5. Which Way Are You Going?
Show Notes
In this episode, we consider where do you want to go? And how will you get there? These are tough questions. But the reality is you aren’t going to get anywhere until you can answer them. You need a direction to move forward, and I have some tips to get you started!

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Episode Transcription: 
[00:00:00] Welcome I'm Kristi Backman. This is my podcast, Cultivating Creativity. It's about helping you build your creative life. Giving creatives a way to make space for artistic growth through the insights for the mind of an artist, instructor and art coach about the creative process and living that crazy creative life.

[00:00:27] In this episode we consider where do you want to go? And how are you going to get there? These are tough questions, but the reality is you aren't going to get anywhere until you can answer them. You need a direction to move forward, and I have some tips to get you started. 

[00:00:45] We need to choose a destination. Where do you want to go? You will never reach your destination until you choose one. But many people don't want to commit to a big goal or a destination. As it can feel really intimidating. That's okay. Set smaller goals, something that points you in the right direction, but allows for stops and check points. 

[00:01:10] Consider this experience as a road trip instead of a nonstop flight, you have the space to be flexible. However, at the very least, you need to know if you're heading east, west, north, or south. There's a lot to be said for creating a big goal. It gives you a general direction, but make sure to allow for change as that can really take a lot of the pressure off. If you're taking that road trip, there may be some really interesting detours or day trips that have you revising your original goal. Keep in mind that you would have never had those experiences without heading in that first direction to begin with. 

[00:01:46] So be brave and choose a direction, but make sure it's really something that you want to do. If you're not passionate about the direction you want to take your work, you're not going to do it. For example, consider that life to-do list you have. I know you've got one. You know, the one that never really gets all the way done? If we think about it, most of the things that we still have to do that are lingering on that list, we really just don't want to do. And in reality, probably won't do until they become absolutely necessary. 

[00:02:20] I came to terms a long time ago with the fact that if I don't want to do something. I won't. Unless I identify a result of doing that thing to inspire me to actually take action. So oftentimes saying you want something just isn't enough. You have to identify the why. And understand the how, how does this benefit you in order to really take the action you need? 

[00:02:46] I love the saying “all those who wander are not lost.” It's a wonderful statement about enjoying the journey. There are days that I just get in my car and drive with the windows down and the music And that's the whole point, the experience. And joining an experience is wonderful, but are you taking the drive because you just want to enjoy the day or because you haven't taken the time to identify a destination. My guess is that Sunday drives aside. You have things you want to do and accomplish, identify what those are and let's get started. 

[00:03:21] So we need to create a roadmap. How will you get there? You guessed it, I'm going to talk about setting goals. I know, I know we already know all about goals, but my guess is you haven't really been utilizing all of the beneficial steps of goal setting. Most often we just identify some pie in the sky idea and call it a goal.

[00:03:43] For example saying like, I want a vacation. Well, that's a nice statement. One that we can all relate to, I'm sure. But it's not actually a goal. It's a wish, a desire. And it's a passive idea. A goal would be, I am taking or planning a vacation. All right, because this statement uses verbs, which signify action. Action requires steps and leads to a result. Now we're getting somewhere! The first step is to identify a direction because we can't get anywhere without that step. But determining how we get there is really where the action takes place. And it's where most people lose their way. 

[00:04:26] Another reason people avoid setting the big goals I mentioned earlier is perhaps they have before, and they weren't successful. But let me ask you, did you plan out how to achieve that goal? Did you identify the steps you needed to take? And did you identify the resources you required to get it done? Did you give yourself enough time or did you just put a bunch of pressure on yourself? And so, you always felt like a failure. If any of this is sounding familiar. you didn't really approach your goal properly. It wasn't you; it was your strategy.

[00:04:59] The key to creating powerful goals are that they're well thought out. Giving you a starting and an ending point as well as support along the way. If this is something you need help with, I've created an amazing course called Creating Powerful Goals that walks you through the process and provides great resources to help you create supported and achievable goals. 

[00:05:20] One of the bigger challenges I think in setting goals in this field, is that the reality is we're not really sure what our options are. We've been told that we could show in galleries and museums. But sometimes it just takes a little bit more research to see what the actual opportunities are. What could you do? What professional avenues are going to be the most exciting and interesting for you? That takes a little bit of research that takes a little bit of time, and sometimes it takes a little bit of guidance. I'm happy to help you look into some of those things to think about what might fit your personality, your interests, your drives. For example, maybe you're looking for community and finding the right guild or group will really help inspire your creativity, or maybe you're looking for a show opportunity and looking for calls for entry is just what you're wanting to do. Maybe you're wanting to do the festival circuit and learning more about how to do that would be really exciting for you. We don't really know until we explore the avenues. And I find that a lot of emerging artists, or even established artists, who've been doing one thing, aren't really sure what else is out there. And honestly, the answer is the possibilities are endless. You can do whatever you want, but that also makes it a little bit overwhelming. So, what do you want to do? 

[00:06:41] And this is where the idea of researching, leaning into, how do you feel about sharing your work? What feels in alignment with how you want to experience your work and how you want others to experience your work? Are you interested in making sales? Are you more interested in people just seeing it? 

[00:07:00] What are your goals? And so really starting to hone in and identify what you actually want out of your art career is really going to help you start to set that direction. And the first step there is learning more about it. Learning what some of your options are. And then giving yourself the space to maybe create some of your own creative solutions. 

[00:07:22] Making art is where the rubber meets the road. Yes, you need a direction and a roadmap, but consider in our analogy that your art is the vehicle. So, you're really not going to get anywhere without creating that art, which is great news, really, as I'm sure that's what you are the most passionate about anyway. While I'm introducing this step last really, it's the one step you can work on any time. It's a great place to start. If you're unsure about what you want or where you want it to go, you just won't get there without a body of work. So, when in doubt, make art. That's an awesome solution, right? A great problem to have is having a bunch of finished art, lying around. Building inventory is important. And once you have that inventory, there are so many options. And it just takes some time to explore the options and see which ones are the most aligned with what you want to do. 

[00:08:18] So we talked about the importance of selecting a destination of creating a roadmap and of building a body of work. While these steps sound simple and straightforward, this can be a really challenging process, know that there is support for you along your journey. A great place to start is my course Creating Powerful Goals. But if you're looking for more support, sign up for a Free Discovery Call and let's talk about how I can help you define your direction. See you next time!


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