How I Wrote Down My Personal Goals for 2022 as a Creative Entrepreneur
Goal setting is very interesting to me. It’s one of those things that everybody knows is important, but very few people do.
Even many of the entrepreneurs that I speak to don’t have clearly written-down goals. And if they do, rarely do they rewrite and revisit their goals.
Usually they have a general sense of direction, of course. And maybe that’s enough in some cases. Especially if you already have a steady stream of clients coming in and you’re quite happy with the way things are going.
But… by not setting clear goals you run the risk of just floating down the stream of wherever life takes you. Whatever happens to you happens. Good or bad. You’re not fully in control of your own life.
You may get the feeling that you want to do more. That you’re not living up to your full potential somehow. But you’re just not sure what else to do. That’s how you end up setting no clear goals for yourself and continue floating down the stream.
I used to be like that. Especially in my early days of entrepreneurship. Later on I started writing down my goals, but I didn’t revisit them. I forgot about them, honestly. But now, I revisit them (almost) every day 💪
I had to learn what works for me through trial and error. And being a creative person, the idea of setting goals and feeling constrained by them, it just doesn’t excite me too much. But that’s just the thing: it’s not the activity that has to excite you, it’s the goals.
Let me share the 5 steps with you of how I write down my annual goals today.
Maybe they inspire you to 1) actually write down your goals, and 2) feel excited by them, rather than limited. Here we go!
Step 1: Start with something inspirational ✨
If anything, your goals should inspire you right?
So when I wrote down my goals for this year, I thought of a quote that I would like to be reminded of when rereading and rewriting my goals.
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become.” – Steve Jobs
The reason why I like it is because I feel like I’ve gotten very good at ignoring my intuition. Many of my “crazy” ideas I never start, because before I can, my mind has already decided that it’s not a good idea. Or that it’s not logical to do this now.
We live in a society built on science and logic. In school, we’re taught to think, not to feel. But I genuinely believe that we have the tools within us to know what we truly want. And if we are to follow it, a kind of magic happens.
Also, goals can feel very rigid, so this quote helps to remind me that it’s OK to change them. At any time.
My goals are there to enable me, not limit me.
Step 2: Write down your three most important goals 🚀
Why three? Because three goals I can easily remember. And having three goals doesn’t feel overwhelming. I could see myself having fewer than three goals, but not more.
I see these as my compass. They aren’t extremely specific, yet they give me a great sense of direction when deciding on my daily activities. Ideally, I actively work to reach these goals every day, but at least every week.
The three goals I wrote down for 2022 are:
🚀 Generate a stable income to create time and space to work on my passion projects.
🚀 Help others grow by sharing free content that I’m proud of with as many people as possible.
🚀 Turn one of my passion projects into a profitable business with a team of five.
Note that these goals are the reason why I do things. I could write down a goal here like ‘grow my YouTube channel to 10,000 subscribers’, but that doesn’t excite me. Helping others by sharing free content that I’m proud of… that’s the reason why I would want to start a YouTube channel.
The idea is that these three goals don’t really change much, as long as they continue to excite me. This helps me stay focused throughout the year and helps me understand that I’m still making progress, even if my daily activities (or underlying goals – see step 3) change.
Still, I did rewrite these a couple of times since the beginning of the year. But generally, the process of rewriting just helps me get closer to the core of these goals. Their meaning doesn’t fundamentally change.
And even if it does… that’s OK.
At least I’d be thinking of what I truly want and getting closer to that. When it comes to these goals, the excitement you feel when you read them is everything.
Step 3: Write down your sub goals 🎯
Here is where we get into the more “conventional” goal territory.
For each of my three goals (or focus areas) I write down measurable sub goals. These are things I can actually complete.
I like to have at least one sub goal per quarter for each of my three main goals. I set these goals per quarter, because that’s an amount of time my brain can actually understand. Going for a full year or even five years… it’s just too far into the future to hold any real meaning to me.
Besides, having goals you can complete relatively soon keeps the momentum going. Achieving them makes you feel like you’re actually getting somewhere. That’s great motivation.
To give you an idea of the goals I have for the first quarter of 2022:
🎯 Upload 2 courses on Skillshare
🎯 Call at least 5 new people per week to sell my services to
🎯 Launch my personal website (marcrodan.com)
🎯 Share one article per day on my personal website
🎯 Organise 3 offline KREW Meetings
🎯 Get the format ready to make KREWs self-organising
I write down as many goals as seems achievable within one quarter. Not more. And remember: these are the goals that can change. As long as I stay on track with my general direction (the three top-level goals I wrote down in step 2), it’s OK to change the way I get there if I learn some things along the way – like one goal taking a lot longer to complete than I originally thought.
It’s like knowing you want to reach the top of the mountain, but along the way you find out that one path is better suited for you to go on than the other. If you’ve seen the documentary Free Solo, you know what I mean.
Step 4: Write down your quality-of-life goals ☀️
The final step in my personal process of writing down my goals is writing down what I like to call: my quality-of-life goals.
As you can probably tell, my personal goals so far have been pretty career-oriented. But I also have a life next to my career that I do not want to neglect – my “free” time. This time is all about about my health, my friends and my family. And things I do just because they are fun, like playing the guitar or trying out a new restaurant.
I like to write goals for this area of my life as well, because it’s sometimes easy to neglect. For example, if I don’t prioritise strengthening my relationships with friends and family, I don’t do it. Even though this may well be one of the most important things I can do to live a happy life.
The goals in this quality-of-life category are typically more like habits to me. They are often recurring. But they can be one-time events too, like going on a vacation.
Again, I like to write them per quarter. For this first quarter of 2022, they look like this:
☀️ Read my goals and sub goals every day (yes, the ones we just wrote)
☀️ Work out every day when I have 1 hour to spare
☀️ Schedule at least 1 quality meeting with friends or family per week
☀️ Listen to audiobooks and podcasts during my ‘idle’ time
☀️ Pick up the guitar at least 2x per week
☀️ Spend my time knowing that I’ll die
I would say I’m already pushing it here with the amount of goals, but because these are more like things I strive towards rather than actual goals, it’s good to have them as daily reminders. I also see them as enablers to reach my goals. Like my foundation, which makes them extremely important.
And I’ll admit: except for the guitar, all of them have been going pretty well over the past few weeks.
Step 5: Put it all together 🙌
Once I write all my goals down, I like to place them somewhere where I can see them and where I can get inspired by them. To have them hidden away somewhere in a Google Doc or PowerPoint presentation just doesn’t do it for me.
I would hang them on the wall, but I tend to relocate often. So what I did instead is create a wallpaper for my desktop. This is what it looks like:
As you can see, all my goals are there except for the sub goals from step 3. These I keep in my Apple Notes. This is the app I use for all my personal and professional notes, so It’s convenient for me. I tried Trello and Notion too, but they are just not part of my routine (yet). On Notes, it’s easiest for me to review and rewrite them regularly.
And the reminder for it is in my face every single day. Right on my desktop.
How I did made this desktop background is by simply Googling to find an image I find inspirational and then using a program like Canva or Photoshop to add text on it – I used Affinity Photo myself.
And that’s it! After completing these steps, all that’s left is actually taking the time to review and rewrite your goals on a (near) daily basis. At least, that’s what works for me.
I also like to discuss them monthly with someone who is like a coach or mentor to me, Albert, who is also the main reason as to why I started writing down my goals like this. Thanks again, Albert!
I hope this process inspires you to feel more inspired by your own goals! As you can see, you can actually have a lot of fun with it.
But again, the most important thing is that you feel excited when you see these goals. Because only then you will have the commitment to make them happen.
Let me know how it goes 💪💪
And please share your desktop wallpaper with me if this article inspired you to make one. I’d love to see it and get inspired in return. Enjoy!