Musician’s Ultimate Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals
by Jessica Brandon
This article is designed to assist you in creating a roadmap for achieving what you would like with your musical career, whether you consider making music is your hobby or you are making a living out of it full-time. It’s all about balance, planning, strategizing, setting goals and setting and resetting priorities.
- Map Out Your Goals, Set Focus and Priorities
It is important to prioritize what you feel are most important to you. Identify what it is you want to make more time for. Write down your goals – that are critical to you. Is practicing the scales on your instrument the right way to go? Or reaching and singing that highest note by Ariana Grande important to you? Or crafting your music artistry to becoming a unique artist the most important to you?
I would recommend starting with an easy goal and getting it accomplished. One of the primary reasons people don’t end up achieving their goals or their new year’s resolutions is they set themselves up to fail. They accidentally choose goals that are way too big and take a lot of discipline and time to achieve.
- Look At Goals Every day
Writing your goals neatly on paper or creating a vision board that illustrates them is vital. Keeping them in your sights will keep them in your mind and, in turn, keep you in the right mindset.
- Keep it to yourself
Keep your goals to yourself may be good because announcing them to the world may hurt your motivation or even ridicule you. I know I just said hang them in a place where you can see them, but this is very different from broadcasting them to the world.
- Reset and Change your goals if needed
It is important to learn, tweak and retweak and recalulate as you go, just like a GPS if you driving to a location away from your set goal or location.
Like a GPS in your car as you are driving, you may need to re-calculate if your goals and plans are not working for you. Why stick with a goal of being a lead guitarist when you have been practicing for 30 years and you find no improvement at all? Maybe it’s time for you to do something else.
It is important to check in with your plan to see what’s changed, what needs tweaking, and what needs to be doubled-down on.
- Write Down Your Top 3 Successes Each Day
Write down three little victories each day for this entire year. 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. Put a notebook in your gig bag or next to your bed and each day write down three things. Make one or two of them music or band related.
Here are examples:
- I was able to do A major scales on the guitar in three octaves so smoothly
- I wrote a great hook and chorus to a great Folk/Acoustic song
- My Bass player helped me write a great melody for the verse
- Reward Yourself, be Kind to Yourself
It is vital to reward yourself. Example, you finally finished writing that song about a train that you have been working for 3 months. You are rewarding yourself with “me time” with going to the beach for a swim and a tasty Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.
- Limit Yourself – Less is More, set a timer
Quality Versus Quantity. Most people’s “Music making time” is not spent at peak performance levels. When most people are working on their music, they do so in a relaxed fashion. It makes sense–they have plenty of time to get it done.
To get the best results in your music making, try a shorter but more intensive music practising is more effective than longer drawn-out exercise.
- Turn off Distractions
Social media such as facebook, twitter, instagram can be distractive to your music making because if you constantly check your responses, it can take away precious music creation time for you. So, keep notifications muted when working and set aside a separate time during the day to specifically check all notifications in one sitting. Just think how popular you’ll feel with 20-plus notifications waiting for you on facebook after you’ve stayed off of it for a few hours.
- Say “no” a lot more
Another reason things don’t get done and plans don’t get followed is because we allow other things to take us off track. This happens most often when we get requests from others and say “yes” before considering how that will effect our plans.
Stop to think about what you could accomplish if you said “No” to the next 3 requests that come across your plate.
For more information on the 16th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards), go to: https://www.inacoustic.com