Photo caption: Achieving your goals requires planning, but it’s worth the time it takes to do it. Goal-setters often achieve more. Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay.
As a professional artist, one of your most powerful assets is the ability to set goals and accomplish them. You have to have drive and diligence. This skill is truly a superpower and it translates to your audience and your collectors that you’re serious about what you do.
According to Psychology Today, research suggests that those who set goals and who write them down are 33% more successful in reaching their goals than those who do not follow goal-setting practices.
At the Milan Art Institute, we believe goal-setting is such an important part of becoming a professional artist that MAI includes goal-setting as part of its curriculum. In fact, Milan Art Institute founder Elli Milan spoke recently in an MAI Art Club video about why aspiring professional artists should set goals.
Here are some of the highlights of her talk.
While there are a lot of reasons to set goals, Elli highlighted three reasons in her Art Club talk.
Studies show that people who set goals and write them down accomplish more, according to Forbes. There’s a process in the brain called “encoding.” Basically, our brains must decide what information should be stored in our long-term memory and what should be discarded. When you write something down, your brain “understands” that the information is important, and therefore, remembers it.
Through encoding, your brain is taught to focus on what’s important: in this case, goals. Since your brain is going to “throw away” the unimportant stuff, the act of writing your goals down ensures that they don’t get thrown away.
Without goals, as Elli says, “It’ll be more of a painful process. You’ll have a lot more disappointments, difficulties and obstacles.”
By setting goals you’re able to look back on a period of time - a year, two years or whatever - and see what you’ve accomplished. You know that you’re getting to where you want to go.
This is particularly true if you have very specific written goals. You can go back through your notebook or app where you keep goals and see how many of them you accomplished. It’s likely that you’ll see the benefit of written goals and be motivated to continue setting and writing down your goals.
Many people have commented on how confident Elli seems. According to Elli, she is confident, because she has always been a goal-setter.
She says, “I set goals, and I usually meet them. Even if I don’t meet them, and I fail, then I reset the goal, and then I meet it.”
This builds confidence. Goal-setting and a positive self-image are really, really closely linked.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is to set goals,” Elli says. “Having goals and setting goals is really crucial to having a fulfilling life, where you are able to fulfill your purpose in life. You feel like you’re really contributing. You’re leaving your mark on the world. You’re changing this world for the better.”
According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, you are the total of the five people you spend the most time with. That’s why it’s important that you spend time with people who uplift you, who push you to new heights and who help you dig in deep and find the courage and perseverance within.
As such, setting relationship goals that allow you to attract the right five people in your life allows you to maximize the law of averages to your advantage. According to Elli, it’s important for you to look at your peer group and evaluate it. You want to find the ones who are heroes and who can make you a hero in your own life.
For example, maybe you want new people in your life that are going to take you to new heights. How do you attract that type of person? Where do you find them? Once you assess the situation, you can set goals that ensure that you meet more quality, success-affirming people .
If you’d like to learn more about how setting goals can help you become a professional artist, check out Art Club. Or sign up for the Mastery Program. This professional-level program teaches you how to become a professional artist in one year: Curriculum includes training in goal-setting for artists.
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