Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Goal Setting Template- Part 2

Setting goals. Yesterday I gave you the one word tweak that made a huge difference for me in how I set goals. Operationally defining goals focuses on the actions and behaviors rather than the end results. It is the difference between saying I an artist and saying I spend my time making art. A small change you think? Try it. I am a writer or I spend my time writing?

Once you start to operationally define your goal, or look at your goal in terms of actions and the behaviors they involve, the second step is to get to the nuts and bolts of the goal.

2) Express your goal in terms that are measurable, quantifiable, and observable.
Make your goal as real and tangible as you possibly can. Create that film in your head. Where are you living? What is your place of activity? Who are you spending time with? Colleagues? Friends? Loved Ones? How much money is involved? What are your work activities? How much time do you spend on certain activities?

Make this as solid as you can with strong visuals in your mind,
or write it down in a rough form and transfer it to your template as you refine it. It is very much like the first step. Here's the difference. The first step is general. There you even put your feelings into it. This second step gets even more specific in tangibles and time spent. See the words quantifiable? Measurable? Observable?

For example, in the first step I may say I want to give a show of new work, or write a book, or launch a new blog. In this step, I would break those desires into measurable terms. I want to produce 12 breakout new paintings. I want to contact 24 new dealers, or I want to spend 1 day a week developing the narration that goes with the work.

Walk your goal through this filter. Do it as tangibly as you can make it. You are creating solid actionable facets of your big goal. Write a book becomes spend x number of hours writing. It might be broken down further into spend 1 hour each morning in my thinking place producing an outline. Want to come up to speed in a new creative medium? That becomes spend x number of hours using that medium. It might include, research on technique, or tooling up too. See the difference here? Whatever your goal is, it sets up a set of behaviors and tasks that are measurable and actionable. This is a subtle, but incredibly powerful tweak in goal setting. Or it was for me.

Doing this step also helps enormously in areas where rejection, or cold calling is involved. I can break that kind of goal into I want to contact 24 new galleries, after stating in the first step I want to find a new gallery representation. If you want a publisher...see same goes. We'll deal with this idea in a later step too.

The point is that if it is measurable, it becomes more doable. No matter how big or how small your goal is, you can express it terms that measure, that have a finite quantity attached, and that you can see. This is how I see exactly what my goal IS.

The next few steps are all about the mechanics in goal setting. Mechanics? Operations?
What? You thought art just happens?

6 comments:

amy said...

Goal setting isn't something I've ever been very good at, I must admit. But I like what you said here about perception, because it's very true and applies to so much. For example, I quit smoking in February, and I had no idea how hard it would be -- or how much of an adjustment it would be to begin to think of myself as a non-smoker. I have been telling myself "I don't smoke anymore" rather than "I'm no longer a smoker" -- so I guess it kind of goes along with what you said here.

Have I mentioned that I ramble? :-)

Good post. (There, that's better.)

Janice C. Cartier said...

Rambling is kind of like fishing...you cast out some associated words on the water.... and sometimes you come up with a glorious feast. Rambling doesn't bother me.

Perception is huge. Pretty soon you could probably insert I breathe clean non stinky air in there too. :)

Sensory guides that are action laden are strong mojo in my world. Here's one of my secret most favorites: "Rich smells good. " Seriously. Niftiest, quickest little reminder touchstone for creating a sense of well being and confidence. Laugh all you want, but hand me my 24 Faubourg and I am ready to conquer the world...and it reminds me of what I am trying to create.

Amy said...

The sensory guide thing is smart. Of course, now I have to google "24 Faubourg" -- but I get the general concept. :-)

Janice C. Cartier said...

It's a scent I love that is made by Hermes. It puts me in a good place every time I spritz in on. A favorite person in my life who is now gone wore it all the time. She was a kick butt lady.

For me, sensory cues or guides work even stronger if I can make some kind of touchstone out of one.

ParisBreakfasts said...

I happen to love Hermes' Eau des merveilles..
Can we have a few examples for the simple-minded here:
Mary Jones needs new shoes.
She imagines her feet in Manolos'
She goes to PAYLESS and keeps on imagining...in her dreams.
No that's not it at all is it...
Must go back and reread...ahem

Janice C. Cartier said...

PB- Say I would like to paint some Paris Dreams. If I were to walk that through this filter I'd have to put myself in Paris. I would also have to work it a little further and think about what I would be doing in Paris while I was there. Am I painting on the spot, taking photos to bring back? Am I doing anything else while I am there? What am I wearing? How am I traveling? How long am I there? What is in my return suitcase? Am I packing a huge wallet in my pocket? What kind of ROI do I need on my cash outlay there? All of these considerations as you walk them through this filter create very tangible considerations.
Manolos v Payless...she spritz's with Eau des merveilles, finds the right ballerina slippers at Payless to waltz her way into the heart of a publisher after which she goes back for the Manolos ;-)