January is a time we focus on fresh starts. Usually, that means a list of goals to check off. But is this just a rote practice? Same goals…new year…check it off…again and again. Or is it time to do something new? What about using creativity to meet your goals? Perhaps you’ll find a new way to meet a goal that’s been on your list for a while.
Throughout the month of January, I’ll be revisiting creativity and creative inspiration in different ways. This week, I want to share ideas on how you can use creativity to help you meet your goals.
Creative Techniques to Achieving Goals
Mind mapping is a fun technique that allows you to generate different topics off of your main goal. These topics could be needed steps, creative solutions, or just reminders to think about. You start by creating a circle in the middle of a piece of paper and then writing your goal in the middle. Then draw lines out from the circle and put a different thought on each line.
For instance, if your goal is to finish your novel, that would go in the center of the circle. Then draw lines out from it for things like writing schedule, editing, format, marketing. Then each of those subjects would get their own lines. The schedule might include a deadline, times you will write, and the word count you need each day to finish. Editing might include the first draft, a read-through, a rewrite, getting an editor, etc.
Each succeeding line out helps you to break down your goals into manageable pieces, identifies steps, assistance you may need, and timelines.
This is a great technique for anyone who is a visual learner.
Similar to mind mapping, storyboarding is a technique for writing out different steps from the main idea. But in this case, you’re writing your different ideas, goals, steps, etc., onto different sticky notes and placing them on a wall. The benefit of this method is that you can move things around.
With a mind map, if you wanted to move things, there would be a lot of crossing out and arrows to other sections, making for a visual mess. With storyboarding, just move your sticky note from one section to another and even back again without an issue. You can even remove a sticky note and write a new one or add in extra ones without upsetting a pattern.
As a kinesthetic or hands-on learner, when I’m using creativity to meet goals, this is one of my preferred methods. Although, I’ve also been known to scribble out a mind map in my journals.
Brainstorming Role Plays
I know, sounds simplistic. Don’t we do enough brainstorming? But flip it a little. Instead of just brainstorming ideas on how to meet your goals, change it up a little.
Take one particular goal and then brainstorm everything about it that you like, that you want to meet, positive steps that you want to take. Set a 5-minute timer for this. No editing, just write. Then put that list aside. You can just write a list or you can put each idea on a sticky note like storyboarding.
Next, you’ll set your timer for 5 minutes again and this time, take the part of someone who hates your goal. Write down all the things you dislike, all the reasons why you think it will fail. Problems that your goal will cause, etc. Again, no editing, just write different topics.
Once that is done, you’re going to change roles again. Set that timer and this time, write down all the things you love about this goal or project. You think it’s brilliant and that the goal cannot fail and will solve problems.
This is something that you can keep doing from different perspectives. How about a child? Your boss? Your spouse? A character from your favorite book or show?
Once you exhausted all your roleplaying, start playing around with the results. What have you learned? Are there any new steps? Any new ideas to expand upon? Did you hit on a needed timeline or do you need to change your goal? If you have a reason why it will fail, did you find a corresponding step or reason to help it succeed?
Tying It All Together
Now that you have some creative ideas on how to meet your goals, it’s time to put it all together and create that visual road map to meeting your goals.