Friday, January 6, 2017

How to set Obtainable Goals!

If you want to improve in any function of life you need to set goals. There is no way around it. No magic pill, no video you can watch or book you can buy that will magically get you where you need to be. You need to set Goals and work; yep, you heard me right; WORK towards them.

Goals are so important. It’s easy to move, to just go through the motions. If you don’t know where you are going you can only hope to stumble upon success, and then pray you recognize where you landed. When you have a goal it gives you a direction to move in, and it gives you destination to stand on, and when that goal isn’t a day hike away it gives you landmarks to help you find your way there.

So while this is an primarily an Art blog and these examples are ones artists might grasp a little tighter, these philosophies will work for goal setting in any field be it writing, financial freedom, Esports aspirations, entrepreneurship, even personal relationships! Keep reading to find out the best way to map a path to your future through goals.

Write down your goals.

I’m serious! Right now go get a pencil and paper, or you can do what I did and make it a piece of artwork, but writing down your goals in physical media is vital to reaching them. Even the brightest minds can only keep track of so much at once. Simply “remembering” your goal is a quickest way to get it lost in the sea of everyday. Putting it to paper grounds it in your boat of life; especially if you make it your sail and make it part of what powers you.
Writing down your goals also forces you to make that idea concrete. You see it is easy, especially if you are an artist, to have a picture or a scene of where you want to be in life. Well I challenge you to take apart that scene and write every aspect of it down.
  • How many are rooms in that house? 
  • How many awards have you won? 
  • How many fans do you have? 
  • How many pieces have you completed? 
  • How much are you charging for a commission? 
  • How much do you make a year? 
  • How many cars do you have? 
  • Are you married? 
  • Do you have any kids? 

Make that scene something a stranger could replicate if they read your goal sheet.
For some of you it may be a paragraph others it may be a book, but putting those goals, however sloppy they are initially, is the most important thing you can do in preparation of reaching your version of success.

Refine those goals!

Okay are you done? Good! Now once you have the end goals that represent your version of success you need to then clarify them and extrapolate on the journey to reach them.

Set realistic goals. (but don’t)

You need to give yourself time to grow, it is unrealistic to expect to pick up a pencil for the first time tomorrow and then come out next week on Keinan Lafferty’s level or Dave Rapoza’s or the scores of other great artists our there! Give yourself time to grow to the level of “master”. Understand that these gains don’t happen overnight, in fact it is quite the contrary. Don’t fool yourself it can take years to get there and that's if you are working hard each and every one of those days. But guys and gals, all of that said there is no ceiling so don’t limit yourself in regards to what you can get at the end of your journey. And don’t give up on yourself if you slip or fall or stumble on your journey.
You want to use these goals to help hold you accountable, so while it won’t be set in stone do be ambitious with your expectations of yourself. That kind of leads us into the next part.

Set measurable goals with time constraints

You have to be clear about your goals. “Be good at art.” Isn’t good enough because “good” is subjective, because there is no deadline to push you forward and keep you motivated. As an artist you can use a few benchmarks to measure your success.


If you want to make a living as a freelance or independent artist this is something you have to do. You can’t live off of good art if you don’t sell it. and you most certainly can’t make a living off of fifteen or sixteen 20 dollar commissions a month in most parts of the world. Setting an actionable goal based in part on money is something you will have to do if you are serious about growth as an artist.
  • “I can sell a numbered print for 25 dollars plus shipping within 2 months”
  • “I can sell an original piece for 8000 dollars by the end of the month.”
  • “Consistently make 5k per month in commission work within 6 months.”


These goals, once attained, let you know your peers and the communities you participate in think you are hot.... or at least your art is; and awards show the rest of the world that too. Now while you shouldn’t be too complacent with just your own circle’s approval it sure does feel good knowing they enjoy it. Remember always be expanding your circle and expose yourself and your art to new ideas and new people, that too is part of becoming a better artist.
  • “Win 5 first place titles at the character design weeklys before the end of 2017”
  • “I will have booked a speaking gig at comic con by 2020.”
  • “Be awarded best art blog of 2018.”


Having fans in a lot of respects is the same thing as getting rewards. It validates your growth as an artist a bit, not only to future employers, but future fans. Fans the people who (if you don‘t get a studio job) will ultimately be providing you with an income. Your fans buy your work and tell their fans to become your fans if you continue to serve them well.
  • “I will have 50,000 followers on DeviantArt by the end of the year.”
  • “I will have 1 million instagram likes within 12 months”
  • “I have 2 million YouTube subscribers by July of 2019”


For many the stability of a nine to five is the goal, they just wanna do that with a wacom tablet under their pen. getting to the level where you are ready to hire is no small feat and thats why if it is your goal you need to know exactly where you are going so you can forge the tools necessary to get you there. Games concept work is leagues (heh a pun) away from doing live action concept work. And the world of galleries is something completely different from either of those.
  • “My portfolio can get me a job a Wavedash Games as a character designer within 6 months.”
  • “My work is accepted into Agora Gallery by the end of their next review period”


You will need to actually do the work if you want to see growth a good way to measure that is in how many pieces you finish or the time you invest into your craft. It’s a good idea to have a set time you work everyday and/or a certain amount of finished pieces you create with a certain time period.

  • “Draw 5 hours a day every monday through friday with a half hour break starting a 5am”
  • “Paint 4 finished pieces every week.”
  • “Post progress on twitter daily”

Divide big goals into smaller ones!

If your goal is simply “Get a million twitter followers by the end of 2018”, well that leaves a lot to do next year. If you type in a location into google maps it won’t just point in a direction and say walk. Google’s algorithms will break that goal up into smaller steps to make navigating there easier. That’s what you have to do as well with your big goals and just like on a big trip its very rare the path will be a straight line. There will be twists and turns sometimes you may even need to take detours that you have to find once you start down the path or short cuts you find along the way. Using our example of twitter you can’t just get half a million mid way through the year and a quarter mill by April. For you Maybe pulling out of the driveway is asking 100 people to follow you in person. Maybe getting to the road is coming up with a consistent tweeting schedule. Maybe the first on ramp is a collaboration.
For many of these big goals it may make sense to do some research, you may want to read up or follow a path created by other in or outside of you field of study, or find blogs like this one to help point you in the right direction, but no matter what...

Start as soon as possible and work your butt butt off!

You can get caught up planning and thinking for ever. If you wait for a perfect plan then you will be waiting forever. Sometimes you’ve gotta jump in the car and (carefully please) google the path while you are driving. Ladies, gents, if you want to see growth you have to treat these like your goals are real world work deadlines, like your boss expects this or you are fired. Like its for a test that if you fail you will be kicked out of school. Like the life of those kids you wrote down on your initial goal list’s existence depends on you getting everything done when you say you will. Surround yourself with people who will keep you positive and focused and cut loose people who want to hold you back. Pioneer a new path!

And the Outro

Well ladies and gents I hope that was helpful. If you'd like you can check out my personal list of goals for the first half of 2017 right here to get an example of what a specific list of goals looks like. And for those of you still reading let me know down below what some of the most important parts of setting your own goals are!
Thanks guys, and as always God bless, be safe. See you guys next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment