Creative freelancers live in the tension between lofty visions and daily to-do lists.

According to Allie Rice, Portland-based intentionality coach and author, the only way to resolve these tensions and live a life with vision and purpose day-to-day are goals and systems. She was kind enough to share her top 5 goal-setting tips with us:

1. Goals are just the beginning. “A goal is a benchmark — a way of marking your progress or denoting an achievement. But how many of us have set goals only to revisit them a week, month, or year later and not feel any closer than when we began? Systems are the means of achieving goals. If goals are the what, systems are the how.”

2. Systems equal success. “Unless your goal has only one step, it needs a system. Your systems are the things you use day in, day out and measure your progress. When you’re revisiting your goals, don’t be afraid to eliminate goals that are no longer important to you. You have to say no, even to good things, to focus on what you’re truly called to do.”

3. Set your intentions. “For me, that’s what living life with intention is: doing, living, and being on purpose.”

4. Keep up your momentum. “Set a combination of smaller goals you know you can achieve and loftier goals that seem out of reach. You’ll need those smaller goals to give you momentum and affirmation in pursuit of the bigger ones.”

5. Staying inspired means leaving your comfort zone. “Finding inspiration usually means getting out of your regular space or routine. Sometimes it means simply getting out of your own head — meeting someone for coffee to chat through ideas, doing something physical like going on a hike, etc. Other times, it means a change of scenery or experimenting with different daily rhythms. Inspiration is often lurking in a space — physical or otherwise — you haven’t visited for awhile.”

How do you maintain your goals? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or tweet us @freelancersu.

Learn more from Allie at our exclusive Freelance 360 workshop: Work Smarter, Not Harder on Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM (PT).

She can also be found on Twitter: @AllieCreative | Facebook: Allie Creative | Pinterest: Allie

Check out her hands-on e-book for creators, Narrative.