If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you ever get there?
There are tons of exciting activities you can complete every day in the music industry. It’s super easy to get caught up in gigging, social media, writing, recording etc… Which are all fun activities, until you realise another year has passed by and you’re not where you wanted to be.
It’s really important to set your musical goals (at any time of the year), as this becomes your musical why. Your reason for being, which will impact the decisions you make in your music career. Your goals will impact what you say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to, how you prioritise your time and what’s important to you.
Setting a goal is easy. So why’s it so hard to achieve our goals? There are a few different reasons we can find it hard:
- Too big (overwhelming)
- Not specific enough
- Fear of failure or lack of self-belief
- Not motivating enough
- Not knowing where to begin
- Conflicting with an underlying desire, behaviour or other commitment. There’s a great article explaining how underlying commitments can make it so difficult to achieve your goals, take a moment to check it out here
The good news is that these challenges do not have to be showstoppers. If you’re aware of what can stop you achieving your goals BEFORE you get stuck, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of overcoming any challenges. So here are our golden rules for setting achievable and exciting goals.
10 golden rules for setting your musical goals:
- Write your goals down and place them somewhere you can see them regularly to keep them fresh in your mind.
- To ensure your goals are motivating, write down these 3 things: what success looks like to you, why your goal is important to you, and how it will add value to your world.
- State your goals in ‘positive’ not negative terms. E.g. instead of stop collaborating with untrustworthy musicians you could say: build a network of trusted musicians to collaborate with.
- Do the ‘SMART’ check. Ensure that your goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
- One you’ve set your SMART goal, break it down into smaller goals that will take no longer than 1 year to achieve.
- Make a plan for achieving your goal/s and check in on your progress regularly.
- Sometimes the plan will change along the way, even if the goal stays the same. It’s perfectly normal and healthy to make changes when required.
- Praise yourself for achieving the smaller goals are that you’ll achieve along the way.
- Find someone that you will hold you accountable (a friend? Family member? Another musician? A professional coach?) Send them weekly progress reports.
- Once you have your goal in place, ask yourself an important question… What other commitments that you have compete with this goal? Once you’ve identified them, spend time working out how you can make small changes to support the new goal.
Real human word of warning…
Our brains are wired to always focus on the next goal. So don’t hang everything on these goals / outcomes, and don’t expect permanent happiness once you’ve achieved them. Goals will help you to progress, but they provide fleeting happiness and aren’t the be all and end all. Be kind to yourself, enjoy the process of working towards a goal and celebrate even the little wins along the way… Life isn’t just about achieving goals.
Here are some examples of musical goals for inspiration:
- Build up your social media fan base or email list to 1000
- Get your music out to as many people’s ears as possible
- Become a confident, professional live performer
- Make good money from music
- Join or start a band
- Build a network of trusted musicians to collaborate with
- Make a good living as a professional musician
- Write an album
- Secure a record deal
- Gain 5,000 youtube subscribers
If you’d like any support setting your goals or dealing with challenges along the way, then get in touch. We’d love to help!
What are your musical goals? And what are your biggest challenges when it comes to achieving those goals? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
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