Personal Goal Setting
for the Christian Artist

Personal goal setting will encourage you, as a Christian artist, to take practical steps towards achieving God’s plan for your life within reasonable boundaries. It is an activity like none other that will fill you with purpose, inspiring you to view the passage of time with the same measure of gravity as God does. The goals presented here will deal only with building your artistic skill. You can certainly extend it to all sorts of other goals as well - physical, emotional or spiritual goals, for example.

If you've been to art school you surely remember the Student Advisor who offers counsel based on years of accumulated knowledge. Current knowledge and skill level is assessed before you are steered to the courses necessary to reach your best potential. Did you know that in Jesus, you have just such an advisor?

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. KJV Ps 32:8

Jesus has the advantage, because He knows all of your story upon this earth. His ability to direct you is worth far more than any college counselor. He knows the skills you'll need tomorrow and your most effective teachers. " ..mine eye" refers to His ability to see beyond the ordinary.

When you're faced with countless options of classes, teachers, workshops, seminars, residencies…there is only one course of action that is best for you, at any given moment in time. Wouldn’t it be nice to know which one that is?

Perhaps you do not have the resources to take an expensive class to improve your skill. Isn’t it nice to know that He can lead you to free resources, or gift you with the ability himself? The possibilities are endless and we will only limit Him if we fail to trust in His guidance.

I know this because He has helped me innumerable times. He will help you too. Ask Him for the sort of goals to set and the best ways to achieve them.

Personal goal setting works best with a dated journal entry that documents your start and completion dates.

• Personal goal setting begins with prayer dedicating your future to His direction.

• Affirm your trust in Him when signing up in this new and unconventional School of Art.

• Write down a simple assessment of your current abilities. Then set personal goals that are realistic and attainable. If they are too large, break them down to manageable sub-goals. Be specific. (Do you need to improve your drawing skills? How about setting a goal of completing one simple sketch each day?)

• Define the skill that you would like to improve. Write it out as a prayer, ask for it and then believe you receive. Speak from then on as if you have already accomplished it thanking God for having met your need! "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” Mk11;24

• Do you need to gather resources before beginning? Do you lack something essential? Then ask Him for it! It truly is as simple as that. Let your faith work for you and your faithful God supply you!

• Define the intermediate steps needed to attain the goal. Get to work and refuse to make excuses!

• Describe your emotions before you reach your goal, in anticipation of when you reach it. Celebrate your victories. Journal and remember them. Record your emotions after you've achieved them. This is far more important than you may imagine!

Experts on personal goal setting teach that the process is only effective, if the whole exercise is bathed with positive emotions.

As Christians, why would we not be filled with joy, knowing that we have the assurance of a kind and gentle partner cheering us on to success?

As an irrepressibly right-brained artist, I have found reviewing the goals frequently in my journal to be a tedious exercise. The 'experts' would certainly disapprove. If you can bear to constantly reread your goals – go ahead. Remembering them certainly helps with achieving them!

I have found that the whole activity of thinking, praying and writing them down once, is more than sufficient. My brain goes into overdrive and achieves the goals anyway. The Lord certainly doesn't need reminding. Constantly reviewing them would only drive me crazy! However, I am sure that it works differently for each of us. Give yourself the permission to work at it in any way that you feel comfortable about. Just don't let that permission extend to opting out of achieving them!

When I revisit my journal, sometimes months later, I am delighted to discover how faithful God has been. No less thrilling is the fact that the whole activity of goal setting spurred me on to achieve far more than I ever dreamed possible. May it do the same for you!
Christian Goal Setting
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