Updated: Feb 7, 2020
Do you enjoy setting goals? Does it feel exciting or overwhelming for you?
I personally love seeing something in the distance that I'm walking (or running) toward, knowing that the journey itself is bound to help me grow to be a better person. I love the challenge and the grit and the long-game. (Okay, so I don't "love" it all of the time, but I know it's worth it).
Setting and then declaring your goals to community, or even aloud to yourself, is vulnerable and requires courage. And,
I believe it is when we share our goals that we make a pact with ourselves, our community, and the Universe to swiftly move toward our vision.
My hope is that you'll walk away from this blog post with practical steps and confidence to make your dreams a reality.
So, let's dive in!
Here are my top 3 goals for 2020 and the process I am using to achieve them!
My Top 3 Goals for 2020:
1) Run my second half marathon. This time in my hometown of Oklahoma City!
2) Illustrate a Cookbook.
3) Complete my surface pattern design portfolio and send to 10 companies.
Homing in on three goals for the year allows me to focus on the steps required to reach my destination.
So, how do you go about making your goal a reality?
Let's Get Started!
Dream up your goal. You've gotta get a clear vision of your destination before you start moving toward it. This is the super fun part because you can really let your imagination run wild.
If anything were possible and you had all of the resources needed and knew you were 110% capable, what dream would you be living? What would your life look like?
Set a timer for 10 minutes and free-write your dream goals. No judgement, no boundaries.
This is where you will discover your dreams and the deep-rooted reasons of why you want to reach them: how you'll feel, grow, and become the person you desire to be.
The purpose for my goal "Illustrate a cookbook" is to learn the process, create a gift for a dear friend, and have a project for my portfolio to show future chefs and authors I'd love to work with.
Look at your free write and pick one goal to start.
I know, I know. Easier said than done! I always want to have my hands in multiple projects at a time, but just like checking Facebook while you are reading a blog post (ahem), multitasking does not lead to quality results quickly.
So pick one goal to start.
(This is my main practice for the year!).
The goal I pick is "Illustrate a Cookbook."
Write down all of the steps required to reach this one goal.
My goal to illustrate a cookbook was actually a goal last year as well, but I didn't really do anything to act on it. I set the intention and then sort of waited hoping a chef or author would contact me to collaborate.
Now, I'm taking a different approach and crafting my own cookbook. I'm compiling my favorite recipes from a variety of chefs and illustrating them before self-publishing.
Some of the steps to complete this goal include:
-Decide on the number of recipes for the book
-Collect these recipes in a Google Doc
-Illustrate at least 5 recipes per week
-Research self-publishing companies and choose one
-Format the book
The list of steps is longer than this, of course, but you get the idea.
Pro-Tip: If one of your steps feels too overwhelming, break it down even more.
"Format the book" is a big step and pretty vague. I could break this down into more manageable steps:
-Research commercial-free fonts for the book
-Choose a font
-Format all recipes in the Google Doc to match this font
-Test layout tools in self-publishing software
-Layout one recipe with the illustrations
Bite-sized pieces, baby.
Pro-Tip: Don't get so stuck on one step that it becomes an excuse to not move forward.
It's really easy for me to stay in "research mode" because I'm scared of taking action. To move out of analysis paralysis, I create a concrete amount of time for gathering information before taking action. This may look like:
-"read 5 articles"
-"watch 3 videos"
-"decide between 2 softwares"
There is endless information, so decide how much you will consume.
Then, take action.
Create a timeline. This step is a planner's DREAM (I am such a nerd, and I love it).
You with me?
Make deadlines for each of your steps (don't worry, life happens and you can alter as needed. See tip 5).
Here's a rough timeline for the steps to my cookbook dream:
-Decide on the number of recipes to include (Jan 2)
-Collect these recipes in a Google Doc (by Jan 15)
-Illustrate at least 5 recipes per week (Jan 2 - April 1)
-Research self-publishing companies and choose one to use (Mid-March. Spend only 2 hours on this maximum)
-Format the book (Beginning of April-Beginning of May)
-Order Test Copy (Mid-May)
This is definitely the trickiest step for me because when I have a goal in mind I can easily shift into focus mode with blinders on.
While this can be helpful for traction, it can also lead me to miss clues along the path because they don't exactly match what I think the steps toward my goal "should look like."
When I get into such a rigid mode of operation that I forget to laugh, play, and let go, I can also miss out on enjoying life itself. When this happens, I know it's time to press pause and take a break. I need to be reminded of the magic. Then I can return to my work with refreshed focus, gratitude, and energy.
So, I'm curious:
What goal are you after this year?
Let me know in the comments with the first steps you are taking to get there!
I can't wait to cheer you on.
P.S. If you're craving more creative inspiration and behind-the-scenes looks into the Prints & Plants studio, join the Prints & Plants family right here.
I can't wait to meet you!
To creativity, and beyond!
This week's illustrations 1.4.20 - 1.10.20: