The new year is almost upon us, and that means it’s time to start fresh with new goals and a clean slate. I know we all set goals each year only to fall off them before the year is halfway through (as is evident by the huge surge and then sudden drop off of gym memberships.) However, if you learn how to set your goals in a more positive way it can actually help you stick with it. Your goals should be specific as possible, and big, lofty goals should be built with smaller milestones to keep up your forward momentum.
I have seen a huge difference between artists who set goals and those who don’t. It is essentially the first step towards your success in music. So what will you do in 2014? This is YOUR year!
Mapping Out Your Goals
Many studies have proven that long-term perspective is the most accurate single predictor of upward social and economic mobility in America. And it has been proven that people who have goals written down are much more likely to achieve them.
Focus Areas – Creating Order
STEP 1: Write Down Your Focus Areas
Here is a list of some areas you may want to focus on. Skip the ones that are not for you and write out each focus area goal.
Branding – Your look and feel your image and health or your pitch and overall messaging.
Marketing – What will you do this year for your marketing plans.
Newsletter – It’s still the #1 way to make money! What will you do to create and send yours 12 – 24 times this year & how many people can you add to your e-mail list.
Website – Building a new one or diversifying your online presence?
Social Networking – How’s your Facebook Fan Page looking? How many tweets do you send each week?
PR – Getting covered on radio, print, or online.
Booking – Touring or local gigs this year or a combination?
New Music – How much will you release?
Money – How much money you would like to earn?
Film & TV Placements – Will you work towards them this year?
Expanding Your Fan Base – How will you do this?
Team – Will you be trying to get a manager or a booking agent?
Time – How will you manage to balance your time this year to make sure you can focus on your musical goals?
Songwriting – Recording an album or EP this year or just releasing singles as they come?
Instrument – Buying a new instrument or taking lessons?
Personal Health – So your performance is better – exercise, eating etc.
STEP 2: Write Your Goals Down
- Write each goal as if it is already happening – use the present tense
- Give dates by when you want to achieve each one
- Your goals should involve you and only you (they can’t be contingent on someone else)
- Make them so they are realistically achievable
- Start with small goals so I can get them checked off the list and get in momentum fast!
- Make sure they make you FEEL MOTIVATED to complete! Derek Sivers wrote great commentary on this: http://sivers.org/goals
STEP 3: Look At Them Everyday
I highly recommend writing your goals neatly on paper or creating a vision board that illustrates them. Use colored pens or make a collage that brings them to life and hang them in a place where you can see them everyday.
Keeping them within your sights will keep them in your mind.
Carla Lynne Hall at Rockstar Life Lessons has a fabulous guide on how to create a vision board on her blog: http://bit.ly/CarlasVisionBoard
Techniques For Achieving Goals
1. Start With An Easy Goal And Complete It
One of the main reasons people don’t end up achieving their goals / keeping their new years resolutions is they set themselves up for failure by choosing goals that take a lot of discipline and time to achieve. There is nothing wrong with having big goals however, here’s what I recommend to overcome this issue…
Choose a simple goal and get it achieved within the next two weeks. This will start your momentum and get you feeling like you are in full forward motion.
Think of a small, achievable goal that only takes four to five hours to complete.
Choose something like:
- Organize cluttered studio
- Clean off desk
- Delete unwanted files & emails from computer
- Recycle last years unwanted papers
- Write one new song
Next, set a date when you will get your chosen goal done by and go for it.
Now that you have achieved a goal within the first two weeks of the new year, the rest of your goal setting will seem a lot easier to accomplish, and you will be able to get things off your plate.
2. Make Lists To Stay On Track
- Make daily lists of what you need to do to get your goals met – the night before! Do the hardest thing first in the morning – don’t procrastinate
- Do something everyday that moves you towards your goals
- Delegate the little activities that waste your valuable time to other people (you would be amazed what you could do with 4 hours it takes to clean your house).
- Don’t overload yourself – studies show that 6 tasks is the maximum you can achieve in one day!
3. Write Down 5 Successes Each Day
I’m inviting you to write down five little victories a day for this entire year.
I learned this powerful technique years ago from T. Harv Eker. Once you start getting into this habit, you are training yourself to put the focus on the positive and get your brain to stop being so critical.
So put a notebook in your gig bag or next to your bed and each day write down 5 things. Make one or two of them music or band related.
Here are some examples:
1. Went to gym.
2. Wrote lyrics for a new song.
3. Called three clubs for potential booking.
4. Did the dishes.
5. Posted a blog.
4. My Final Piece of Advice – Go Easy On Yourself!
This is a process intended to take a whole year and you will have your days where you may get frustrated, and you will start to beat yourself up (sound familiar?).
Self-criticism will interfere directly with achieving your goals and dreams. So, the next time you are making yourself wrong, take a step back and instead acknowledge the good, and celebrate your achievements.
Another thing that will stop you is not taking time for YOU so schedule time to reflect and take it all in. Maybe that’s a walk in the woods, maybe that’s cooking yourself a decadent meal, or maybe it’s spending time with people you love and turning down your power for a few days without the pressure of a holiday or an event….