How To Set Creative Goals for 2024

How To Set Creative Goals for 2024

Hello friend! I hope you're starting the new year feeling refreshed and energized.

The beginning of the year is often a time for setting resolutions, but over the years I've developed a different approach that I want to share.

Instead of resolutions, I do these three things:

1. Set a theme of the year.

2. Define my aspirations. 

3. Set goals that align with my aspirations.

The reason I prefer this approach is because it helps me be more intentional about doing things that align with my creative journey. In the past when I set new years resolutions, they tended to be scattered in different activities without a lot of emphasis on defining the end goal.

Let’s go through them together!


STEP 1) Set a theme for the year 🙌

Pick a core theme that represents the vibe you want throughout the year.

When I reflect on the previous year, 2023 was the year of “transformation”.

In 2024, I've chosen the theme "longevity" to focus on growing a sustainable creative business.


STEP 2) Define your aspirations 🤩

The next step is to ask yourself what your aspirations are for the year. This will act as an internal compass that guides you in your creative journey.

You can do this by asking yourself three important questions:

1. What is your purpose?This is your why

2. What will be the result of your work?This is your vision

3. How will you fulfill your purpose and vision?This is your mission

Below is an example of how Apple uses this approach for their business:

1. What is your purpose?
Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently.

2. What will be the result of your work?
The way we challenge the status quo is by making the best products on earth and to leave the world better than we found it.

3. How will you fulfill your purpose and vision?
The way we make the best products on earth is by bringing the best user experience to customers through innovative hardware, software, and services.

And here’s how I’m defining my aspirations for my creative business for 2024 👩‍🎨:

1. What is your purpose?
To spread joy and uplift others.

2. What will be the result of your work?
The way I spread joy and uplift others is by inspiring creativity.

3. How will you fulfill your purpose and vision?
The way I inspire creativity is by bringing playful and uplifting designs to my customers through physical and digital products, and creating artwork and resources that enables others to be creative.

One important thing to note is that this step doesn’t have to feel overly intimidating.

Think of them as simple phrases that help you identify your commitments to the things that matter most.


STEP 3) Set goals that align with your aspirations 💪

Now it’s time to translate your aspirations into goals!

Start by listing out all the things you want to accomplish. Make sure each one contributes to your mission and vision. Then prioritize them, and commit to 4.

One tool I like to use to set goals is the OKR (Objectives & Key Results) framework.

This is a framework I’ve adopted from my time working in the tech industry. I find this extremely useful because it helps set goals in a way that allows me to measure my progress and achievement. Here’s how you use it:

Step 1: Define your Objective.
This is the primary goal you are trying to achieve.

Step 2: Define Key Results for each Objective
These are the benchmarks to track your progress. It’s best to set 3-4 Key Results per Objective. You can think of these as “The How” you are going to reach your goal.

Here’s how I apply it to my own creative goals:

Step 1: Define your Objectives

1. Have a profitable wholesale business by EOY 💌

2. Increase freelance illustration portfolio 🎨

3. Grow creative community through new platforms 👯‍♀️

4. Add passive income through digital products 💻

Step 2: Define Key Results for each Objective

For the first Objective related to wholesale, my Key Results are:

1. Launch winter line wholesale on Faire by January, summer line in July

2. Partner with 10 stockists by May, 20 by December

3. Add 3 potential stockist profiles to database every week
(3 profiles × 52 weeks = 156 profiles by end of year!)

4. Send 10 outreach emails every month

Notice that I made these key results measurable and time-bound. This helps me quantify my approach and have tangible goal posts that I can work towards with purpose.


BONUS: Make your goals visible! 🏆

As creatives, it’s normal to get caught up with new projects and spontaneous ideas that steer us off track.

But having your aspirations and OKRs visible so you can revisit them regularly will help you focus on what’s most important and evaluate whether those new things are actually moving you towards your major objectives.

That’s why I put together this printable mini desk stand that sits on my desk and acts as a daily reminder.

And I want you to have it too! Simply click on this link to download the file and print at home. 🖨


Thanks for reading and here’s to a transformative and creatively fulfilling 2024!

Stay creative and curious friends.


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