make a list.

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In the beginning of this series, I told you this was not a step-by-step program to building a successful business.  It still isn't.  The focus is to remain wholehearted in the process of working your creative business.  Whether you're just starting out and want to build with a wholehearted foundation from the start, or you've been in business for a while but it's time to step back and refocus your efforts, I'm so glad you're here, and I hope you find some helpful ideas.  So while it's not a do this, this and this to achieve that program, it is a bit of a progressive series.  If you haven't been following along since the beginning, I invite you to the intro post with the complete list (updated daily throughout October 2017, my #write31days project).  Today we will 

make a list.

We've talked about purpose, big dreams, mission statements and vision boards.  Now it's time to make a list of goals.  You may want to take out several sheets of paper for this.  Don't worry about it being pretty.  Right now, you're just scribbling out ideas.  Later, you can take those ideas and make something nice in a planner, bullet journal, notebook or on your computer.  At the top of each page, write a time frame (ie. this year, in the next 90 days, this month, etc.).  You can also make lists for in 5 years, in 10 years if that helps to have a place to write some of those big dreams we discussed in day 3.  Starting with those big dreams, write down goals on your 5 year or 10 year list, and add any others that come to mind.  Permission to dream big here.

Then, beginning with your goals for the year, think about what you'd like to accomplish or where you'd like to be in your wholehearted creative business by that time.  Remember to keep the big dreams in mind as you make goals for the year.  Will the things on your list move you in the direction of those hopes, and your overall purpose?  Be realistic, but also stretch yourself.  If the goals we write down are too lofty for the time frame we're working with, we may get discouraged if we fall short and be tempted to give up.  At the same time, if we want progress, we have to push ourselves and work for it.

After you've written some goals for the year, focus on the next 90 days.  What can you do in the next three months that will move you closer to your yearly goals?  Then move on to your list for the month in the same way.

Before we go on, I want to say something about timing.  I'm writing this in October.  You may be reading this in May or any other month.  The great thing about writing goals is that there is no perfect time.  Of course people focus heavily on goal setting near the end of the year and in January, but what I've found is that the best time to start is today.  Whatever date it says on the calendar, today is the right day.  If you're feeling like you need to set some new intentions and take action towards new goals, please don't wait until the next new year.  Just start right where you are.  

In an ideal scenario, you might be able to schedule a block of time to work on this.  You can get out your mission statement, have your vision board in front of you, turn on some uplifting (yet not too distracting) music, light a candle, pray and then begin writing your lists of goals.  While taking a bubble bath and drinking a glass of wine.

If you can do that, fantastic!  Really, it sounds amazing and I think it would be worth it to lock yourself away for a while to focus on your dreams and goals.  I kinda want to say you should do it that way.  Because you deserve it.  Your dreams deserve it.  Your purpose is a big deal, and taking steps towards what God has created you to do is definitely worth it.

But that might not be realistic for you, and I wouldn't want you to put off writing down goals waiting for that perfect scenario to happen.  Sometimes my best ideas are scribbled on scrap paper, post-it notes, or even receipts because it's all that I have handy.  Don't wait for a scheduled planning session to write it down, because if your'e anything like me, you'll forget.  Anytime you have an idea, write it down or make a note in your phone.  You can add it to your list later, when you have more time.

I'm sure you've heard about SMART goals.  The advice is to make sure that your goals are SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, and that they have a TIMEFRAME.  I was recently in a workshop at a conference with Matt Tommey, where he added an "I" at the end for INCENTIVE.  I like the idea of giving yourself a reward for achieving a goal that you've worked hard for.

Do you keep a list of goals?  Any ideas to add that might be helpful to others?

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Inspiration and resources to encourage you in creativity, faith, dreaming big and taking action.