Deep Thought Thursday: To goal or not to goal

In last week's DTT, there was mention of setting goals, but I decided to pull that out and revisit it this week. Why? Because I'm revisiting the importance of goals myself. Are they for everyone? We can't all possibly use them in the same way. After all, I had almost no goal or vision for my life after I left working in art museums. I just knew I wanted to live in Colorado and try working for myself. In essence, I followed my heart. If I had planned too much or thought about it too much, I probably would have scared myself from leaving the safety net. I was destined to live this life and never could have imagined it without jumping in–almost blindly.

How important are goals to you? If you set goals, how do you do it?

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11 thoughts on “Deep Thought Thursday: To goal or not to goal”

  1. yes…well, for me , goals were equated with pressure , which I balk at …even just the idea of getting to a workplace for 9 am was a goal I avoided …I stopped making hair appointments ’cause I couldn’t stand the commitment …(learned to cut it myself on my own time…) Setting goals for myself was always a way of setting myself up for failure , because the act of enforcing a thought stifled my joy in production …I wonder if other artists feel the same ? Being a perfectionist by nature , I do achieve a lot , but somehow it works better if it is spontaneous …

  2. I constantly set goals for myself. Occasionally they’re big goals for the future about where I want to be and what I want to be doing. Usually, though, they’re small goals for the day, the week or the month. I write them down in my calender or make a list. (I absolutely love lists … really, it’s a problem. ) These goals keep me motivated and focused and I get a sense of satisfaction from crossing them off.

  3. Michael Lynn Adams

    I just saw this quote taped to the office coffee machine, “You can never get lost if you don’t know where you are going.” A goal is a destination and should not define the journey so strictly that discoveries and opportunities are missed along the way. On August 1, am taking a small but significant step in my life. I will be going to part-time employment to free up several days a week to work on my art. It is not diving in with both feet – more like wading I suppose. My primary goal is to turn my passion for art into a viable second career. My immediate goals are simple: • Paint, paint, paint! • Follow ever bit of advise in “I’d Rather Be In The Studio.” For the career side of the art business, goals are absolutely essential. For the creative side, not so much. With the exception of the goal to be productive. In the end, the real joy is not achieving the goal, it is the journey itself.

  4. The goal that works for me is to spend 20 hours a week in my studio – whether that time is productive or not depends on which stage of the creative process I’m at. I have friends who coach in the business arena – they always ask the same goal question – so when is this going to be finished? If I buy into this question – disaster follows- suddenly I’m looking at a finishing line instead of sinking into the work and following it step by step through it’s natural meandering creative route. Having said that, when I became a full time artist and had to support myself, I set up three or four exhibitions a year. Having those deadlines meant a lot of pressure, but it also meant I had no choice but to ditch my fears and get on with it.

  5. Its a tough question coin, isn’t it? I’ve been following a motivational speaker named James Ray. A recent email from him was titled ” “Your goal is unimportant… yet absolutely necessary.” He went on to say that goals are ultimately intentions and are a paradox -“Intentions are a paradox in that they ultimately are unnecessary and yet absolutely necessary. Regardless of who you are or how you’re applying yourself… you and I ultimately have ONE goal: GROWTH!.” few key principles about intentions: You are worthy of any intention you choose… You must answer the question, “Is this intention worthy of me?” Are you willing to trade your life (time, energy, commitment) for it to be accomplished? Growth is the only intention, so learn to enjoy the journey. Once you achieve your intention, it’ll automatically be time for a new one. The process of getting there is where the wealth, excitement and experience lie. Make sure your intention is a BHAG (Harvard’s “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal”) that you aren’t quiet sure HOW you’re going to achieve. By doing this, you’ll build your creativity and faith” So to me this means: if my goal is more sales, the real GOAL here is that I am putting myself out more, doing more, acting more and aiming higher for myself.

  6. There is a balance to maintain. I have my biggest life goals written down, but I don’t get too caught up in short-term goals. Good discipline is important, but the art resists being overly micromanaged.

  7. Attaining Creativity

    I became a full time artist on a dare to myself – by jumping in completely blind. The fact that I enjoy what I do and that it motivates me to keep moving forward, that in itself is a success. But I have come to realize that at a certain point, in the free fall of simply jumping in, goals and a plan become necessary. What I have come to find is that there needs to be a fine balance between going with the flow of your success and having a focus or goals. Without some end targets in mind, days can become a chaos of activity – and while that may be great for art, it doesn’t bode well with business. Staring at the goals on my desk actually allows me to think more freely about my success, and be more creative about how to reach my goals.

  8. I tend to work better when I have a goal, but that doesn’t always mean it has to be specific or time oriented. I want to be a full-time artist, I wanted to set-up my own studio, I want a one-woman show. These all help me to find my path, but I don’t have a time frame more specific than, say, within 5 years. I have noticed that I work better creatively when I work on challenges, like designing a piece for an exhibition. That’s how I made my crown and my most recent brooches. Goals aren’t bad, but if you work soley for the purpose of fulfilling the goals and not for fulfilling yourself, then they are useless.

  9. I think of goals more like guidelines. A goal is a direction that I can start walking towards. The beauty of free will is that sometimes I change directions and that’s okay.

  10. For me goals are a “must have”. Otherwise I find myself spinning my wheels. But, that being said, I do not see goals as written in stone. They are meant to evolve and change as we grow. If we know we want to have as an end result, then the path we take to get there will inevitably change as we learn what we need to get there. Maybe what you refer to as “following your heart’ is what some would call “growing and learning”?

  11. I make daily goals–doing so comes naturally to me– and flexibility and my feelings & intuition are part of the mix. My feelings are important as to when I will stop my real work (making art in my studio) and go run my errand or not–based on how well my art work is going.
    I have a whiteboard for important big *To Do* items and compile an ongoing list of items on paper that I must purchase, and then take care of all my errands on one trip, so that I don’t waste time running around.
    This way I create time blocks to work on my art, and obtain the art materials to work with–all a balanced operation.
    I purchased a Mini Cooper–it can sit for weeks and then start right up, whereas many cars must be started and run daily or the battery goes dead. With a Mini I don’t have that worry–it just sits in my garage until I need it. I have set up my life in numerous ways so as to accomplish my goals…ways to do that are always on my mind. (Small efforts to accomplish goals add up). I come up with lots of ideas…keep notes and files, which I visit frequently to check if I am on track, and the funny thing is I almost always am, and if not then I look for the reason and what it means and examine that…so goals are interwoven into my way of being and I have set many goals for myself. For me it’s a on focus the little things and getting those done = accomplishing my goals.

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