Now that we’re in January, the focus is on resolutions and the promises you’re making to yourself for the next 365 days.
But, this year, we’re doing something different. Eat local, drink more water, exercise more, wake up earlier. Those are all great promises to make to yourself, but we want to dive a little deeper. In 2020, we’re setting creative goals for the new year––creative goals that will help us grow professionally and personally.
Why You Should Set Creative Goals for the New Year
When you’re a creative, it’s easy to get lost in the everyday. You paint, sketch, write, design. And, when you’re not doing what you love (which is, ahem, a lot of the time), you’re running the back end of your creative business. You’re staying busy and trying to grow your business, which means you’re not often stepping back and looking at the bigger picture.
Taking time to reflect and set creative goals––and keeping them separate from everyday resolutions––lets you look at your work from the outside in. It allows you to create a point of reference. Then you can see how far you’ve come and measure how far you go.
Creativity is a lifelong process of learning and journeying. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of monotony or complacency. We want to continue to challenge ourselves throughout our creative career. Setting goals gives us mile markers to work toward.
These goals help guide our creative journey, so that we’re not wandering aimlessly across a blank canvas. But, they are different from typical resolutions. They aren’t necessarily strict benchmarks that can be checked off at the end of the year. Instead, these goals will push your thinking and allow creative growth.
5 Ideas for Creative Goals for the New Year (or Anytime You Need a Reset!)
You’re probably wondering, “How on earth do I start setting creative goals for the new year?” Luckily, we’ve got 5 ideas to get you started.
Set Exploratory Goals
When you’re focused on a singular pursuit, you can find yourself burned out working in that one medium day in and out. So, set a goal to explore other ways of expressing yourself. Maybe it’s dabbling in watercolors, playing with multi-media collages, or knitting (perfect for cozy winter nights, right?). Whatever it is, you’re not striving to become a professional in it. You’re just showing your brain how to think in new and different ways.
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Okay, so you’re out there exploring other mediums, but it’s also important to set goals that will advance your creativity in tangible ways. By setting S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals, you’ll have something concrete you’re working toward in your creative career. It could be mastering a new technique, learning an innovative design software, or marketing your work to new audiences –– all of these are specific goals that are working toward a measurable end game.
Set Repetitive Daily Goals
You may have heard of people committing to one sketch or one color experiment a day. These repetitive goals are a way of stretching your creativity and thinking, while also honing a particular skill that’s relevant to your creative pursuits. You’re not striving for perfection every single day, you’re working on flexing your creative muscles. Think about it like a yoga practice –– if you do it every day, even for just a few minutes, you’ll get better and better. You’ll find that the new ideas flow easier when you’ve gotten accustomed to pushing yourself continuously.
Set a Goal to Support and Get Inspired by Others
One of the best parts of being a creative is the COMMUNITY. And, way too many of us operate in a silo, forgetting that there are awesome people around us who we should be supporting and gleaning inspiration from. So, get out there and get to know your community. Follow them on Instagram, go to their shows, and buy their work.
Set a Mentor-Focused Goal
Similar to supporting others, find a mentor and become a mentor yourself. We all have so much that we can learn from each other when it comes to being creative, getting our work out into the world, and overcoming roadblocks. Reach out to someone who inspires you and ask for advice –– and return the favor when someone else reaches out to you.
Remember, these are not resolutions –– they are goals and commitments designed to stoke your creativity and allow you to grow in your art in 2020. But, if you missed the boat on January 1, don’t worry, we won’t tell. You can pick up these goals anytime you’re feeling like you need a little bit of inspiration and a move toward a creative reset.