Want a foolproof way to set goals, stay motivated, and achieve everything you want?
Do you struggle with sticking to your creative goals? Want a tried-and-true method of tracking ideas, staying creative, and achieving your dreams? Well, all that might be overpromising, but we do have some excellent tips that you can use right now to start making actual progress on your artistic journey.
One of the most challenging things about being an artist is self-motivation. Without some big mean boss staring over your shoulder, it's easy to get distracted by the Internet or TV or existential dread. Fortunately, I've been pushing myself to be more consistent in my creation for years, and I've learned some invaluable tips that I can't wait to share.
In this video, I want to break down some methods I’ve learned over the years on how to achieve your goals and make your dreams come true.
How to Achieve Your Goals and Make All Your Dreams Come True
How to Set Goals as an Artist
So let’s talk about your goals.
What do you want to achieve? And how can you get there? How do you know what you want to achieve? For me, this didn’t become clear until I actually wrote my goals down.
When you're setting goals, you can look to your peers and idols for inspiration. Identify the path you're trying to walk so you at least know which direction to head. Once you have an idea of a goal, it's time to break it down into short and long term targets.
Your long term goals need to be big. If you're on a hike, you're not going to use some small pebble in the distance as a marker; you use a mountain. At the same time, you need to break down your goals into smaller milestones that lead you toward them. I like to set up daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Each one supports the next, taking me closer to where I want to be.
Don’t underestimate the power of writing. There is something scientifically magical about writing, because while you are writing, while your hand is connected to the paper, your brain is physically not able to focus on anything else. This is according to a scientific study that I made up right now.
How to Track Your Creative Ideas
So let’s try an exercise. All you need is some blank wall space and some post it notes. If you don’t have any post it’s, feel free to write directly on the wall.?
First, let's make a big goal. What is it you want to accomplish this year? Maybe you want to buy a car, or get a new job. When I first did this exercise, my year goal was to go freelance, so that’s going to be my goal here.
Now let's fill in some shorter term goals. This month, I want to make a new YouTube video (check and check).
This week, I need to engage with clients and finish storyboards for my next video. Today, that means I'm reviewing potential leads and sketching my boards.
Your short term goals are smaller segments of the larger goals. By doing your daily tasks, you chip away at the weekly and monthly targets.
It's also important that these goals are actionable—not vague. For example, don’t write “get more clients.” Instead try “get 1 freelance project next month.” As James Clear said, "When making plans, think big. When making progress, think small."
Finally, we're using Post-Its because—sadly—sometimes you won't hit your goals. That's okay! Just move that note down and hit it next time.
Taking Action On Your Creative Projects
Okay so you have some goals, but how do you actually *achieve* them? Well I already told you the scientific importance of writing stuff down. And if you think I’m joking, I want to show you how serious I am.
I keep a notebook in every single room of my house, because my memory is not good and I don’t want to lose any ideas that might come to me: in my office, in my kitchen, in my car, even in my shower. Write down all your ideas, no matter the quality. Keep them synced on a Google Doc. No matter how dumb or insignificant you think it might be, write it down. You never know when you might come back to them and days, weeks, months, or years later one of those dumb ideas might turn into something brilliant.
Now just writing down ideas, of course, isn’t enough. You have to do them. But you are creative, smart, and amazing. So that’s the easy part. The hard part as creatives is putting your stuff—and yourself—out there. This is also the most important part, because if you don’t put yourself out there, no one else is going to find you.
You never know where an opportunity might lead. If you think an idea is good, other people are going to think that idea is good too. The things that you make out of passion, or because you had an idea that you just had to go after, are the things that will have the biggest impact on your career and life. Don’t be afraid of failure / failure is a good thing / if you aren't constantly failing you. No one gets it right on the first try, they have just failed enough times to figure it out that time.
Not everyone is going to like your stuff - and that's okay. There are people who don't like pizza. If there are people who don’t like pizza then you cannot please everyone so there’s no point in trying. Make the things you want to make.
This is a marathon, not a sprint, and the only way you'll fail is if you quit.
Need Help Deciding Your Next Big Goal?
We hope that tutorial pumped you up for your next big project. What are you going to work on next? Where is your career headed? Are you still unsure? Well, maybe we can help out even more. It's time to Level Up.
In Level Up, you’ll explore the ever-expanding field of Motion Design, discovering where you fit in and where you’re going next. By the end of this course, you’ll have a roadmap to help you get to the next level of your Motion Design career.
Tutorial Full Transcript Below 👇:
Nick Greenawalt (00:00):
Hey you. Yeah, you do. You struggle coming up with good ideas all the time. Well, lucky for you in this video, I'm going to share some ideas on how you can keep those creative juices for
Nick Greenawalt (00:23):
Hi, I'm Nick Greenwald. I'm a motion designer and artist, a creator, and a self-proclaimed idea guy. The most common question that I get asked is what is your hair care routine? The second most common question that I get asked is how do you always stay creative? And I think it comes down to a few things, finding inspiration, having clear goals and being able to advocate for yourself and some of these things, they don't come easy. So I want to try to break down some tips and tricks that I've learned over the years that have really helped me out in this video. I'm going to be covering setting goals, tracking your ideas and last, but certainly not least taking action. So let's talk about your goals. What do you want to achieve and how can you get there? How do you know what you want to achieve for me?
Nick Greenawalt (01:22):
This didn't really become clear until I actually wrote this stuff down. So let's try a little exercise. Shall we? All you need is a little blank wall space and some post-it notes. And if you don't have any post-it notes, feel free to write directly onto the wall. Arrange your post-it notes on a wall like this one day, one week, one month, one year, what is a goal you have for yourself in one year? When I first did this exercise, my goal was to go freelance. So that's going to be my goal here. Let's fill in some shorter term goals. We want our shorter term goals to be smaller segments of the larger term goals. And it's important that these goals are actionable, not vague. So for example, instead of get more clients, let's try email three client leads. When you accomplish a goal, you can take it off the wall.
Nick Greenawalt (02:17):
And the reason we're using post-it notes here is because sometimes you don't hit all your goals. That's okay. You can move stuff around on the wall and celebrate your wins. When you write everything out and it's on the wall in front of you, and you're looking at it every day, you're holding yourself accountable. Don't underestimate the power of writing. There's something scientifically magical about putting your hand to paper, because while your hand is physically connected to the paper, your brain cannot physically concentrate on anything else. And you can not get distracted. This of course is according to a scientific study that I made up right now. Okay? So you got some goals, but how do you actually achieve them? Let's talk about inspiration. We already talked about this scientific importance of writing stuff down. And if you think I'm joking, I want to show you just how serious I am.
Nick Greenawalt (03:18):
I keep a notebook in every single room of my house because my memory is not so good. And I don't want to lose any idea that might come to me at any moment in my office, in my kitchen, in my car, in my bedroom, even in my shower, write down all of your ideas. No matter the quality, keep them synced up on a Google doc, no matter how dumb or insignificant you think they might be, write them down. You never know when you might come back to an idea, days, weeks, months, or years later, and that little seed that you planted might sprout into a beautiful idea. Flower. Now, just writing down your ideas. Isn't enough. You actually got to do them, but you are smart and creative and beautiful and brave. So that's the easy part. The hard part is putting your work and yourself out there.
Nick Greenawalt (04:17):
But this is also the most important part, because if you don't do it, no one else is gonna do it. And you never know where an opportunity is going to lead. Because if you think an idea is good, that means other people are going to think it's good. The things that you make, because you think they're good ideas that you make out of passion are most likely going to be the things that have the biggest impact on your life and your career. The things that you just have to go after and you can't be afraid of failure. Okay? Failure is a good thing. Nobody gets it right. The first time they just failed enough times that they got it right that time. And not everyone is going to like your stuff. That's okay. There are people out there who don't like pizza. If there are people out there who don't like pizza, then that means you can't please everybody.
Nick Greenawalt (05:07):
So there's no point in trying make the stuff that you like, do the stuff you want to do and be true to yourself and be your own biggest cheerleader advocate for yourself. Did you make something cool? That's cool. Show everyone and explain why it's cool. I'm always the first one to like my own videos. If I don't like them, why would anybody else? And that's it. I hope you enjoyed watching this video and that it helps you achieve all of your wildest hopes and dreams. And if you want to learn even more about getting on the right road for success, be sure to check out school of motion and demo reel dash. And if you did like this video and be sure to click that subscribe button and that bell notification icon. So you can be alerted when the next tutorial drops. Thank
Speaker 2 (05:57):
You for watching and take care.