Setting Goals

Setting goals has always been an integral part of a creative person’s quest to make progress in their career.

For some, achieving just one of those goals can signify a life changing moment. It can elevate them from dreaming of success to existing within it.

Other creative individuals struggle to advance on their journey until they organise their journey into a series of sequential goals. By focusing on the small steps, they will eventually reach a step that initially seemed too beyond their capacity to achieve.

Although, it is tempting to approach a career path by simply turning up and diving into the challenges ahead with open eyes. There is of course no harm in approaching one in this manner. No plan can sometimes result in pleasant surprises. But there is no guarantee that an approach of this nature will ensure success. Only one approach guarantees success: setting goals.

The goals are a clear identification of your burning career ambitions. They symbolise everything that makes you tick.

SMART Criteria

A common practice used by creatives and professionals was first coined by George T. Doran in the Management Review in 1981. Based on the management by objectives concept by Peter Drucker, one should identify SMART goals for their career.

  • S - Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Achievable
  • R - Realistic
  • T - Time bound

Goals have always followed these key indicators, but ever since Doran's proclamation, they have become standard practice in almost every boardroom meeting on goal setting since.

Rank in Order of Achievability

Driving you towards your main objective, these goals are more often than not better organised in order of achievability. A journey is not one giant step. It is a series of critical small steps. Each one brings the objective closer. Each one confirms the commitment of the individual chasing that illustrious dream.

By setting clear goals that can be achieved one step at a time, an individual can feel the important sense of achievement at regular intervals. This in itself inspires and encourages one to persevere.

You also must not be afraid of the final goal. The one that seems completely unrealistic.

"When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps."  Confucius

Why the Tiny Achievements Matter

With only darkness on this road, it is harder to steer oneself towards the final goal. It is all too easy to succumb to the darkness and crawl into a ball waiting for circumstance to change everything. The waiting can last a lifetime.

Those with a clear set of goals are proactively determining their journey. They are not leaving it to chance.

Their goals are small lights of hope illuminating their path, enabling them to endure the obstacles because the tiny achievements keep patting them on the back as they progress towards their main objective. They put their destiny in their own hands.

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