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The Your Ladders Blog

There are a lot of things to think about when you're navigating a performing arts path. These blog topics will help.

Creating the steps to reach your goal

Goals can seem daunting, but know these two things.

First, goals are the big picture. You can break down goals. When you add the SMART goal frame, you’re creating objectives around the goals. Strategies provide the “how” and tactics provide the “what” to different steps. 

Another way to look at this is to take the goals and break them down into smaller steps that you can check off the to do list. Add due dates next to each of these steps to make them actionable.

The second thing to remember? That small steps, taken consistently, will get you to your goal. This make not seem to be true all the time, but it is. Forward momentum gathers steam.

Let’s talk a bit more about breaking down goals into actionable steps.

  • Don’t skip steps.
  • If you aren’t sure of how much time a step will take, do your research. Ask folks. Give yourself more time then you need. 
  • Some steps can be taken concurrently with other steps. Others need to be...
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Make them SMART goals

We talked about the dreams you have for your creative life, and about creating goals for those dreams. This week we’re going to start thinking about how to turn them into actionable steps, i.e. SMART goals.

Have you heard of SMART goals? For your artistic life, let’s define SMART goals are goals that are: 

  • S: Specific
  • M: Measureable
  • A: Attainable
  • R: Relevant
  • T: Timely

One goal  for me would be write a book. A goal, but not a SMART goal.

A SMART GOAL would be write the first draft of a thriller by the end of August.

Now, if my ultimate dream/goal is to get that thriller published, that’s going to be many more steps. We’ll talk about that next week, and how to break the timelines for goals down.

Goal setting for the artistic side of your life isn’t done in a vacuum. The rest of your life has to be factored in. You likely have goals in other areas of your life. Don’t pretend that goals in one area don’t affect another. Spend this...

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Setting goals for your artistic life

Last week we talked about dreams. This week let’s talk about making some of those dreams into goals.

I say “some” because some dreams may stay dreams, at least for the foreseeable future. That doesn’t mean you should discard them. Dreams make life interesting. Stay open to your dreams morphing as you continue working on your goals. Your imagination may help you make your dreams more attainable as you build your artistic practice.

When you attach goals to your dreams, consider these things:

Your dream may be several steps. Make each of these steps a goal.

Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. In fact, know that you can’t. One goal may have to be finished before you tackle the next one.

Don’t rush it. The beauty of an artistic path is that you get better and better at your craft as you travel on it. Be patient with yourself, and learn what you need to learn before you go on to the next goal.

Remember to celebrate every time you...

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What are your artistic dreams?

We all need to have artistic dreams. Big dreams. Dreams that feel out of reach. Dreams live in our imagination

Goals are destinations toward which efforts are consistently being made.

Dreams can inspire goals. They should, especially for artists. Dreams alone aren’t enough to create reality, though. Goals do that.

Often dreams feel like amorphous thoughts not tethered to reality. I would argue that creating goals inspired by your dreams helps them come true. I’ve talked about this before--the journey is the point for artists. The destination is part of the journey, but can’t be the reason for doing your work. We all know that once you reach your destination (opening night, publication day, the beginning of a tour, etc.) you’re going to get back on the ride. 

Throughout this month I’m going to talk about goals. I’ll add weekly assignments to these blog posts, and talk about them on Instagram and during the Facebook live I’m doing on...

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