How To Set And Achieve Realistic Goals As A Musician
Do you have goals for your music career?
If you do, have you written them down? Have you placed them somewhere you’ll see them every single day? Do you have a daily plan that you can follow to achieve your goals?
Even if you do have goals, you probably haven’t written them down. Most people never do.
And even if you do have your goals written down, chances are you aren’t constantly keeping them in front of you. The odds are even slimmer that you actually have a daily plan that you can follow to their achievement.
I’m not putting anyone down. We’ve all made this mistake, but hopefully after reading this, you’ll be inspired to set new goals and start working towards them.
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The Importance Of Goals
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m going to quote Thomas Carlyle again (let’s just say this isn’t the first time):
A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.
If you don’t have a goal, there’s nothing anchoring you. You don’t know where you’re going. You haven’t defined success for yourself yet, so you’ll never know when you’ve actually attained it. You’re an aimless wanderer going through life, subject to the whims of emotion, and a victim of circumstance.
Does that sound scary to you? It sure does to me.
So let’s get back to the basics and start setting goals that mean something to us.
Reconnect With Yourself
For starters, just lay it all on the table. Use a tool like XMind to create a mind map of everything you want out of your music career.
Don’t just think in terms of monetary goals or the number of albums you want to sell. Consider what you’d like to see happen on a personal level too. Think about what kinds of projects would sustain your passion and fulfill you over the long haul.
Without a strong purpose, we easily lose sight of our vision – this is human nature.
Again, goals won’t make a difference unless you see them as being worthwhile. They won’t drive you to get up early, give up TV, or go out and meet a new person every single day. If your current goals aren’t getting you to that point, then you aren’t connected to your true desires yet.
Put Your Goals In Writing
No, you may not use a word processor or a productivity tool like Evernote to document and track your goals. You can put reminders on your calendar, set up notifications on your phone, or even create a custom desktop background for your computer (with your goals on it), but please put a priority on putting your goals in writing first. Use blue ink on white paper.
This will help you to free up a lot of mental space. If you aren’t regularly putting things down on paper, your mind is a cluttered mess, and you’ll never be able to focus long enough on achieving your goals.
Some experts like T. Harv Eker even say that what you write down has a way of coming true. I can’t confirm or deny that, but I do think there is immense value in this exercise.
Again, most people never do it. You’re going to set yourself apart from others instantly by documenting your goals.
Make A Plan
You need to make a plan for how you’re going to achieve your goals. You need to break them down into smaller steps that you can act on every single day.
If you’re having trouble with this, it could be that your goals aren’t actually measurable and achievable. For example, “I want to be a star” is so non-specific that it holds no water. “I want to have a million fans and be recognized internationally for my talent” is still a little general, but it’s definitely more concrete.
You get the idea. There should be something you can do today to start moving towards your goals. If you can’t think of anything, then your goal isn’t specific enough.
It’s also important to be realistic. If you have 100 email subscribers today, don’t expect those numbers to skyrocket to 10,000 in a single year. There are definitely things you could be doing on a daily basis to grow your email list, but you shouldn’t set goals that are too far out of reach.
Be willing to stretch a little, but not so much that you can’t meet your objectives. Find the sweet spot.
Look At Your Goals Every Single Day
Now that you have your goals written down, you need to place them somewhere you’re going to see them every single day.
Use the mirror in your bathroom, the door to your room, or a corkboard in your office – somewhere you’re going to look.
I don’t want to be too presumptuous, but I’m going to bet that you haven’t done this, even with my prompting. So I’m going to say it again: once your goals are written down, get out a piece of tape, and paste your paper somewhere you’re going to look often. Do it now.
Without this constant reminder, you’re going to get derailed and distracted by shiny objects. We all need to refocus and make adjustments on our individual journeys, but you’re just asking for it if you don’t have a way of keeping your eyes on the prize.
Keep this in mind – the goal itself isn’t as important as the actions you take to achieve that goal.
That might sound kind of defeatist based on everything we just discussed, but many times people don’t hit their goals. They either far and exceed them, or they come closer than they ever would have had they never stopped to think about them.
Either way, you win. Now you know what it takes to get to where you want to go, so you can be more exact with your next goal and your plan for achievement.
Take some time to get your mindset right. Then, start taking steps towards your goals immediately. The only way to get to where you want to go is with consistent, decisive, massive action.
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