Setting Creative Goals in 2021 for Your Next Great Project
The theme of New Years, for better or worse, is goal setting. As we unwrap the new calendar, we should look at how we can set creative goals in 2021. The right goals can help us create more, broaden our horizons, and widen our reach.
Goal setting is often misdirected, and stemming from shame in lieu of the ambitions beneath them. For example; we have an ambition to live in a body that feels healthy, which conjures shame of our body shape or size. Then we set a goal to change our body shape, instead of living healthier. The same restricted thinking is derailing our creative work as well.
When setting creative goals this year we have to avoid perfectionism, find purpose for our work, and allow ourselves to explore.
Perfectionism is something that has held me back for my entire life. I have gotten to a point where I can no longer out smart my perfectionism. There are surprising ways that perfectionism manifests itself in my life. Constant error checking is the most obvious, but it also appears in avoidance and procrastination. Perfecting the title position instead of finishing an essay with a strong conclusion, for example.
I have built structures too stringently, and it dampened my creativity. Now I have to restructure those processes to allow flexibility and creative ideas.
Instead of building out the perfect template for an A+ blog post, I need to build the space to capture more ideas and build time into my schedule to expand upon those ideas. This shift in process should open the doors to the next piece, instead of tweaking finished pieces.
I spent all of 2020 trying to write multiple posts ahead, to allow room for more projects. I couldn’t do it because I spent so long perfecting each thing in some weird way. Without that obsession, I can open up the room I need for more projects.
Finding the Purpose of Our Creative Work
Finding the purpose of our creative work seems to be paramount to an achievable feeling of creative fulfillment. It is a theme that comes up consistently on Andy J Pizza’s Creative Pep Talk Podcast, and Craig Benzine (aka Wheezy Waiter) talks about this topic a lot in different ways. Andy J Pizza discusses finding the true meaning of your work through the ‘heroes journey‘. Wheezy Waiter talks openly about how he burned out on YouTube, but managed to change his mindset and revive his career. He was simply burned out making short skits that really had no meaning. His videos now all have a purpose, meaning or a question to answer and he is doing the best work he has done since I began following him.
In my work, I’ve been looking back through everything I’ve written on InTakeCreate to find the through-lines. The through-lines are the themes and messages that seem to come up consistently in the posts that resonate with me. The initial idea of the name was to celebrate creativity, and it had morphed over time to follow my mindfulness journey. Going into 2021, I have begun to understand that the focus of my work is what I am calling ‘Mindful Creativity‘. To truly pay attention to the things we take in, and the things we create. They shape our thoughts, which shape our emotions, which shape the way our life unfolds. It becomes the through-line.
This through-line will continue its path through my notepad as I set creative goals in 2021.
Give Creativity Room to Explore
Allowing myself to explore my creativity further is a continued focus for 2021. In 2020 I wrote articles, made YouTube videos, released several Podcast episodes, and more. I explored my options, and now I can head into 2021 knowing where I want to create. With more focus, my exploration can go deeper into chosen mediums. I found what seems to work for me (Primarily written content and Podcasts) and I will double down on those. Continuing to let myself explore those mediums, and see how far I can stretch them.
I found what seems to work for me (Primarily written content and Podcasts) and I will double down on those. I will let myself explore those mediums, and see how far I can stretch them.
When trying to create everything, I was actually sticking myself into narrower paths. If I was watching a video, I was inspired for video. Listening to a Podcast inspired podcasts. To correct that this year, I will allow ALL the things I take in to inspire my written and spoken content.
When I sit down to set creative goals for 2021, I will set them in an open, malleable, and explorative way.
How I Feel Going Into 2021
Reflecting on 2020, I can honestly say for the first time, that I am proud of myself. I dug deeper and unearthed aspects of me that had been covered from years of sandstorm stress. I got to know new sides of myself, and let go of old sides of myself. 2021 is no different from 2020 – a numeric label. I can’t go into the new year thinking I am going to flip a switch. No, I have to go into the new year continuing to focus on each day, each moment, each choice, and most importantly… each creation.