• Allie Wood

Why you should write 2020 goals and how to actually achieve them

Some people would say I'm extremely lucky to have the projects and clients I have fall in my lap. I would respond saying I'm actually really efficient in setting and achieving goals, working out my route to my goals and maximising my opportunities in the process.

I want to encourage, uplift and affirm you in your goals for 2020- there's nothing I love more than seeing people on the road to achieving their full potential. Sometimes we just need a little help working out the direction, or even the destination.

Why should you bother writing goals?

For some, writing goals for the year is nothing but a cheesy cliché filled with empty promises with lukewarm direction for the year. Writing goals isn't for everyone. However here's why I find having some focus at the start of the year great;

  1. It broadens your mind to what you could actually achieve in 12 months

  2. It reignites your passion for the things you love

  3. It reminds you of what's important to you

  4. It forces you make good use of your time

  5. It forces you to move forward, at whatever pace you need

I'm a firm believer in the below methods, and have used them myself to land projects and clients I wouldn't have dreamed of working on at my age, with my experience.

Set your goals

An obvious first step. How do you picture the world and how do you want to impact it? How do you want to impact people? What makes you happy, what makes you feel great? What do you enjoy doing? If you could guarantee any future for yourself, what would that look like? Let yourself get carried away. Mind map, list, draw, scribble your goals for the next year and the years following. I'm a list maker. I love writing a list of things to do, introduce some colour-coordinated highlighting and tick boxes and that can make the most mundane of days feel like an achievement.

But simply writing a list isn't going to be enough to actually help you achieve the goals. Although you've put pen to paper and formed your goals, you have no plan, and you might not necessarily truly understand what you're pursuing.

Visualise yourself completing your goals

When looking at our big goals and high ambitions, they often feel unachievable or like pipe dreams. Why? Because we might not feel good enough, we dont think we are worth it, capable or ready for it.

Visualising your successes in achieving these goals might sound completely cheesy, but this technique works wonders for confidence.

When you allow yourself to actually picture achieving the goals, you allow yourself mentally to accept it as a possibility for your future, and emotionally it can act as a catalyst to pursue that achievement.

Until you become emotionally involved in your goals, it's just words on paper. It doesn't become anything rewarding or fulfilling.

Picture yourself walking into Facebook HQ, visualise yourself building that installation, imagine seeing your design featured in Times Square, picture a solution to a social injustice you designed. Why are any of those things impossible for you?

Figure out your intention - work out the 'why'

It's hard work to complete a goal when we don't fully understand why we want to achieve it. Maybe you've noted you want to work for a specific company, work on a certain type of project, travel somewhere, increase your hourly rate. But until you understand your subconscious intent I don't believe you would be able to achieve the goal in the most fulfilling capacity. So if you've noted you want to work on a certain type of project - is that actually because you're bored of your current projects? Does it entail you learning a new skill? Is is about the exposure you might get from it? Is it the people you might meet? When you can fully understand the intent behind each of your goals, you can make sure you're achieving it with the right mindset. For example; Goal 1: You want to do a project with Amazon. And why? Because you think it will make your freelance career take off, as you only have 4 regular clients at the moment and want more work. If you have to compromise everything i.e. your regular clients and therefore main streams of income to do this one project, once the Amazon project is over, it will have cost you everything and likely won't be the amazing career igniter you were looking for, and will leave you feeling panicked and deflated. If, however, you want to work for Amazon as a goal just for the kudos of working for a big brand, you might not mind compromising everything in order to have that name associated with you, and as a result consider it a big win.

Understanding the reason behind your goals is important to understand what you're prepared to sacrifice, compromise and change en route to your goal.

This technique will also help you see the goals you've written that aren't fruitful, productive or healthy for you, and you need to decide whether you're actually writing this goals for the right reasons.

Wanting to work with company XYZ to make others jealous and envious, or wanting to work with XYZ because that other creative already did, are goals founded on unhealthy feelings. Pursuing goals based on those emotions will mean your goals will never be enough, you'll always be chasing someone else's journey. Wanting to work on ABC project because of money motivations alone means you might never be prepared to invest back into your business, or you might miss out on amazing projects that pay beneath your excessively high income expectations.

Stepping stones - plan your moves

The saying "a goal without a plan is only a dream" is totally true. How often do we master up amazing ideas and goals for the future but fail to actually execute them?

Now you have your list of goals and your motives, you can start actioning your moves to get to your goal.

They say that if your dreams don't scare you they're not big enough, well with this technique we can take really big ambitions, that might seem scary and unachievable and make them a reality.

The idea is to note where you are now; physically, mentally, creatively, in skills, finances, location etc. Then on the other side of the paper note a goal, and what that entails; where you need to live, what you need to earn, who you need to know, what you will be doing. Then the key is to figure out the stepping stones between to get you from A to B. There might only be 1 or 2 stepping stones, there might be 30. Things like; learning a new core skill, getting a job in that sector, networking with a new group of people, doing a project to get you noticed by client X, gain funding for a project, learning a new language, building a new website, move cities, are all examples of stepping stones that might help you get to your big goal.

Now you have formed a loose plan to achieve a goal, you can do the same for all your goals. It's important to be realistic, but optimistic, and have an achievable timeline for your ideas. Going from newbie freelancer to working for Nike & Netflix in 1 year might be a bit of a stretch, although absolutely not impossible. Setting that as a 5-10 year goal and learning in the process would be an optimistic but realistic point of view.

So there are some helpful, practical and mental tips on actioning your 2020 goals next year. What goals do you want to set yourself for 2020 but are too scared to set? What do you think you could achieve if you had a clearer path to your goal?

Let me know at hello@alliewood.co.uk what you're setting yourself for the year. Give me a follow on @alliewoodstudio so I can see what you're up to on Instagram xx