How to set achievable goals for cosplay

As 2021 draws to a close, and the new year rapidly approaches, it’s time to start thinking about setting goals! Almost everyone sets some kind of goal at the new year — something like ‘eat healthier,’ ‘spend more time doing X thing,” etc. But have you ever thought about setting goals for cosplay? If you’re serious about wanting to level up your cosplays, whether just for fun, or to even potentially make money from it, setting cosplay goals can be super helpful in helping you achieve that! 

But how do you set cosplay goals? How do you figure out what you want to accomplish, and the best way to do it? How do you know if it’s even possible to achieve the goals you might set? As someone who has been setting (and even sometimes achieving!) cosplay goals for a long time, I think I can help! In this post, I’ll go over several different methods for figuring out what cosplay goals to set for yourself, how to make them achievable and realistic, and what to do when they don’t seem to be working out!

Where to start

So, where do you even start?

For me, how I start figuring out what new goals I want to set is by looking back at what I’ve already done. I encourage you to make a list, writing down the answers to some or all of the following questions about your cosplay journey! What did you accomplish over the course of the past year? What’re you proud of? What new things did you try? What do you regret not trying or doing?

Once you have some things written down, your brain should already be more in the goal-setting mindset, and you’re ready to figure out some new cosplay goals for 2022! Now that you know what you’ve already done, think more to the future. What do you want to do? It can build on what you’ve already done, or something you’ve never tried before!

Write everything down!

For instance, if you spent a lot of time crafting with EVA foam for your cosplays, maybe you want to bring that to the next level. Or, alternatively, maybe you want to up your sewing skills next, to round off your cosplay abilities. 

As another example, maybe you always wanted to get better with doing makeup for cosplay, but kept putting it off. Now is the perfect chance to finally do it! Turn your past regrets into new goals, if it’s something that you really want to accomplish.

You don’t need to figure out anything super concrete yet — just being able to write down ‘I want to get better at doing makeup’ is a great starting point! Don’t stress too much about it. Write down anything and everything you’re even remotely interested in doing or getting better at! 

As you’re writing, you may even think of things you never considered before! Your goals don’t have to build on what you’ve already done, or things you’ve been wanting to do for a while. Come up with something completely different! Maybe you want to try out LED circuitry, or extreme wig styling! Maybe you want to compete in a cosplay competition, or learn how to take your own cosplay photos. The possibilities are endless! 

Cosplay goal ideas for you

To help you out, here’s a brief list of different cosplay-focused ideas! You don’t have to choose things on this list, just pick what seems interesting to you! And write it all down; writing it down helps you keep track of it all much better, and will help a lot with the next steps of narrowing down your goals.

Ideas for cosplay goals: Learn wig styling, get better at cosplay makeup, learn how to do body paint, learn how to edit your own cosplay photos, compete in a cosplay competition, be a cosplay guest at a convention, teach a cosplay panel, learn how to work with Worbla, learn how to build armor out of EVA foam, learn how to sew, learn how to sew a corset, learn how to use LEDs in cosplay, make a cosplay piece that moves, start making money with cosplay, create X cosplay you’re really excited about, and more! Don’t be afraid to dream big, or, on the other end of the spectrum, focus on something really small and specific.

Those are only a few different goal ideas, and they’re all purposefully very vague, so you can adjust them to fit your own ambitions and goals. But not to worry! Now is the stage where you’ll start narrowing it all down, creating your actual goals.

Once you’ve gotten a good selection of vague ideas and things you want to learn or do, it’s time to finalize your goals! A good goal should be achievable, specific, and measurable. And it should be something you actually care about, because if you don’t care about it, it’s not going to last long.

Scarlet Witch cosplay goal

For me, one of the trickiest parts is taking a vague idea of something I want to do, and turn it into an actual goal. 

Let’s use one of my cosplay goals from 2021 as an example. I wanted to cosplay Scarlet Witch from WandaVision. That’s a pretty good goal — it’s challenging, achievable, and it’s something I cared about. But it’s also super vague. To make it more specific, I set myself a specific deadline. I wanted to finish the cosplay by September 2021, in order to enter it into FanX’s cosplay contest. 

That goal is achievable because I knew my skills as a cosplayer, and I knew that, although it would be challenging, I had plenty of time, and I was capable of creating that cosplay.

The goal is specific because instead of just a vague ‘make a cool cosplay,’ it’s ‘make a complete cosplay of Scarlet Witch’s final costume, finishing by September 2021.’

My goal is measurable because I’ll know for sure when it’s done! It’s not ‘get better at cosplaying,’ it’s ‘Get better at cosplaying by making this one specific costume.’ I’ll know for sure when the costume is complete, and I’ll know if I met my goal if I completed the cosplay by the set date.

Finally, that goal is something I cared about! I loved that costume the moment I saw it on-screen, and even that same day I started gathering reference images for it, and planning out the cosplay. I cared about it enough that I was willing to put in a lot of time and effort to complete it.

And I achieved my goal! I finished my Scarlet Witch cosplay by my set deadline. Even more important, I ended up with a result I was really happy with! Beyond the fact that I was super glad to have made the cosplay, I was also glad to have reached my goal.

Cosplay ideas into cosplay goals

So now it’s your turn! Take one of your vague ideas, one that you’re really excited about, and make it achievable, specific, and measurable! If your original idea was to ‘get better at sewing,’ maybe change it to something like ‘get better at sewing… by creating from scratch this specific costume that requires a lot of sewing, finishing it by this date.’

You can set as many or as few cosplay goals as you want, but I recommend at least 2-3, and no more than 5-6. That way, you have enough goals that you can switch between them if you start to get tired of one, but not too many that you get overwhelmed and distracted!

What kind of goals you set, and how you set them, is totally up to you! These are just some suggestions, that I’ve found helpful in the past! Hopefully, you’ve found them helpful as well.

Is it okay to change your goals?

Something else to keep in mind is that you don’t have to set them all at once at the start of the year, and then never change them again! Setting goals at new year’s is kind of a tradition, but you can set new goals whenever you want! Beginning of the year, the middle, the end — it’s totally up to you! They don’t have to be new goals, either. You may set a cosplay goal at the beginning of the year, and it’s going great for a while, but then it’s no longer working for you. 

If that’s the case, you can absolutely change or adjust your goal, or even get rid of it! That doesn’t mean you’re giving up, or you’re failing. It just means you’re learning and growing! Something that worked for you at the start may no longer work for you, and that’s totally okay! They’re YOUR goals, and they should help YOU. Try to keep that in mind!

It’s never too early or too late to start setting new goals for cosplay. Whether you come across this at the start of 2022, or the middle of the year, or even years later, I hope it’s still helpful to you, in setting cosplay goals! I wish you all the luck in the world in achieving your dreams. Happy holidays, friends.

Sign up below for access to my Resource Library, as well as occasional newsletters and special updates (no spam!).