Monday, October 1

Organizing Your Goals (3 Starting Steps)

As this is my third and final year in school, a lot of the year seems to be focused on identifying goals and then figuring out a good path to them. This is very easy for some people, but very difficult for others, and of course, there's no one reason why it's like that. Some folks already have a set idea of a series of pieces or exploration in their mind so they know what their goal is, while others (like me) have a lot of ideas and don't know where to start, and I'm sure a few others don't have any solid ideas at all.

I've decided that earnestly contemplating your goals is very important, so I'm going to go ahead and share some ideas/pointers with anyone who's willing to listen!

Step One: Spend A Solid Hour Thinking And Writing About Your Goals

If you have isolated stretches of time in your day, like sitting on a bus for an hour, I suggest taking advantage of that time. Otherwise, I hope you're disciplined enough to stay away from your phone, computer and ipad.

What I Found

While making my dot jot list of ideas I found myself thoroughly thinking through all my possible goals, because why not? I had the time. I let them range from simple goals, up to absurd things that may never happen, and over to ideas that I would never have paid enough attention if I didn't write them down - the example for this one being that at different times of my art life I've always come back to the idea of (one day) putting over 100 hours of solid work into just one piece of art.

Step Two: Realize Your Goals Tend To Have 'Distinct' Time Lines And Adjust Accordingly

 Organize your goals into time frame categories that seem appropriate; short-term, long-term and, dream-term; one semester, two semesters, five semesters; this semester (four months), this year, five years, decades down the road if I can; student, emerging artist, experienced/established artist; etc. Please note that by no means am I suggesting you say, "I need to have all this done five years today, or else." That might be a little unrealistic.

Your goals may also have related themes, needs, etc, so don't forget to factor that in if you have to, or at least acknowledge the fact. In my list I found a big group of technical and skill related goals, a set of goals that related to owning or growing my own business, and a set that I perceived as being possible preferably (or most likely) after being some form of established professional.

A categorized list!

What I Found

Organizing some things, like making an oval glass frame and doing a 100+ hour piece of work actually weren't that hard. I'm not sure how to classify some 'dream' goals though, like finding a way to set up remedial glass blowing equipment with a willing village in Africa and setting up a fair trade business to help them prosper - or something like that. Anyway, it was nice to know I had a range of goals that could last me two lifetimes.

Step Three: Find An Organization System That Works For You!

How are you going to layout all your goals - or at least the 'short term' goals. A file on your computer? A white board? Pictures? A piece of paper? Flash cards? A calendar? Pick something, and if it doesn't work for you, try something new, and don't stop until you've found what works!

The trial version of my flash cards.

What I Found

At the beginning of the school year I was organizing myself by writing out everything I had to do in a list on lined paper. This resulted in a lot of rewrites, and it was a bit confusing since I couldn't reorganize by date completion, nor could I adjust dates without crossing out the old ones (I'm not a big fan of pencils). I wish I could carry a white board with me everywhere, but I can't, so my solution was to write everything I had to do out on card stock, then cut it up and arrange the topics in order of priority. By doing this I've allowed myself to rearrange and add in topics at any time, without hassle. I also always have a list on hand telling me what I can do next, and I can enjoy a wonderful feeling of satisfaction whenever I get to rip a completed 'to-do' out from the pile!

Go forth and enjoy list making and brainstorming!

No comments: