The Importance of Setting Goals

The Importance of Setting Goals

I’m taking a photographic portfolio development class right now and it has been so inspiring!!! It is such food for my photography-loving soul! For some time now, I have been kind of stuck with my photography and not sure how to keep going and growing. I have all these photos that I love so dearly, but I’m not sure what to do with them or how to share them with others. So I am so thankful for this class because it is teaching me how to get unstuck and keep moving forward through the practice of setting goals. This class is teaching me the importance of goals – not just one or two far fetched life goals, but the importance of numerous small measurable goals for keeping you moving forward toward over-arching life goals.

The goals should also follow the acronym: SMART*, so that they are:

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Action-Oriented
  • R – Relevant
  • T – Time-bound

*SMART and the idea of photographic goal setting was presented by Kate Jordahl in Photo 57A at Foothill College.

So this January, I have thought long and hard about what it is that I want through my photography and all the little steps, I need to take to get me there. I’ve come to realize that my over-arching goal is to Capture Beauty to Scatter Joy. I have to stay true to this and it is my job to keep taking photos of beautiful things to somehow scatter joy into the lives of others.

I’m still working out all the little steps to get there, such as organizing my entire photo library, going out to shoot more photos, and maybe one day getting a better camera – but the act of simply realizing my ultimate goal has been soooooooo freeing! Now I feel a sense of purpose and direction for which I can keep striving for.

I think all artists should at one time or another carefully consider and evaluate their goals. We all have limited time and resources to pursue our passions and it would be a terrible thing to waste our talent on something that we truly don’t care about. So I humbly ask that you would stop for a moment and think where it is that you want to be going and what small steps you may need to take to get yourself there. And then consider if the path you are on now is leading to that goal. If it is not, this is the time to make some changes and re-direct your course.

It is important also to look back and measure the progress you have made already. This can be an inspiring thing to see all the things you have accomplished. Or if you haven’t done much yet, maybe looking back could be incentive to keep pushing forward.

And it is also important to reflect on what it is that inspires and motivates you. For this reason, I will share the photographs that have most inspired me and pushed me forward on my photographic trek. I can’t always put words to what it is I love about photography, but maybe these photos can.

Some of my favorite photos that encourage me to pursue photography:






























To see more of my favorite photos, visit my photographic website: Scatter Joy Photos.

Goals are easy to set, kind of, but keeping them is a challenge. If you need an accountability partner, let me know. That way we can together increase our SMART’s in 2013!

Note: In our class, we did an exercise where we pulled together ALL our photographic work and shared it with the class to get their thoughts and feedback. The class’s feedback was helpful, but the actual process of going through all my work and organizing it into various themes, subjects, and groups was such an eye-opener. It was something I had never done before and really allowed me to see my work in a new way. I would encourage you to try a similar exercise if you want some motivation to keep moving forward.

– Naphtalie Joy Joiner

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