Mandy Nicholson

The Creative Genius Corner

Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’

The problem with goals? Most people just can’t create them.

In ‘internet land’ you are constantly bombarded with posts about setting goals, vision planning, buy this workshop and this product to help you to ‘set your BIG goals’. In fact, even I am guilty of this!


But did you know that it is NOT something that comes easy to most people. I can’t give you statistics here because when I was doing my research on this subject, I was bombarded with…


’7 steps to setting goals’

‘how to set realistic goals’

‘setting smart goals’

100’s of academic papers on goal setting


there is information overload, and I can’t be bothered reading all that stuff when I know the answer already.


I can tell you with absolute certainty that when you learn to pick up a pen and write down your goals in a way that you understand them, you will be 30% more likely to achieve them than if you keep them in your head.


There is a saying in ‘abundance world’ that the difference between a millionaire and a billionaire is that a billionaire writes her goals down twice a day!


So why is something so simple as writing down goals, so hard for millions of people to do?


In this article I want to explore this – in MY opinion, not someone else’s; not copied & pasted; not from an article I read, but my opinion based on my experience, and that of others in my 35+ year career and entrepreneurial journey.


People don’t understand the difference between a goal and a dream

Creating goals is a learned skill and you can do it but only if you want to. So many of us are ‘dreamers’ we think we want something, we dream about it, we think about it all of the time and we set out into life to get it. But without a strategy and some solid actions (goals) we are unlikely to get there because it’s a dream.


Learning to write the dream down and understand the goal behind it is step one. Here is an example – you want to be a famous singer, adored by millions and rich. That is the dream. But look at the statistics in the industry, so many don’t make it and it’s not because of lack of talent, it’s because they don’t have a plan (goal) that they can implement a step at a time.


Here is a goal – you want to be a famous singer, adored by millions and rich – so first you need to build a reputation (brand) for being a great singer; you will do this by creating a you tube channel; obtaining testimonials; playing 4 small gigs a month; pitch your recordings to radio; talent shows; agents; magazines; internet music spaces, you will post on social media every single day.


Now you have a goal with a plan, and you can break it down into daily; weekly and monthly tasks that are achievable and set yourself some deadlines. This makes the dream feel hard, so most people just go back to dreaming and hoping.


Blank page syndrome

If you are not familiar with goal setting and not taught how to do it from a young age, then it just feels alien to you. You sit with your pen in your hand knowing that you should be writing something, and, nothing.


You see, before you even start to capture the goal you need a clear vision and that requires a level of creativity that most people don’t practice. Not because they don’t have the ability, 98% of children are creative, but the school system does not encourage the level of creativity that it takes, instead it fills young heads with facts and figures. So, if the blank page stays blank it’s not your fault, you need help!


Attending workshops; doing online training; reading books will all help because you are educating yourself on a process, but it is somebody else’s process! This is where a coach or mentor is the greatest asset you can invest in, and I am not just saying that because it’s what I do (well I am), but I am saying it because it’s true.


I ALWAYS have a mentor or coach because even those of us that are good at this stuff still need to be challenged to extract our biggest goals and put a plan together to get us there.


Plan, Do, Review

I have been using this process of setting goals and constantly moving forward for decades. But I had to drill the process into my team and now my client’s week after week. They don’t understand it the first time they do it, nor the second time, but by the time they have been doing the same process week in week out for a year, they understand it.


Nobody ‘gets’ this stuff instantly, so you are not stupid, and anyone who makes you feel that way needs a good kick up the ass! Repetition serves and the very first thing I teach on my signature program is planning and productivity and how important it is. Then I do the very same training again 6 months into the program because, guess what, people revert to type. It’s human nature. I bang on about the importance of planning, then doing, then reviewing over and over again until it sinks in and my clients leave me with the habits that will serve them for life.


I do however get lots of resistance initially. The old ‘I am not a planner; I like to wing it’ reply’, my answer is always if you don’t learn how to do this, really learn then you won’t get where you want to be. You don’t have to do it my way, I explore your way, this is the game changer for most people. Feeling empowered to find what works for them is where epiphany lives.


Being a grown up

Yep, you have to take this shit seriously, own it and make it happen. Nobody is going to come and do it for you and it is nobody else’s fault if you fail, it’s yours! Taking full responsibility for every part of attaining your goals is vital. You will fail loads and that is OK, in fact it’s good.


Athlete’s don’t win gold medals the first time they run. Nope, they have to practice until it hurts, fail, fail again, visualise, practice, more practice, more failures. They have a coach who guides them, trains them, teaches them techniques and pushes them, keeping the gold medal vision alive in even the worst moments. You have to work that hard. If you don’t then you won’t achieve the success you desire.


Are you ready to be a grown up?


Stop hiding!

You have got to show up with your big goal in your hand and talk about it all of the time. Every single day in every single way. Again, and again until you are sick of hearing yourself. Nobody else will get sick of it, because only YOU hear 100% of you talking, others only hear snippets. You have to be not only the owner but the megaphone for your goals.


Let’s go back to the athlete, they get up at 4am every day, 7 days a week to train for 8 hours for that gold medal. They talk about it all of the time, it consumes them. So, if you are an artist, hiding in your studio and not showing up all of the time telling the whole world every day what you do then how will you sell your work, then how can you expect predictable results?


Here is the ratio that you need to work to: 10% talent – 90% marketing.


Set your goals, your way, allocate the time you need to do them and the time you need to market them using that ratio. If that scares you then you won’t succeed unless you are the 1% of ‘lucky ones’ who happens to say the right thing, at the right place, at the right time – but guess what, you need to be saying it to be that person.


I want you to be the most successful at what you do, so I built my community of creative women around my signature program so that I can teach you all of the skills for you to be able to achieve that level of success. The rest is up to you! So, get your pen out and start writing, because that is where we all start, with the same blank page.

Love & Colour

Mandy x

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