by Stephanie Brooks
With the ushering in of a new year, many people look to the time as a fresh start – a chance to reflect upon the previous one and plan for the upcoming. Many vow to change their health habits in January, while others focus on their relationships or attempt to learn a new skill.
So what better time to embrace positive change for your music? If what you were doing for your music career wasn’t working last year, now’s the time to revamp it. And goal setting is where the transition from dreams to reality starts. From small-scale – like learning to tune your own instruments – to life-altering — like moving your family to Nashville to pursue a record deal – read the following goal-setting tips that can help you set the stage for what you want from your music.
1. Write it down
In order to truly achieve a goal – be it in music or otherwise – putting pen to paper can help legitimize it and is a great way to start planning. Make it something specific, tangible, and written in the present tense. It will also be more effective if there is a time-specific element to it; that way you will keep the end-date in mind. For example: “Complete writing my album by the end of November 2014.”
Habit, as all musicians or artists well know, leads to success. Think about what you can do every day that will lead you to achieving that goal. Then write it down.
2. Share your goal
Someone aiming to lose weight may commit to working out with a friend or posting healthy recipes on their fridge. Similarly, artists or musicians should keep reminders of their goal in plain sight and stay committed. Share your plan with trusted others to stay accountable.
3. Visualize it
Visualizing the achievement of a goal helps us to better believe ourselves actually accomplishing it and provides focus and inspiration. If it’s the 2014 CMAO Rising Star Award you’re really gunning for, picture yourself onstage accepting the plaque and giving your acceptance speech. Having a mental image of your goal should generate excitement (that hopefully will lead to action).
Check out vision boards for more inspiration. http://christinekane.com/how-to-make-a-vision-board
4. Do your homework
Part of proper goal-setting is planning, and effective planning often requires research. Use your resources, network, and read up on other peoples’ experiences of reaching a similar goal. Figure out how you may need to plan financially to achieve it.
5. Revisit your plan
It’s important to evaluate and re-evaluate as you go. Are you staying on-course? Is it realistic? Do you have to alter your plan? Is it still inspiring you? Evaluate what is and isn’t working, remembering to embrace any failures. That’s where you learn the most!
Congratulations – you’ve done it! You’ve conquered that tough lyric sequence, found a band to work with, got a record deal, landed that opening act. When you get there (and you will!), take time to appreciate and enjoy the satisfaction of achieving your goal – or part of it. Reward yourself for your accomplishments.
Make sure to learn from it, too. Was it too easy or too challenging? Remember that you’re always growing and moving forward.
Best of luck for a happy, healthy, safe and SUCCESSFUL 2014!