Goal Digger

It might seem intuitive to many, setting goals and achieving them. Make a list, check the task off, and you’re done, right?

Or so it would seem to me. But over the past few years, I’m finding that the tasks keep growing and growing, and I’m not getting any closer to my professional artistic goals. I’ve started feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, and that I’m doing everything wrong, or out of order.

Enter my BRILLIANT FRIEND ASHLEY, who has really helped put goal setting in a new light for me.

Over almond lattes, and maybe followed with pizza and wine, we talked professional goal setting. Ashley is a DIY blogger and influencer, and has taught herself, through real-life experience and trial and error, what most MBA students spend two years and thousands of dollars to learn.

The bulk of our conversation, surprisingly, *is* intuitive, but it takes some time and organization to figure it out. Ashley asked me to pinpoint what I love to do, and what I want out of it. In my case, I love to create, and I want to earn an income off of it. But with 20+ current projects on my table, I don’t even know where to start or finish. I stretch myself too thin, making a dollar here and a few dollars there, but not enough to justify the stress I put myself through. And isn’t creating supposed to be joyous?

Ashely has really helped me understand the need to focus, focus, focus, and work towards an ultimate goal. This new focus means only one thing: NEW OFFICE SUPPLIES!!!

I know I need a good notebook to collect all my thoughts in. Yes, a project management Excel sheet is probably better and more efficient, but I’m a pen-and-paper gal, and a notebook addict. So off to the store I go.


Ahhh, there is nothing so wonderful as a composition notebook. I love these Decomposition Books, and since I’m slowly turning into a witch, I fell hard for the astrology-themed one.

Before I started writing anything, I knew I needed to map out the following:

  1. Goals (no matter how lofty or unattainable they are, they are still goals to strive for)
  2. Current Projects (I’m overwhelmed by the projects I’m working on, and I was curious how many were goal-oriented)
  3. Projects that get me closer to reaching my goals

I also picked up a set of filing tabs, so that I could organize my notebook. (Have I mentioned how much I love office supplies?)

In my notebook, I tabbed Page 1, and wrote down on the top GOALS. I listed those goals, and then asked the question, “How do I obtain them?”

Even my most lofty goal has a plan now. “Have an off-site studio space” is now a multi-bulleted task list including “earn $10,000 a year for rent.” How do I earn that $10,000 in art sales? So then I list the projects that could potentially provide an income. And then I get more and more specific with each project.

And maybe, just maybe, I also color coordinate. Maybe. (I do. Because I love any excuse to buy new pens).

So, for example, “Publish a Book” is a way I can potentially reach multiple goals that I set.  The simple task (haha) of getting a book published, now looks like this:

  1. Publish the Dream Diary Project
    1. Write a propsoal.
      1. Intro
      2. Create a table of contents
      3. Provide Sample chapters
      4. Make 20 high-quality images
      5. market research
      6. why I am the person to write this book
      7. ancillary products
    2. Research publishing companies
    3. Research self-publishing options

And each one of those bulleted items has its own 30 points.

Get specific, toots.

I have spent about five hours so far organizing this notebook, dividing it by project, then by due dates, and then setting a deadline for ALL my current projects. Starting June 1st, I’ll be focusing on a whole new set of projects, with the hope that I can start reaching my professional artistic goals by the end of the year.

Do you have goals set for your side hustle or passion? Where do you find inspiration or motivation to reach them? Do you have any specific tools you use, or have you found a method that really helps you stay on task? I’d love to hear!

Good luck!

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