The year is flying by so quickly, but we can still see January 1st in the rearview mirror. It’s that time of the year where people begin to lose sight of their goals and resolutions that they set for themselves and their businesses. Bad habits are easy to fall back into if we overshoot our goals or lose motivation in the first place. Like much of life, we can revise what we set out to do a bit so we can reach our goals through a steady run and not a short sprint. Below are 6 tips on how to set yourself up to keep your goals in mind and reach them.
Setting a list of goals is a lot of fun and you can set some ambitious goals to really push yourself to the limit. Keep your goals in check. It’s not realistic to say you are going to make a million dollars by the end of the year when you’ve only made fifty thousand last year. It’s also not fulfilling to base your goals in very specific terms. Instead you should replace a goal like gaining a million dollars to ‘I am going to ask for 30% more money for a project if I feel confident I can get it.’ Why? Because you’re worth it and so is your business. You should have large goals that you should want to achieve as well. For instance, if you have a particular client in mind, do your research on the steps you need to begin working with that client and do that cool job. Whether it takes a few weeks or until the end of the year, you should set the stones up toward reaching that particular goal.
Let’s say you want to create a series of images to create a small booklet that you will self-publish and also use as a promotional tool to gain more clientele. Let’s say you gave that goal a deadline and you missed that deadline because other paid projects came up and you had to keep putting it on the back burner. No big deal. Instead of beating yourself up, just spend a few hours a week or one day a week building on that personal project and set a new deadline to design, print and distribute that bad boy.
It can be easy to fall out of line with your goals and slack off. Use digital calendars like Google Calendar to set email and cell phone reminders to block out time to work on personal projects, do research to expand your business or even take a break. If you work from home and you slack off in the morning, maybe you should consider leaving the house for an hour so that when you get home you feel like you are “going to work.” Setting up a routine to better check yourself into getting things done and check things off your list is a great way to meet your goals.
If you tell your best friends that you’re working on a personal project and you have a very specific date that you want to get it done then you’ll pressure-cook yourself into making the time to get that project finished. So, in a week or two when you see your best friend you told about that cool zine you’re making, you’ll feel less pressure being around them when you’ve made a bunch of progress on it. If you make your personal projects more of a collaborative project, you have another person who will be accountable for getting things done which will better your progress.
If you have a fan base on the internet and announce that on a very specific day you are going to have screen printed posters for sale of a specific image with a pre-order date, that’ll definitely put the pressure on you to complete a goal. Even making it aware on the internet that you have big plans coming up will give people incentive to check and recheck on the status of a project. If your goal is to do a daily drawing and throw it on your blog, do it and tell everyone. No one likes to let people down and by setting up rules, it’ll give you structure to meet those goals.
If you made a zine, set up a zine debut party! If you got an image in a publication you’ve been dreaming about being in for a while, celebrate with drinks. If you completed a year’s worth of daily drawings, get dinner with a few close friends to celebrate your first year. These victories are all meaningful no matter how small or large. Setting and achieving goals is a great way to build self-esteem and build personal momentum to work toward the long road ahead.
Daniel Fishel is an illustrator and hand letterer who originally hails from the Keystone state but resides in Queens, NY. Daniel's has worked with a range of clients such as The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Nylon Guys Magazine, Arizona Iced Tea, Lands End, No Sleep Records and many others. His work has been recognized by American Illustration, the Society of illustrators and 3x3 Magazine.
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