Be Smart About Art

Dig away at your goals

written by: Susan Mumford Dec. 29, 2013 1) RECOMMENDED-> Susan Mumford + Chris King's Blog 2882 views

Dig away at your goals

from our Sunday reading series - a weekly blog post (subscribe here)

We are in the final days of the year and most of us are contemplating what lies ahead. You might be preparing for sensational art shows and fairs, preparing for hurdles to come, finalising holiday itineraries, art trips and more.

Regardless of what’s already in the calendar and what other things you would like to do, setting a few clear goals to keep you focused throughout the days, weeks and months to come will tremendously benefit you and your practice. This time next year, you will be able review what you have achieved based on the vision you set now.  

As a creative being who has worked for myself for nearly a decade, I am continuously setting aims for myself, big and small. Understanding how regular goal-setting-for-self works, over the Christmas holiday I found myself recalling an experience from when I was a young girl.

I was 10 years old, and my oldest brother a.k.a. the coolest person on the planet (to me at the time), was due to return to university, a 7-hour drive away. There was a catch; his car (which had the most awesome bespoke sound system) was stuck in the snow. The problem was that the back left wheel was spinning still, and only the removal of the surrounding snow would free it.

Little sister to the rescue! I was determined to help my brother get back to uni and thus set myself a short-term goal: I was going to single-handedly dig the wheel out of the snow. I “invented” a device that was essentially a trowel with an extended handle to get round the wheel. Set on achieving my aim, I successfully dug out the wheel after 3 or 4 hours’ shoveling.

And here’s the beauty in this simple story: I set a clear goal that I was determined to achieve, for as I saw it, there was no other option but to succeed. Although it was a lot of hard work and everyone else in my family had given up on digging the car out of the White Christmas, just the simple fact that I was single-minded paved the road for success.

There’s a part two: celebrating your successes. In my case, I was so proud of the device that I took a stand at the school science fair to show it off. It wasn’t just an idea, and results weren’t speculative; I knew that it worked magic! Needless to say the invention <ahem> didn’t win any awards, however the recognition was vital - which goes to show the importance of celebrating achieved goals. 


Suggested next blog:
See the webinar recap video '4 steps to get a head start' (for the year ahead), with Creative Industries Coach Tamara Gal-On. 

Have your say! Share your comments below - and we will provide a link to your site / blog (if you so wish...).  
What personal experience do you have of how setting goals can help to move forward in your practice?
What do you find works best for making a record of current and already-achieved goals (sketchbook, calendar etc)?   

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Photographs © Chris King.