The Curious Creator

Mapping out your art goals - strategies and planners for success in the year ahead.

January 13, 2023 Jane Monteith Season 1 Episode 7
The Curious Creator
Mapping out your art goals - strategies and planners for success in the year ahead.
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Are you overwhelmed with thinking about all the things you need to get done or want to accomplish this year?

In today's episode I share how you can effectively plan and map out your goals for the next 12 months. I also share 4 planners that can help you break down your goals in to bite sized chunks, making your goals more attainable.

Get ready to take action and put your dreams in motion.

Planners mentioned in todays episode:
Full Focus Planner
Bonnie Christine
Year Compass
Erin Condren

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Jane: [00:00:00] Well, hello there, my friend, happy new year to you. Can you believe we're now in 2023. Oh, my goodness. Time is flying. And if you're listening in real time, then we're several weeks in already. 

This is the time of year I find the most overwhelming I'm not going to lie. And I mentioned this to my art community this week within my newsletter. I have so many plans and goals that I want to achieve in the year ahead, but my mind is generally cluttered. Honestly, if you could see within my brain, you'd find a hamster running around on one of those wheels, 24 7. It's crazy. 

So I really need to get those thoughts out of my head and down onto paper. And essentially that's what I want to discuss with you in today's episode, planning and mapping out your art goals. So you find success in the year ahead. 

 We're going to be doing that by [00:01:00] discussing the steps you need to take in order to effectively map out the next 12 months. As well as using some really good professional planners you can use to compliment your goal planning for the year. 

So grab yourself a pen and a notepad, sit down and let's get ready to dive in.



Welcome to the curious creator podcast I'm so happy that you're here today. As we discuss planning and mapping out our goals for the year ahead. As I said, this can be a little bit overwhelming, especially for me at this time of year, but there are steps you can take to reduce the anxiety and the mind scramble that comes with that. 

Now I did offer some of my process with my newsletter subscribers this week, but I want to share a little bit more in depth with you today. And if you are interested in joining my weekly newsletter, I invite you to visit my website, to subscribe. 

I will leave links to my website and all of the other resources or planners that I mentioned throughout today's episode in the show notes at the bottom. [00:03:00] So you'll be able to find those and access them easily. 

All right now, normally what I do is plan and work in quarters. That is the way I've worked in the past. I will take one of those big calendars, those desktop calendars that you can rip off the sheets and throw away, or in my case, I like to pin them to my wall. So usually I have three months worth of these desktop sheets, these monthly calendars on my wall, but now I have an entire year outlined and pinned to my wall. 

It takes up quite a bit of space, but that's perfect for me because I'm visual. And if you are an artist, then you two are a visual person and it's much easier to see things laid out in front of you on a wall visually that you can move around and change than trying to just envision everything in your mind. 

 What I first like to do is to put on the [00:04:00] calendar non-negotiable dates and this is something new that I've done, based on the advice of others who are successful in planning and following through with their goals. So for example, Family birthdays, anniversaries, planned vacations. Things like that as well as events that you've already planned ahead of time. And perhaps appointments that you just can't back out of. So those things really need to go onto your calendar first.

And then you can start working towards those main goals. So whether that be creating a series or a large body of work. Or any other type of business related goals. So for myself, not only do I create work and sell that online, but I also teach online I have a course that's coming out at the end of February called fused harmony. So I'm working towards [00:05:00] completing that and getting everything organized. 

 As well, I'm opening a membership for those that take fused harmony. So there's lots of things on the go and I really need to organize my year. 

I generally have one to three major goals for the year. So I just mentioned two right away the fused harmony course and my membership. Now also I'll be working on a series of work a little later on in the year. 

So I have three major goals that I need to, or want to accomplish. And I'll take some colored Sharpies, and use those on the calendar. And the great thing is when you take a step back, you can really decide if you're jamming too much in one month or one quarter. 

You really want to spread out your goals throughout the year. So they become attainable. If you put everything in one month or even one quarter, it's a little [00:06:00] bit too much. You don't want to overwhelm yourself and build up that anxiety. That's not what we want. So the goal of this mapping out in the calendar is to be able to see it clearly on that calendar. 

So that you can make sure your journey towards accomplishing those goals are indeed attainable. So now maybe you have your three major goals on the calendar. And that looks great and goals are wonderful, but you need those systems in place and habits in place so that you do actually achieve those goals because we can all write goals on a calendar 

and look at them and they look pretty with our Sharpie markers on there. But what steps do we need to take in order to get to that end goal? 

So the next step is to break it down a little bit further, and there are lots of planners out there right now [00:07:00] that help you to break things down into manageable size chunks. There's also prompts within these planners that really help you to think and envision and understand those next steps. 

And I'm going to mention several of those in today's podcast. Because each one is a little bit different. And we ourselves are a little bit different in the way we work. One planner may work for one person, but not for another. 

So I'm going to mention a few that I am familiar with a couple that I have, and then some other ones that I wanted to mention based on my art communities feedback and some replies I received from my newsletter mentioning what they use. 

 Let's break down then those manageable size chunks. Look at one of those major goals that you have and the timeline associated with that. I want you to think about it now in months and then weeks and [00:08:00] then days. All of these planners I'm going to mention all have the ability for you to break it down in that way. 

So your monthly goals will help obviously work towards that major goal and from those monthly goals, we reverse it back down into weekly goals. So throughout each week, what do you need to achieve in order to step closer to that main goal. 

From the weekly goals you break it down into daily goals. And I've come to learn that the most attainable way for achieving daily tasks or daily goals is to really focus on just three. 

Most business people, or at least the ones I look up to and are successful with their goals generally break them down into three daily tasks. They even time block these tasks. Now I will admit I'm still working on this. I'm not a very well-organized person. Sometimes I come across or I'm perceived to [00:09:00] be a well organized and I've got everything together and everything's going well. 

 But in reality, that's not always true. So I have to focus and work really hard at staying organized, which also means that I need to work on keeping my art studio clean. I have a very small art space. It is a spare bedroom that I work from out of my home. 

I would love one day to have a large studio space. I really would, but for now this works for me, but it is small. So I have to be mindful of where I put things and after I've created for the day, really take time to clean up. So the next day I'm in my space, I'm ready to go. Because I'm sure that when you sit down to create, if that creativity is not flowing, you're not feeling it. A lot of times it may be due to your space and it being very disorganized. 

So for me, that is [00:10:00] an important factor and helps me with creativity and getting things done. If you know me, I'm a very messy artist. I will be the first to admit I'm not tidy. So again, this is something I continuously have to work on. 

What I normally do then for my three goals of the day, The night before I'll do a brain dump. And I'm sure there's many others that do that as well. I find it helpful. If I can sit down in the evening, even just before I go to bed, whether I'm reading or listening to a podcast, but I try and make the time to write down my goals for the following day. 

And at that time, I'll make an entire list of things and there's a big list usually. I've got more than 10 things on there that I'd really like to get done the following day. But realistically, that's not going to happen if I have 10 things on my list written down. I'm not going to achieve all 10. 

So again, to make it attainable. I really need to [00:11:00] prioritize those top three goals. What are the top three things that are really going to help me reach my main goal? 

And when you're going through your list, you need to ask yourself. Is this going to help me move forward towards my goal and if the answer is no then you need to cross it off your list. 

And I think when you write down your goals, Or the things that you would like to achieve, you become more accountable to yourself when you write it down. And I even now include things like exercise. 

When COVID hit and we were stuck inside. You were either one of those people that said, Hey, this is it. I have time on my hands. I'm going to exercise and get myself into shape. Or you became the person that focused on work and didn't really do anything else. 

And I was one of those people. I used to be in really good shape. I used to body build. I was a figure athlete for a number of years. I competed at a national level. [00:12:00] Before that I ran marathons. Like I was in extremely good shape. But the last several years, uh, not so much. So it's really important for me in 2023 

 that I add that mental health and wellbeing into my life. I've been on a Seesaw. I've focused so much on my business. That I failed to really pay attention and listen to my body and that includes nutrition and healthy eating. And these are all things that I know. 

Because I was so regimented with my diet and my exercise. I did it for so long that it was just a lifestyle for me. But it came to an end and I just fell off the wagon. And, you know, sometimes that happens. And that's okay. But I need to form a habit around that. And if I don't form a habit, and get into these routines. Then I'm not going to do that. 

And for me, I need to write them down. [00:13:00] So thankfully, I started on track and yes, I've been to yoga twice this week. So I'm really excited. I'm very happy. We know that we have to eat healthy and we have to exercise. But how do we actually make these things happen? Writing out these goals and setting time aside to do this is important. 

And it doesn't really matter your job. If you are an artist who works full time, or if you're a part-time artist or it's something that you're striving towards, transitioning out of your full-time job towards that goal, earning income solely as an artist, we have to have a plan in place. And I too, had to have a plan in place when I transitioned from my job before moving into the online space and generating income as a full-time artist online. 

But it doesn't happen overnight and it's not just something I did out of the blue. So many of you who are listening and saying, well, Jane, [00:14:00] that's great. You are a full-time artist. You can do those things. No, I still have to plan my day. I still work hard. 

And doesn't it bother you when somebody says you're so lucky to stay home and just create pretty things all day. And they have no clue. We work super hard. In fact, we probably work even more hours, especially because we are entrepreneurs. As an artist, you have to work by yourself to get these things done. You don't have a boss or somebody else that you know, you're doing work for. It's all on you. 

So the hours that I work as an artist definitely surpassed the 40 hour work week, hands down. 

Then of course they automatically assume there's not much money in it. And that will be an upcoming episode. All the ways I've generated income from my art. And I've done a lot. Let me tell you, so I can't wait to share that with you in an upcoming [00:15:00] episode. 

All right. Well, back to this planning, let's just summarize here. So now we have our annual calendar. In months on the wall, we've added all of the non-negotiable dates on the calendar. And we started reverse engineering with our major goals, whether it's one, two or three main goals. 

And we've assigned those goals by marking our calendar in different colors. We've also now backtracked into months and then weeks. And daily goals. What are the three main goals or tasks that you need to complete that will help you move forward to attaining your main goal. Now we can discuss some of those planners because obviously you can only fit so much on your main annual calendar. 

It's helpful to have a planner. Uh, for a couple of reasons, one, obviously, as I said, you can make notes. And your [00:16:00] planner, it's also mobile. So you can take it with you on the go. And if you think of something or you need to add something, then obviously you can add that to your planner. It's 

at your fingertips, where's your calendar on your wall. Obviously you can't rush back and add it then. So a planner is also an additional tool that really compliments your annual wall calendar. 

So a few that I want to mention and a couple that I have currently that I've been using and I'm just starting to use. 

So the first one that I want to mention is by Michael Hyatt. It is the full focus planner , and you may have heard of Michael Hyatt. He's well-known in the industry for coaching and corporate training. And if you visit the website full focus dot C O. 

 You can find more of his story. You can find planners, podcasts, training. His blog and downloads as well. So there's a lot of great [00:17:00] information on the site. A lot of free resources. And the great thing about this particular planner, as I mentioned is not only does it break down your annual goals, it breaks down monthly, weekly, and then your top three. 

And this is where I started to learn about the top three priorities. 

 The full focus planner, the framework around that is designed to really help you clarify your goals. To reduce the overwhelm. And to really help you with progress. So the framework is wonderful there, 

 You can also purchase coordinating notebooks, which I really like because I find I do a lot of chicken scratch. Quick little notes here and there. And I've got lots of these little notebooks around and I find sometimes with my planner, I want to be more intentional. 

And write things clearly, and it's neat and tidy. And they are indeed intentional. [00:18:00] Whereas my little notebooks, I just do a lot of bullet points and scratchy things. If I'm listening to a podcast, 

Or reading a book and there's that nugget of valuable information. I want to transfer that down somewhere. Then I usually put that in my notebook. So having notebooks along with my planners too, I find very helpful. 

 I hope you're enjoying today's episode of The Curious Creator podcast. It's sponsored by Jane Monteith. That's me. 

And if you visit my website today, I'm offering exclusive to you, the listener, a 20% off discount to any one of my available online mixed media classes.

They are designed to help you with creativity, direction, and to enhance your existing work. Not to mention they are a ton of fun. These classes also come with lifetime access and the option to join my private community Facebook group. A great place to connect, share, [00:19:00] be inspired and gained support.

All you need to do is visit That's spelled t a e l i f And upon checkout apply the code. Create. C R E A T E. And, once you've done that, you'll be ready to embark on your new creative journey. And I can't wait to see what you create. 

 Alright, the next planner I wanted to mention is one that I just recently received. And not only is this planner functional and really well laid out. But it's truly beautiful. It's a piece of artwork on its own, and I just want to leave it on my coffee table for everyone to see and ask me where I got it from. 

And it's called the flourish planner by Bonnie Christine, another person I truly admire. And as i said [00:20:00] it's a beautiful planner but it's also great in the way that it's broken down it's really going to help you progress and work towards achieving your goals.

You get to see a year at a glance, that you can unfold. And again, something that you could pin on your wall if you wanted to. So it's very helpful for mapping out your year. It also has a habit tracker in there, which is great because as we all know, and as I've already mentioned, creating healthy habits around your work and life is really essential for productivity. And that's exactly what Bonnie mentions in her planner. 

There's a section for your goals and your dreams. Obviously these are really important to write down because they are the things we're aspiring to achieve. We want to ensure that we're writing them down with intention. And once they're there, we can go back, reflect. And incorporate those into our goals for the year.

Then [00:21:00] there's an area for your ideal week, which is wonderful because you can add time blocks for your work. You can schedule, as I said, exercise and workouts in there . Really anything that's going to help you to achieve that ideal week. So it's a wonderful component I really like within the planner. 

And then finally, there's lots of areas for you to brainstorm and write down notes. So another planner you should consider taking a look at, and you can find that by visiting 

Okay, moving on to the last two planners I'd like to mention now I don't own these planners. They are recommendations made by other artists within my community. And most likely I'll get the next one because it's free. You can download a printable booklet that has lots of action items in it. A ton of space for writing and lots of prompts for you [00:22:00] to reflect on the year past. And the possibilities for the year moving forward. 

Now, a little bit of backstory. It was a booklet that was created amongst a few friends. They had a few questions to help with reflection and it went viral in 2012. And since then it's become an international movement. With more than 500 volunteers from 61 different countries. It's available in 52 languages. And you can download a self printed version for free. As I said, it had over 2 million downloads last year. 

And once you download the booklet. You just follow along with the prompts. 

Some of the things that you'll find within the booklet are your word for the year ahead. So picking out a word to symbolize and define the year in 2023. 

And then it essentially gets you ready or prepared [00:23:00] for the year ahead. So it will prompt you to write answers to specific questions. 

Some examples are this year, I will be bravest when. This year will be special for me because. This year, I will say yes. When, so it prompts you to write those things down with intention. 

It also asks you to reflect on the past year. And that includes things within your personal life or your family, friends, community, health, habits, all kinds of things. So it is a wonderful booklet, especially if you're not sure what types of things you should be writing down or what questions you should ask yourself. So I highly recommend going to year compass . com to get your download for free. 

Well, we have one planner left I wanted to share with you. And that is the planner from Erin Condron or [00:24:00] at least one of them. Erin Condron started a business in 2005. A stationary business that she ran out of her child's playroom. And since then it's evolved into a leading brand in the organization space. So it only makes sense that she added a line of planners to her brand. And her most popular is the life planner or the signature life planner. That has sold over 3 million copies worldwide. But she also has a weekly planner, a daily planner, and a variety of other specialized planners dedicated towards specific professionals. 

And these planners are really colorful. You can pick from different design themes. They also have three different layout options. As well as interchangeable covers and snap in accessories. 

So, if that is a planner that sounds inspiring and motivating to you. Then go [00:25:00] to Erin, where you can view all of the planners and bestsellers there that will help you move forward in the year ahead. . 

Well, that is it for today's episode. I hope the information I've shared with you has given you some ideas for being able to plan successfully in the year ahead. 

I'd really love for you to leave a comment or a review on this podcast. As well, don't forget to share this episode with a friend, so they too can plan for success in the year ahead. 

Thanks again for listening until next time, stay curious and stay creative. Bye for now. 

The Big Picture
Daily Big 3
Breaking it down
Planner 1
Planner 2
Planner 3
Planner 4