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The Artist's Guide to Goal Setting


Artists are often seen as free spirits, flowing with creativity and unbound by rules. While this is undoubtedly true, there's another side to the artist's journey that often goes overlooked: the importance of goal setting. Setting clear and achievable goals can be a game-changer for artists, helping them navigate their creative path with purpose and intention. In this blog post, I will explore why it is crucial for artists to set goals and provide a step-by-step guide on how to do it effectively for the year ahead.


Why Set Goals as an Artist?

  1. Direction and Focus: Goal setting provides a clear direction for your artistic journey. It helps you answer fundamental questions like, "What do I want to achieve?" and "Where do I want to go with my art?" This clarity of purpose can be a powerful motivator.

  2. Measurable Progress: Goals give you a yardstick to measure your progress. They help you break down your artistic journey into smaller, achievable milestones. This not only makes your progress visible but also keeps you motivated as you celebrate each small win. As creatives we often forget to celebrate our wins. This is a good opportunity to clearly identify our progress (and celebrate - champagne anyone?)

  3. Time Management: Setting specific goals helps you allocate your time and resources more efficiently. When you have a plan in place, you are less likely to get sidetracked or waste time on activities that don't align with your artistic objectives. As creatives we can often get lost in the creative side of the business and forget about the admin and organisation side. And visa versa. Time management can help balance out the creativity and planning in your business.

  4. Pushing Boundaries: Goals can push you out of your comfort zone. They encourage you to explore new techniques, styles, and subjects that you might have otherwise overlooked. This is essential for artistic growth and development.

  5. Accountability: Sharing your goals with others can create a sense of accountability. When friends, family, or fellow artists know what you're striving for, they can offer support, encouragement, and even constructive criticism when needed. I always encourage you to share your goals with me, and I'll be your cheerleader. If you're not sure about your goals for next year, book in a 15 minute chat with me.

How to Set Artistic Goals for the Year Ahead

Now that we understand the importance of goal setting for artists, let's dive into how to set meaningful goals for the year ahead:

  1. Reflect on Your Artistic Journey: Take some time to reflect on your past work and accomplishments. What are you proud of, and what do you want to improve? Identify areas in your artistry that require attention.

  2. Make Your Goals SMART: SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, instead of saying, "I want to paint more," specify your goal as "I will complete 20 new paintings by December 31st."

  3. Prioritise Your Goals: You may have several goals, but it's essential to prioritise them. What is most important to you this year? Focus on a few key objectives to prevent feeling overwhelmed.

  4. Break Goals into Actionable Steps: Once you have your main goals, break them down into smaller, actionable steps. These steps should be clear and manageable, making it easier to track your progress.

  5. Create a Visual Roadmap: Use visual aids like vision boards, calendars, or digital tools to create a roadmap for the year. This can help you visualise your goals and track your progress. I have a free digital Calendar that you can print here. Or if you prefer to keep all your plans, goals and content in one book you can check out the Creative Business Development Workbook here.

  6. Set Deadlines: Assign deadlines to each of your goals and sub-goals. Deadlines create a sense of urgency and help you stay on track. We know as creatives we tend to leave tasks to the last possible moment, so don't fit your deadlines during times you know will already be busy ie. School holidays, Christmas.

  7. Seek Feedback and Support: Share your goals with peers, mentors, or trusted friends. Their input and support can be invaluable in keeping you accountable and motivated. I'm always open to mentoring sessions to discuss your goals and give feedback. You can book a one hour coaching session in here.

  8. Stay Flexible: While it's essential to stick to your goals, be open to adjustments if circumstances change. Life can be unpredictable, and your goals should adapt to suit your evolving artistic journey. As artists, the work ebbs and flows throughout the year, your goals and deadlines should be flexible to fit around work.

  9. Celebrate Achievements: Don't forget to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Rewarding yourself for reaching milestones can boost your motivation and keep you inspired.

Goal setting is not about restricting your artistic freedom; it's about harnessing your creativity with purpose and intention. By setting clear and achievable goals for the year ahead, artists can navigate their creative journey with focus, direction, and a greater sense of fulfillment. So, take the time to reflect on your artistic aspirations, set SMART goals, and embark on a transformative year of artistic growth and achievement. Your creative journey awaits!


I offer artists one-on-one coaching in business and murals. If you'd like to chat about coaching for goal setting and planning, please book in a 15 minute chat to discuss your practise and business goals.

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