a Salon in January. It is my goal to complete the Salon and put what I learn into action. I’ve always said I need someone to do this for me but after 7 years, no little Marketing Fairy has appeared so it’s a hat I must put on for myself. The business of art certainly comes with a full plate of things to do. enjoy, julie

  10. Alyson B. Stanfield

    All: Thank you for your input. I think we need to be around like-minded people in order to help us achieve our goals. Otherwise, they can become just another list in our files. I know that two small groups I belong to are very helpful for me. Without them, I’d be flailing about even more than I am now!

  11. Yes! Goals are a necessary part of getting art and business of art accomplished. I met w/ a group of like minded artists 2x a month and for a yearly retreat to set goals. We look forward to it all year and help each other thoughout the year to stay focused. ‘I’d Rather Be in the Studio’ is a must for my planning weekly and yearly.

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