At the beginning of January, I took an online coaching class with Alyson Stanfield, author of “I’d Rather Be In The Studio”. The class was to motivate, organize and set a vision path that would help move me forward in my arts practice.
A thorough examination of what my goals might be, and their corresponding key motivating factors wasn’t as easy as I thought. After a couple of weeks of contemplation, writing and tossing paper in the recycling bin, I came up with a one page goal sheet in several areas of my art business and life, which is my map for action.
As part of the exercise, I took some time and gathered imagery that would represent some of what my vision might be, and created a collage to keep my “eye on the prize” as the ya went along. I sticky-tacked it over top of a rather valuable older original. (oops)…he he he… (I think of it as a new vision underpinned by older work.)
I seemed to be having so much fun, Kevin also created his own visual image that represents what he might like to accomplish throughout the year. It was fun, and as a couple, a great way to think through some of the shared dreams we have. We had a blast cutting and pasting like little kids on the studio floor. After creating a visual image for them, we then wrote them out. This was probably the most important and most difficult step.
Answering the question about “WHY” we wanted to achieve something was the best filter possible. It helped to define our motivation, (I felt like I was back in acting school) and in some cases, we realized that we didn’t really want to do them after all. It was a great self-editing process.
We set goals individually in the following areas, and were happy to see that many of our visions and goals overlapped. (Good for the marriage, too!)
- Education/Personal Growth
- Personal Relationships
- Professional Relationships
In all cases, for the goals to stay on the sheet, they had to be S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
I’m excited to say that almost three months into it, it’s really helped! I’ve achieved everything I set out for myself in this timeframe, and am well on the way to getting things done for the rest of the year.
S. M. A. R. T. , I say!
Four Simple Steps To Defining Your Vision:
- Dedicate time to this. Try this on your own or with your spouse or family.
- Think deeply about what you really want to do in all of the areas of your life.
- Answer the question: “Why do I really want to do this?”
- Answer the question: “When you achieve it, or when it happens, how will you feel and what will be the result?”
Write it down to make it real, and revisit it every week at a regular time. Talk about it. We are going to do the same with the kids. At first, the boys thought we were nuts, but the example has been set and they can see the progress and value now to want to make their own vision come together.
They still think we’re nuts, but I’m okay with that.
I think this is a great parenting & couplehood tool; artful, exciting, tangible and with a long life.