Goal setting (& achieving) for the creative.
Written by: Mathieu Roy
Head of Marketing for Creators Magazine
As we move into 2019 you might have a laundry list of things you want to accomplish. Whether that is making your business grow, working with new people on upcoming projects or starting to pursue your own thing. I am going to help you break into a new cycle of achieving goals rather than just wishing they would happen.
The system I use is broken down into three bite-size sections. They include the following: Minimizing, Reverse-planning and Fear-setting.
Minimizing is exactly as it sounds, simplifying your goals and therefore your life (at least a little). When most people start their goals for this new year, they start writing down numbers. Then they start filling in really small or large goals for each of those numbers. This is great if you want to visualize everything you need to do for this year however it makes them unattainable and you lose focus on the ones that are truly important.
In order to start accomplishing things quickly and effectively, you need to minimize. Start dwindling those goals down, get rid of small insignificant goals you just wrote as fillers. Once you have done this, start to collapse goals into one another. You may notice one goal is tied to another or that a goal could also be built on top of another. Keep doing this until you have a list of under 10 solid goals that are more attainable.
Don’t make it too easy for yourself but don’t be too hard on yourself either.
An example of the above:
Goals: Learn how to become an editor, learn design software, find manufacturers, sell magazines, create a brand.
These can be broken down into one goal, learn how to start a magazine. This is smaller as its a learning goal and encapsulates the above goals.
Reverse planning and how it’s the single most important goal beating tactic. Goals can’t be reached without a solid direction on how to get there.
Imagine I tell you to drive to 1236 Imaginary Lane. Without a GPS or map, you may get there but no guarantee or timeframe for your arrival. This is what you do every year with your goals. You write down the address but don’t have a GPS to get you there.
Here is how to do it.
Start with a timeline. At the end of the timeline write your end goal (you will need to do this for each of your goals). Once you have your goals set, choose a time you would like them to have them accomplished. Maybe for some, it’s 1 year or 5 years or 10 etc… but this works with any reasonable time frame. Please don’t write down, make a million dollars by Tuesday.
You should now have your goal at the end with a time frame on-top (12 months for example). Now start to create intervals. I usually do 3,6, 9 and 12 months as my intervals. So if your goal is to create a magazine within 1 year, what would you need to achieve at each interval to reach your 1-year goal.
Essentially you are building your path by working backwards from your end goal. By seeing your end result, you are able to visualize your previous milestones that need to be reached.
One of my personal favourites and the one everybody I know hates me for is Fear-setting. Yes, the complete opposite of goal setting. I learned this method from a book written by Tim Ferris who has many tips for human optimization.
For this to work effectively you need to grab a sheet of paper or whatever you’d like, just make three columns. In the three columns give them these titles from left to right: Define, Prevent and Repair.
Under the “Define” column, start numbering off the worst possible things that could happen if you tried to do something (Like starting that business, approaching that new person you want to work with or anything really).
Next, under the “Prevent” column, what could I do to prevent or decrease the chances for the Define bullets from happening?
The “Repair” column, what could you do to repair the damage even if the worst case possible were to happen.
Doing this exercise is a great way to understand that your fears might be easily preventable and stop you from creating excuses to not pursue your goal.
With this, I wish you the best in your goal setting for 2019 and beyond!