Creating Goals That Stick

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions simply because they don’t stick. There are numerous reasons and studies for why 92% of resolutions fail. In my observation most goals set in the spirit of the holidays often introduce new habits without building a system to support and sustain the habit. Secondly, it’s easy to idealize ourselves in the future while ignoring the patterns of our past. If your spare time has been consumed by playing Overwatch, your epic environment painting will probably remain a fantasy. It’s not that I don’t believe people aren’t capable of incredible change, but rather the majority (myself included) grossly underestimate the work that goes into it.

When it comes to setting goals for your creative endeavours, are you making the same mistakes? Are you setting goals which are too big and vague only to be discouraged after a few weeks?


Here I share my personal system for tracking goals. You can download the worksheet I will be using in 2018 at the end of the article. At its core, the worksheets simplify the process of breaking down broad goals into manageable actions.  It’s not fancy by any means but the format has helped me to:

  • use time more effectively
  • make decisions based on results
  • and navigate uncertainty to get things done

As a freelance illustrator, I completely understand the desire to focus on designing and drawing while ignoring the grunt work of organizing and planning. But I also know the helplessness of  being overwhelmed, distracted and lost when I don’t have a clear direction.  So if you’re tired of having life happen to you and want to make your creative goals a reality, the next sections will explain how the worksheets can help you move forward.


Looking Back to Move Forward