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Taking time for goal reflection

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If you think towards your goal, your energies – and other people’s energies too – will be directed towards it. Every decision you make will contribute towards it. Even if you don’t achieve your ultimate goal, you’ll be further ahead than if you didn’t have the goal in the first place.

Elise Valmorbida

In our work lives, most of us spend at least one time per year to assess goals, evaluate progress, and even determine new ones. This evaluation process is for the most part widely accepted and could be considered simply par for the course. There are a multitude of reasons why we want to continue to grow and develop our knowledge and skills in the work arena.

But other areas of our lives often come up short in the goal setting and evaluation process. It’s like if we don’t have a “boss” to guide the process, it might not happen.

If we don’t focus on our passions, our creative interests in the same manner, they seem to languish and stall. Self-defeating expectations about what our inner artist should be doing are often unrealistic. This often provokes self-criticism leading us to abandon things long before we should.

When we begin something new, such as creative writing, making art, taking photographs etc., we have tons of energy and that beginner’s state of being is almost blissful.

But to continue on with any creative activity, we need to take stock of what we don’t know and find ways to fill those learning gaps. Just like we would do at work. So instead of letting things go prematurely or entering a state of stagnation, it becomes critical that we need to spend some time in goal reflection.

Figuring out what and where we need to go next and accepting that there may be a lot of gaps in our knowledge and skills sets can be uncomfortable. And that is totally fine. In fact, most new learning occurs sequentially where we must develop a skill which we can then build on in order to keep moving forward.

While on one level intuitively, we may know this, it may be difficult to accept that in order to grow our art practice, there is a continual learning curve that requires serious effort. And goal setting may be an important vehicle to take us where we want to go. So just like that yearly evaluation process you do at work, try working through a similar review with yourself to gain a better understanding how you can best grow as a writer, as an artist.

Reflecting on this is also part of the work. And just like in the world of work, this may be easier said than done.

Happy creating!!