Tips For The Unrelenting Creative: How To Set Goals Using Growth Loops

Hi everyone,

Last week, the rain in SoCal was intense. Los Angeles receives about 15 inches of rain each year. Between Thursday and Saturday last week, LA had just over 5 inches of rain fall. When the rain finally cleared out on Sunday, we were left with an incredible view of snow-capped mountains as seen in the photo above. I’m thankful for the precipitation and hopeful that we get a few more cycles of rain before the dry season hits again.

Thanks for reading!


  • How To Set Goals Using Growth Loops: I love the concept of Growth Loops. Instead of traditional goal setting, which looks and feels a lot like climbing a ladder, Growth Loops help you move towards your goals by engaging in a deliberate cycle of experimentation. Moving towards your goals in this way gives you the flexibility to explore and better understand where you’re going.

    Tip: Take a look at the goals you set for yourself this year and identify one goal that will allow you to continuously experiment in the process. As Anne-Laure Le Cunff states in this article, leaning into the process of experimentation provides certainty and ultimately enables you to move toward your goals faster.

    Related: ​How To Develop A Personal Strategic Plan
  • How To Avoid The Ambition Tax: Like most of you, I constantly try to find that elusive balance between my work life and my family life. My family always comes first but my drive to succeed in all areas of life amounts to something author Khe Hy refers to as an Ambition Tax.

    Tip: Defining your career goals as an ambition tax against your life goals is a brilliant way for me to think deeply about how to find balance. I’m still grappling with this concept but my interpretation is that my career goals create a tax on my life goals. The larger the career ambition, the larger the tax on things like family, health, and overall well-being. That means I either need to let some of my career goals go in order to lower my ambition tax on my life goals, or work twice as hard and risk burning out. I’m going to do some writing around this and see if I can solidify my thinking on this one. 

    Related: 7 Tips To Help Keep Your Calendar Sacred ​​
  • How To Spend Money: Let me be clear, I don’t need a study guide on how to spend money. Whenever I need a reminder, I refer back to my 20s when I had no problems spending all the money I didn’t have! However, I do love reading articles like this that describe the art and science behind spending money. 

    Tip: Before I spend money, I determine if it fits into my plan for financial stability. That mostly goes for big purchases, however, I also look for patterns in my smaller spending habits like eating out or going to the movies. Over time, these small spending habits can turn into large investments of money.

    Related: 30 One Sentence Financial Stability Tips For Creatives​

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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