5 min read

How To Set Creative Goals In 2022

The process you choose is just as important as the goals you set for your creative life.
How To Set Creative Goals In 2022
Photo by Markus Winkler / Unsplash

If you've got big dreams for 2022 but don't know how to turn those dreams into realities, you're in the right place.

Too many artists and creatives don't go deep enough when setting their goals, so they find themselves months later with none of their goals marked off for the year, or, worse yet, forgetting that they even set certain goals in the first place!

To avoid that happening to you, here's a goal-setting framework that goes nicely with this chapter of the Craftsman Creative book, set goals you can achieve in the next 90 days.

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Year-Long Goals = Your Vision

To start off, grab a paper, or open your notebook, and just start by putting down everything you could possibly want to accomplish in your lifetime.

List any dream, any goal, who you want to become, where you want to be, what you want to be doing, list out what you want your life to look like.

This doesn't have to be reasonable. No one is going to look at it, so don't hold back or edit your dreams as you're coming up with them.

Add in a nice hot drink and some inspirational music to get you into the right mindset, and take twenty or thirty minutes to get everything down you can think of.

Once you have a list, then go through and highlight anything that could realistically be done in the next calendar year. You'll have a bunch of goals and dreams that will take two or three or five or even ten years to accomplish, which is too long a time span for our goal-setting session right now.

Once you have all of the one-year goals highlighted or bolded, re-list them on a separate page or below all of your goal capture from earlier.

Now that you've got a list of 5-20 things that you could potentially focus on this year, the final step of this phase is to pull out the three goals that, if you were to achieve them, would get you out of bed every morning, that get you the most excited when you see them on the page and imagine achieving them.

Do that before moving to the next part of the process. These year-long goals become your vision for the next 12 months, but it's too long a time span, still, to be effective at informing our day-to-day work.

Next, we need milestones.

iPad Pro 10.5 with Apple Pencil
Photo by Omar Al-Ghosson / Unsplash

Set Quarterly Milestones To Achieve Your Goals

You nor I have any clue what our life will look like six or twelve months from now. You could move, have a child, start a new job, leave an industry and enter a new one, there is too many variables that far out.

So, to make progress on these exciting goals we have for the next year, we need to think in terms of 90-day chunks.

These quarterly milestones are much more realistic to achieve since we can plan out the next 90 days with much more certainty than later this year.

So, looking at each of your three big goals, what is a milestone you can hit in the next 90 days that will get you closer to that year-long goal?

If you want to write a book, for example, maybe you could complete the first draft in the next 90 days, or finish your outline, or interview a dozen people that are your target audience for the book.

Write down one milestone for each of your three goals. This is your target for the next three months, which leads us to one of the most important principles of goal setting:

Designer sketching Wireframes
Photo by Green Chameleon / Unsplash

Review Your Goals Every Single Day

It's so easy to set goals at the beginning of the year and then forget them after just a few weeks. We've all done it!

To best avoid that, you need two things - a daily reminder and a daily habit.

Set a Daily Reminder For Your Goals

Having a practice where you review your milestones for the quarter each and every day will help you remember what you need to accomplish on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Each month you can plan out the four to five weeks ahead. Every week you can plan out the week ahead with more detail, scheduling an hour or two a day to work on your goals and make progress.

Every day you can review your schedule and make sure you've got the time set aside to make progress on your goals as well.

These daily, weekly, and monthly rituals will help ensure that you remember your goals and give them enough time to accomplish them.

Choose A Daily Habit To Ensure You Reach Your Goals

With every goal that you set, there's a daily habit you can adopt that will all but guarantee your success.

Back to our example goal of writing a book, if you write 1,000 words every day, after 50 days you'll have 50,000 words. After 100 days you would have 100,000 words. You could write most books in a 90-day period of time with this one daily habit.

The same goes for any creative project. Whether it's writing, publishing, taking a photo, calling a lead, recording an instrument for a song, the list is endless. But for your project there will be one daily habit you can add to your schedule that will help you make progress every day.

At this point, you should have three big goals for the year, each with a 90-day milestone, a plan for the next month, with a lot of detail for the next week, as well as a daily habit that you can implement to achieve that goal.

With this framework, you won't forget your goals, and it's near impossible not to make progress and get close to achieving them.

By the end of the year, using this process, you can finish three or more creative projects. I've used this process to produce a movie, write a book, start a newsletter, grow my Twitter following, and create a coaching and consulting practice, all in a year's time.

I'm excited to see what you create in the next year!

Looking to grow your creative business? Sign up for free to get the Craftsman Creative BCC Newsletter with actionable tips every week to create a profitable, resilient creative business.

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Craftsman Creative | Book
A written-in-public book project about how to grow from a five-figure creator to a six-figure business owner.