ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Creative Goal Setting

Updated on December 4, 2014

Making Goals Real for Creative Minds

Do you avoid stating your personal goals, making resolutions or creating a business plan?

Why not consider some alternatives to traditional goal-setting and future plans? If a list of written goals in linear fashion doesn't appeal to you, then consider goal-setting alternatives like those below and maybe you'll find one just right for YOU!

Experiment with new ways to visualize your future. What if revisiting your goals was FUN and creative, and you begin to look forward to this visualizing exercise. Here we explore some different ways to create goals with pictures and images in order to actually visualize life when they have been reached. Daily focus on these images helps to change and improve inner beliefs and has a significant impact on the subconscious mind.

How can you hit a target if don't HAVE one?
How can you hit a target if don't HAVE one?

WHY Dreams, Goals, Visions & Targets?

A dream is what you would like for life to be, your vision of being there. Daily focus on that vision keeps it alive. Who you see is who you will be.

Goals are the specific statements of what you intend to make happen to get there. A goal is the near look; what you intend to do on a daily basis to manifest your vision, or the far look into the future. How can you expect to hit the bull's eye if you do not know where the target is?

To build a pattern of positive expectations, we need ways to keep the vision alive and many do this with a vision board or dream board, a creative visual tool.

Goals are the targets of success! What you set is what you get. First get the far vision, the dream. Then define the near look, your targets of the smaller steps and action plans that pave the road to your dreams. To fail to plan is to plan to fail.

Do you visualize with images when you set goals?

See results

A quick click is all it takes

to join in this poll.

Is visualizing part of your goals?

Do you use images in any way?


Time to get better FOCUS on your GOALS?
Time to get better FOCUS on your GOALS?

The MOST important Goal-Setting Strategy...

What ONE aspect of goal-setting will just about guarantee that you will fail and will NOT reach your goals?

Among those who DO set goals, most rarely if ever LOOK at them. How can you expect to get to your destination without looking at the map?

Ideally it is best to review goals daily, but at least weekly or monthly we must check the course and adjust the sails so-to-speak.

As time goes by, you will want to make adjustments as new priorities arise. Or maybe you realize that a goal is not realistic, then CHANGE it, but do NOT ignore it if it means anything to you.

About reviewing your goals regularly, a mentor of mine from years ago used to say...

==> "Write 'em down. Break 'em down. Then STARE 'em down!"

In order to make this habit of reviewing your goals regularly a PLEASANT act rather than a chore, consider choosing some FUN strategies that might include art and creativity.

Even if your job requires goals to be stated in the linear traditional fashion, fun ways to brainstorm and supplement that might make a huge difference. Choose activities you can enjoy so they will become habit.

Goals Debate: Public or Private?

Some say that goals should be shared publicly, because that makes us more accountible for them. Others feel that goals are personal and so there is no reason to share them publicly. What's your take on that?

Should goals be shared publicly?

CreAtiVe Goal Setting Resources

Smart Goals
Smart Goals

Why SMART Goals Might Not be Best

Some traditional strategies for goal-setting are so rigid that they can begin feel like a recipe for failure.

Traditional advice about goal setting teaches that we should set SMART goals that are: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART) if you want to succeed. This method works for some and for certain tasks, and is actually required in many professions so it is a must to kep in mind when setting goals effectively.

Setting 'SMART goals' can be very effective for tasks such as short-term projects like writing an article or report. However, over the long term, plans like these leave little room for flexibility. If you stick to the SMART framework over the long term, you may feel destined to fail in the long-term as such plans are extremely rigid and can become too complex.

Instead of committing to a specific action plan over the long term, try choosing a theme that includes a vision of what you want to create or accomplish. In contrast to plotting a specific route on a map, consider various paths toward this specific theme. Both methods will get you to the same place over the long term, but following a general direction within a theme gives you more flexibility to explore along the way.

"Always hold firm to the end results you're after, preferably generally set, not too specific, like abundance, creative fulfillment, international travel, friends and laughter. And then get busy turning over every stone and knocking on every door, so that life's magic can reach you."

~ Mike Dooley. Infinite Possibilities & Totally Unique Thoughts, TUT.COM

Follow your Heart in Goal Setting

Allow flexibility for change and growth as you progress toward goals.

Consider creating goals based on themes that are flexible and can be updated & revised as you work toward them. Consider that daily focus on goals is most important, and revisions as you make progress keep them alive and in focus.

This flexibility toward a theme will allow:

  • Living by your heart rather than society's expectations (or your own guilt).
  • Following an interesting path, even if it isn't the straightest one.
  • Accepting that all plans will change somewhat, and looking forward to the new opportunities that change brings.

"Life makes sense when we are centered in our own heart and embrace our own unique journey."

Make Visualizing Your Goals Playful - Keep it Creative and FUN

image:  CrossCreations
image: CrossCreations

Visualize Goals

Visualizing your goals is one of the most powerful tools available to you. Use it...and when you visualize, consider doing so with your own artful creations. Creating art around our visions and goals opens up a new sensory mode that make it so much more personal and real (and fun).

The act of this expression supports commitment and faith, and the visualizing of goals in pictures imprints them on our subconscious mind, giving positive changes to inner beliefs.

Quick CrEaTiVe goal setting exercises

that you can do right NOW!

image:  Artella (Goalar Energy link below)
image: Artella (Goalar Energy link below)

Non-Linear Goal Setting: Goalar Energy

Non linear approaches toward goal-setting tend to work best for many, especially for right brained creatives.

Here's a creative and non-linear goal setting method that can be started at any time, created by Artella.

Each lesson in the "Goalar Energy Guide" includes an active link with which you can listen to an audio recording of the lesson, as well as a "5-Minute Miracle" condensed version of the lesson. The three eBooks work together to present a comprehensive, proven formula to set and reach a goal in a creative, non-linear, self-forgiving manner. Use them again and again to reach more and more goals successfully and satisfyingly!

Click here to see the GOALAR ENERGY free samples available for immediate download!

Since creative folks are generally very visually oriented, consider designing your own art that maps a vision that is customized toward your goals. A collage can work particularly well for visualizing goals. Fun and artsy, it can become a practical and resourceful visual map to guide you on your journey and keep you inspired along the way! See more about how to create goals with collage below.

"A pessimist only sees the dark side of the clouds, and mopes;

a philosopher sees both sides and shrugs;

an optimist doesn't see the clouds at all - he's walking on them."

— Leonard L. Levinson

Personal Daily Targets

Daily habits can make a HUGE difference over the long term

Consider giving focus to these daily: exercise, visualize, monetize, create and get inspired.

Exercise - I'm no marathoner but do try to get some form of physical exercise daily. This might mean no more than stop, drop and spend 10 minutes on the floor doing stretches or situps or whatever ... You do not have to go to the gym or do an hour of aerobics every day, but just 10 minutes or so.

Visualize - This might mean spending a few minutes browsinga vision board or personal art journal. Again it is not about spending a ton of time, but making 'vision' a daily habit.

Monetize - Bills and financial paperwork overwhelming? Spend 10 minutes daily on it, sorting mail or organizing files or managing one financial account or another. 10 minutes daily - minimum, then make a note of what gets focus the next day.

Create - No time for creativity? Creativity can be expressed through the written word or making a collage or photo editing or some home decorating project. Try giving yourself permission to take time out for creativity, even if it is only 15 minutes of writing or taking some new photos or creating something new.

Inspiration - Browse inspirational books, quotes and/or inspirational videos. Set a timer and enjoy one of them -every day even if only for a few minutes.

"One of the best ways to get clarity and specificity on your goals is to write them out in detail - just as as if you were writing specs for a work order.

When you write it all down, your subconscious mind will know what to work on. It will know which opportunities to hone in on to help you reach your goal."

— Jack Canfield

"There are three types of people in the world...

The first type makes things happen,

the second type watches things happen

and the third type wonders what happened."

Creative Goal Setting Resources - Get Inspired TODAY!

It's up to YOU to choose. How will you ACT to make your creative goals real?

More Creativity Food You Might Like Below

Artella Words and Art
Artella is a delightful network and playground for artists, creative writers, right-brained creatives and artful spirits of all kinds. The dreamy land of Ar...

Unleash Your Creative Thinking
Spark your creative thinking talent. Learn to mashup your thinking and step out of the rigors of logic and anaylsis paralysis. Many have the misconception th...

Healing Art with SARK
SARK is an artist and writer whose colorful inspiration and healing art makes hearts sing! Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (SARK) has written and created 15 bes...

Create Free Graphics
Create your very own banners, buttons and logos using an online tool for creating graphics that is free and easy to use. There is no need to download anythin...

Create a Mandala Collage
A Creative Process toward Goal-Setting Traditional formats suggested for business goal setting do not tend to meet needs well for a creative entrepreneur. T...

Join the discussion about creative goals below.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • jimconrad2 profile image


      5 years ago

      Having goals is great, especially when you are not attached to them. This way we can enjoy the present moment all the time. Great lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Really inspired lens. Thank you!

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Elle-Dee-Esse: It helps a LOT when we find goal-setting methods we actually enjoy, sure was a turning point for me! Just have some fun with it for a few minutes every day, that is key - daily! Goals set and ignored are a waste of time. Find ways to FOCUS on them with a joyful attitude.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Joan4: Oh Joan, it is always a JOY to see your smiling face. We've been partners on this concept for awhile now, and I am inspired by you.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Margaret Schindel: Wow, what a fanstastic comment! Obviously you "GET" it and are living this visualization journey. Thanks so much and BEST to you in all you do.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @CherylsArt: Thanks SO much, you angel you. Cheers to your goals & visions.

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 

      6 years ago from West Virginia

      Being a creative person myself, I really like your approach to goal setting and found this review of positive steps very helpful. Blessed by a Squid angel.

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      I did some work in 2012 with a fantastic creativity and transformation coach, and she shared with me many of the same inspiring and effective techniques that you have shared here. Identifying our true passion - what ignites us from the inside - is the first step. The second step is to identify our life purpose - how to share our unique gifts with others who will find them of value - and give ourselves permission to follow our passion and live our life purpose, while refusing to be deterred from following our heart's desire by listening to our own inner critic/monkey mind or the external expectations of us imposed by family, friends, or society about what we "should" want and/or do with our lives. The third step is making a serious commitment to ourselves to do the hard work necessary to create the joyful and fulfilling life we desire by sharing our gifts in a way that creates abundance and prosperity - in all senses of the words - for ourselves and for others whose lives we touch, directly or indirectly. I am on this journey - three steps forward and two steps back, like most of us who undertake it - and your lens resonates with me deeply. Thank you. Blessed with gratitude by this squid angel!

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      6 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I love your colorful and creative approach to goal setting!

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 

      6 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      Goal-setting is something I need to get much better at. I really like the approach you have taken

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Joan4: Thanks Joan. You are my Goal Queen!

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @AcornOakForest: Agree that statement is powerful. I've remembered it for over a decade.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Oh thank you! I am a returning visitor and thankful for the great review as I settle in to write and image board my goals for 2013!

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 

      6 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      "Write 'em down - Break 'em down - then STARE 'em down!" I'm taking that with me into the future. Lots of great ideas here! Thanks!

    • bushaex profile image

      Stephen Bush 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      SquidAngel Blessings.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Fantastic lens. High five on the crosscreations goals sections!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great lens...I've been inspired!!

    • AnnaAdam LM profile image

      AnnaAdam LM 

      7 years ago

      Just an awesome lens. I totally agree that goal setting is essential to achieve targets.

    • GrowthSpark profile image


      7 years ago

      What a wonderful and inspiring lens, thanks so much for putting it together. I'll be checking out some of your other lenses as well.

    • chuckholmes301 profile image


      7 years ago

      This lens is awesome. Thanks for sharing this great information.

    • LeCordonDude profile image


      7 years ago

      The Visualize Goals Journal is awesome! I love creative goal setting! :)

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image


      7 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Wow - wonderful Lens and very inspiring. I love your idea of setting a timer for your daily habits. How funny - yesterday I came across a website on this very subject - This has got to be a message for clutter-filled me - it's definitely Synchronicity! Thanks for sharing all this great info

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This page is an inspiration to continue to press on with my goals to see them achieved. Great job.

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image


      7 years ago

      Definitely enjoyed this page, great quotes, interesting thoughts and inspiration. What more could I ask for? Thanks!

    • Zut Moon profile image

      Zut Moon 

      7 years ago

      Great Lens. One of the funniest ones I've read today. Lots of laughs. Oh wait, it's a serious lens. Oh Oh ... I'd better go back and read it again....

      Me, I never make goals ... lots of Canucks do, especially the ones who play hockey. But not me, I just ramble on from day to day ...get lost lots of time too.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      7 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Love this page. It really looks creative and I am going to get creative with my Goal Setting.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @kathysart: Oh thanks SO much, Kathy! LIKE this..."Goals are as healthy as our efforts to create them."

    • kathysart profile image


      7 years ago

      Yup you are so right.. be creative with it. Thumbs up and angel blessed.. cause it reminded me that goals are as healthy as our efforts to create them.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Joan4: Joan, thanks SO much! You are an inspiration to me in many ways, and I've learned much from you about setting goals and visualizing, so touche!

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @TreasuresBrenda: Well Brenda, you've accomplished an impressive level of success online, so your goals and visions can't be too shabby.

    • CrossCreations profile imageAUTHOR

      Carolan Ross 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      @Thrinsdream: thanks SO much! We all need inspiration for goal-setting and visualizing, glad this works as that kind of creative resource for you, for THAT is exactly the intent. Bulls eye!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      7 years ago from Canada

      I am positively horrible at goal setting.

    • Thrinsdream profile image


      7 years ago

      I love, love, love this lens. This is definitely going on my bookmark. Brilliant stuff, and some really great advice. A million thank you's, I am ALWAYS looking for inspiration and just found some!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This page is filled with great information -- thank you!! I love goal setting and I will re-read this super page next week as I work on my goals and my visualization board and notebook. You found some great resources too!! Squidangel blessed! and thank you!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I like visualization concept!I'm thinking about to use my own art a background.Vik

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      tremendous resource; saved to my favorites AND blessed!

    • TapIn2U profile image


      7 years ago

      So true - follow your heart in goal setting! Fantastic lens! I hope you can also visit my Goals New Years Resolutions and 3 Step Action Plan lensography. Sundae ;-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      thanks for the advice.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      I'm pretty left-brained so the SMART plan kind of works for me, but I agree it gets tedious! Don't think I can quite handle all your creative goal setting ideas, but my husband and daughter will benefit from these ideas. Blessed

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I guess now that I read this I need to do something with my goals. Thanks for the prod. I will get busy. Great lens!

    • achraf lm profile image

      achraf lm 

      8 years ago

      I'm definitely going to use this method for my current goals

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      8 years ago

      Good idea to write goals with pictures, visualizing them!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)