How to Set Professional / Artistic Goals and Expectations


Saying your going to accomplish something and actually actively pursuing it don’t always go together. Intentions are well and good, but a successful career requires setting professional and artistic goals that you will truly work towards and meet.

Here are a few tips to set professional/artistic goals and expectations:

Choose Goals That You Are Truly Motivated to Reach

C S Lewis quoteGoals are much harder to reach if you lack the motivation needed to devote the time and effort required for success. Choosing goals that you are passionate about will help keep the fire going until the end.

Ask yourself why you have chosen these goals. Are they your own objectives or have they been influenced by someone/something else? Will these goals fulfill your own professional or artistic expectations? What would happen and how would you feel if you did/didn’t reach these goals and why is that?

If you can answer these questions with answers that confirm that these are goals that you truly want to reach, then you will have the proper motivation required to persevere.

Pick Large Goals AND Small Goals

One of the best motivators for continuing towards a large, daunting goal is the confidence that comes along with success in something else you’re doing. Setting smaller goals that you are likely to achieve and then in turn succeeding in accomplishing them can give you the boost you need to tackle the bigger, tougher objectives.

Organize & Prioritize Your Objectives

Rushing ahead with all of your passion and energy can feel great at the beginning, but can lead you to burn out before you reach the end. Likewise, failing to sort out the proper process required for your project beforehand can mean you miss vital steps along the way.

Take some time to prioritize your objectives and then organize them and you’ll find it much easier to accomplish everything on your list in due time.

Give Yourself Timelines & Deadlines

calendarSetting a timeline for your project(s) can ensure that you’re constantly moving ahead and won’t stall along the way or find yourself running in circles. Clearly establish the time needed for each part of your process and then assign beginning and end dates to each one.

By seeing a date in your schedule when you will fully finish your project, it can give you a needed spark of motivation to keep you moving through to the end.

With your timelines, set concrete deadlines. Take them as seriously as if a super-strict boss had given them to you and if you don’t meet them there will be dire consequences. Stick…to…your…schedule.

Don’t Let Your Expectations Become Chains

As important as it is to stick with your plans and diligently work towards your goals, it is just as important to give yourself permission to adjust your plans and abandon expectations that are holding you back or making you miserable.

Not every objective is going to work out – and that’s okay. Goals are meant to spur you on and give you a sense of accomplishment and success when you’ve made it, not bring you down with stress and guilt. Trust yourself when it comes to sticking with the goals you need to meet and letting go of the ones that are not meant to be reached.

How do you set goals and expectations for yourself and your work? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

* Target image by Sachin Ghodke. Calendar image by Maxime Perron Caissy.

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