Season 2 – epiBLOG 25:

DECEMBER THEME – “GIVING”

With just two glorious weeks left in 2016 and with less than 7 days left until Old Saint Nick comes to pay your home a visit, you should be thinking about a solid plan that you would like to implement in order to have greater success in the New Year with your career as an artist.

I know that some of you are thinking that your dreams will simply materialize when they do, and that there is nothing that you can do about them. There is some truth to the part about “dreams materializing when they do.” You definitely can’t force anything to happen. However, setting goals, creating a plan to reach those goals, and then working that plan consistently will set you apart from all of the artists that are simply waiting for something to happen to them.

If you’re reading this blog, I imagine that you’re an entrepreneurial artist, or at minimum, a “go-getter” in your respective field. If that is indeed who you are, you need to come up with a plan for how you will achieve different levels of success in 2017.

Today’s blog topic is to set goals and create a plan to carry them out for your career.

First, set 3-4 goals (or any realistic amount that you would like) for 2017. Your goals should be something that you haven’t accomplished before, but something that you can actually believe you CAN accomplish. If you don’t feel that you can have what you want, you won’t do the work that it takes to get it because you will feel like your efforts are a waste of time. Your goals should “stretch you” beyond the familiar comfort zone, but still be accomplishable. You set yourself up for failure when you set unrealistic goals. Trust me – I know this from experience.

You can divide your annual goals into quarterly goals or trimester goals. In other words, you can divide time frames into four 3-month periods or three 4-month periods. For example, let’s say you’ve chosen to divide your goals quarterly. You would set a goal to accomplish at the end of March, another goal at the end of June, another at the end of September, and finally the last one to be reached at the end of December. You will have a total of 3 months to work towards reaching each goal each quarter.

Use the following as an example to apply to your own business and art. Let’s say between January-March (your first quarter), you will work towards reaching the goal of having 12 new graphic design clients by the end of March. Your plan in order to accomplish this goal may involve attending networking business mixers 3 times a week, meeting 10 new people each week, and contacting them to inquire their need for graphic design work. Out of working your plan and based on statistics, you should be able to accomplish the goal of having 12 new graphic design clients by March 31st.

Dreams tend to NOT come to fruition because there isn’t a plan in place to carry them out to be able to reach goals that ultimately lead to you having your dream(s). Don’t confuse dreams with goals. A dream is something or someone that you would like to have. A goal is a concrete, tangible, and measureable result. Example of the difference: a dream — to own a BMV; a goal – to generate $5,000 more in revenue each month from your graphic design business.

Artists tend to get lost in reaching goals because they lack a plan. The plan doesn’t have to be perfect. It can even fail, but the point is that you have a tool that you can apply in order to move forward. When plans fail, and many times they do, you now have a learning experience that you can use, and therefore adjust from or create a new plan altogether. When you just have a dream or goal in mind without a plan, it just becomes a simple wish that never materializes. The plan causes action — forward movement. As you move, you fail at times, but you also succeed. When you only dream without action, you remain stagnant and your dreams remain only in the crevices of your mind.

In the spirit of giving, give yourself the next two weeks to plan out a spectacular year. Forget New Year Resolutions that people break just as quickly as they make them. Instead, take control of your career and create opportunities!

Today’s LESSON is to take control of your career by setting goals to get the future that you envision.

FUN ASSIGNMENT: Write down all of the accomplishments that you’ve earned this year within your career. Write down how you achieved them. Write down how the accomplishments made you feel. Take a moment to think about what you want out of your career in the next 12 months. What does that look like to you? Either write it down in words or cut out pictures from a magazine to show yourself what that vision looks like. After you are completely excited, choose 3-4 accomplishable goals for 2017. Write out a plan for how you believe you can accomplish these goals within the time frames that you’ve created.

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