Secrets to Achieving Your Goals

Jun 13, 2022 | Education, General, Guest Blog

I’d like to share a few thoughts about goal setting. I’ve run across students and artists who set goals like “I want to win the Saul Bell Award” or other recognition awards and they pin their happiness on that goal. But setting goals that are outside of your control is a recipe for misery. A goal like “I want to ENTER the Saul Bell competition” is within your control. And you can take joy and satisfaction from achieving it regardless of the outcome.

It’s the same when it comes to comparing your success or results with other people. There will ALWAYS be people better than you. It’s a given. The only person you should ever compare yourself to is an earlier version of you. Am I better this year than I was last year? Or better than I was five years ago? Am I moving forward in my personal growth? If not, what small steps can I take to grow?

Something I learned from Weight Watchers, but is applicable to anything is setting STAR goals. STAR stands for Specific, Timely, Action oriented, and Realistic.

SPECIFIC: “I want to get better at my craft” is not specific. Pick one facet to focus on at a time. Maybe you need to control syringe better. Maybe achieving a mirror finish is the bane of your existence. Whatever it is, it needs to be very specific or it’s impossible to know what steps to take to improve it.

TIMELY: do you have a deadline for your goal? If it’s entering a specific competition, then there is likely a deadline. If it’s more open ended, then set yourself a timeline. “I want my syringe work visibly improved in 3 months”

ACTION ORIENTED: This is the HOW and should always be phrased positively, not negatively. “I’m not going to procrastinate” is a negative. “I’m going to sign up for this class or watch this craftcast on the technique I want to master” “I’m going to practice X number of hours a week, or make X number of projects a week.” Are positive actions.

REALISTIC: If I say “I’m going to master the syringe in one week” or “with one project” is that realistic? Or will it likely take longer than that? If I say “I’m going to practice this technique for three hours a day”, will you really? Seems like a lot to commit to. If you look at what you have set out for yourself and it feels overwhelming, then goal isn’t realistic. Break it down into smaller pieces.

The main takeaways here are make sure your goals are in YOUR control and no one else’s. And break the tasks down into smaller goals. Things you can do in a short period of time. Then celebrate yourself when you achieve them and set a new small goal! They all add up to the big goals over time, but you won’t feel so overwhelmed or unsure how to get there.

Guest Blog by Pam East
Facebook: pam.east
Instagram: pamenamel