How to set goals to make 2019 your best yet

Sarah Creevey, Created Coach
One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.

It’s that time again where everyone’s talking about new year’s resolutions, goals and ambitions for the year ahead and things to change. But what if, like Alice, you’re not sure which direction you want to take? You’re not alone. If you need a helpful nudge, Created coach Sarah Creevey talks you through the basics of goal setting and how to fire up your motivation…

Why bother with goals?

There are so many options available within the creative industries that, when it comes to careers, it can be hard to know which path to choose or where to start. It could be tempting, like Alice, to just take any road in order to keep moving, or to turn back and take a path with fewer forks. After all, Alice still had a good time, right? She did, and it makes a good story – not without confusion, self-doubt and peril though! But what if you could make a more informed choice from the beginning and avoid all the potential dead-ends, U-turns and roadblocks you might experience otherwise? This is where some soulful goal setting can help.

Having a clear goal can not only help you know which path to take, but importantly, given the right attention it can also keep you motivated when the going gets tough. This can be the difference between achieving success and not.


So here’s how to do it…

Start with the end in mind

Success is a good place to start. First up, ask yourself what success looks like for you. Many people don’t give this proper attention and truly explore what success means for them. If you’re not clear on what it is, how will you know when you have achieved it?

If right now you’re unsure what exactly it is that you want to achieve, then ask yourself how you want to be feeling and work back from there. You don’t need to know how you’ll get there yet, this is all about focusing on what you want.

  • Ask yourself what does success feel like and look like?
  • What does it mean for you?
  • Which area of your life or working life has been impacted the most? How?
  • Imagine yourself talking to a friend this time next year, telling them about what made 2019 your best year yet – what would you be telling them? What would it feel like?
  • What might you have achieved throughout the year that made you feel this way?
  • What was the thing you were most proud of that year?
  • What did you do to get you there?
  • What made that so important?

Don’t trust us with this, trust the neuroscience. When you imagine doing something, your brain lays down neural pathways as if it’s already done it. This means, when it comes to actually doing it, your brain has a better idea of what needs to happen. So imagining your goals actually helps you achieve them!

Why motivation matters

Knowing why your goals matter to you is essential for achievement. If you don’t know what it is about your goals that motivates you – or if the things that drive them aren’t motivating enough – you will find it harder to work towards them when things get challenging. So when thinking about what you want to achieve this year, it’s important to also ask yourself why.


  • What is it about this thing that matters to you?
  • What would it be like if you didn’t achieve it?
  • Once you have achieved it, what will that enable you to do?
  • What value will it bring you?
  • What will the cost be to you if you don’t achieve it?


Once you’ve uncovered the true motivations behind your goal, you’ll be clearer on the decisions you’ll need to make and on the lengths to which you’re willing to go to achieve it.

Goals are just guidance

Now here’s the thing. It doesn’t matter if your goals change. The good thing about having clarity on what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it, is that it’s easier and quicker to reset the dial if your priorities change. And priorities do change. That’s OK. Being clearer on what’s important to you, allows you to filter out what you don’t want, as much as what you do.

If Alice had taken the right-hand fork because she wanted what was at the end of it, she could have quickly changed direction if anything changed her mind along the way, still knowing that she’d made the right decision for herself at the time.

It’s important to remember that goals aren’t set in stone. They’re movable feasts and only ever there to guide you, so keep checking in with them. If they start to feel too rigid or restrictive, or you feel your motivation dwindle, then you might need to tweak direction. As long as you know why you set them in the first place, you have the power to move them to where they need to be.

Need some help with goal setting to make 2019 your best year yet? Life coaches and performance coaches are a great resource and support to help get you where you want to be. That’s why we incorporate 1-2-1 coaching into all of our career courses, to keep you on track and help you clarify your direction. Learn more about our courses or book a call with our Admissions team to discuss your direction for 2019.

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