I’m just going to put it out there… I love goal setting and workshops. There’s not a lot that I enjoy more than taking a pen to paper and mapping out my greatest visions, biggest ideas, and putting together a plan of action. There’s just something so incredibly satisfying and calming about knowing what you’re going to do and having a solid plan to accomplish it.
Of course, not everyone is as nerdy as me in their planning endeavors and for many, setting goals can be overwhelming and even daunting. While many of us may wish that it was as easy as dreaming up our futures and watching them unfold without any effort, it’s just not a realistic way to operate. To help you out, here are some tips to break it down into bite-size pieces you can execute with ease.
Goal Setting Tips for 2021
Figure out what you actually want in the long-term.
Most of you probably think you know the goal that you’re going after. But my guess is a lot of those goals are pretty arbitrary. And arbitrary is the enemy of goal setting.
For instance, I hear a lot of artists say they want to make a full time living from their music. But what does that mean? Does it mean you’re only making music you want to make and surviving off the sales and touring revenue? Or does it mean you’re also teaching and playing in a cover band twice a week to pay the majority of the bills while you work on your original music taking off? Both of these are fine! It all depends on what “making a living” off your music looks like to you.
How much do you actually need in order to pay your bills and have the lifestyle you desire?
Try to get really specific on what you want, what it actually means, and why you want it. Having a clear long term goal to look towards as you build your career will really help you stay focused and on track.
Create 2-3 main goals for the year.
Once you’re clear on what exactly you’re going for in the long term, you’ll want to choose your goals for this year specifically. Try to keep them to something attainable—you don’t want to set yourself up for failure. Also, try to get specific. For instance, an attainable goal might be to increase your fan engagement on social media. But I’d encourage you to go deeper and ask yourself what that really means. Does that mean aiming for an average of 100 likes or comments on most posts by mid-year? Does it mean people sharing your videos? What will make you feel like you’ve hit that goal?
Another attainable goal might be to do a one-week tour in the summer. Again, get specific. Where will this tour be? How much money do you want to make? (That should be realistic too—you can and should make money off tours, so don’t sell yourself short).
Keep brainstorming until you’ve landed on a couple goals for the year and have a strong understanding of why they matter to you and how they feed into the bigger picture.
Turn those into monthly mini goals.
Next, we take those 2-3 goals and create mini-goals throughout the year that feed into the larger goals. So, going with the tour example above, if you know that you want to tour for a week in July, the first thing you’ll want to do is nail down an exact set of dates. Next, you’ll work backwards to figure out what needs to happen from Jan-June for that July tour to happen. To do that, you think about all the steps that need to go into it, and create goals from them, and assign them to each month based on urgency/how they build off one another.
For instance, by June you’ll want to be focusing on marketing that tour, so that’ll probably be the June goal. Which means in order to market by June, you’ll need all your material/final schedule/roster in by May, so that automatically makes May’s goal to organize the information/get final graphics/etc. January’s goal will likely be figuring out the routing, with February being nailing down venues…you get the idea.
Monthly becomes weekly.
Once you get to the month in question, you’ll want to create weekly goals to keep you on track. This isn’t something you need to do ahead of time—when late March hits, that’s when you break April’s goals into weekly tasks. You don’t need to do it any sooner.
However, the process is the same. All you’re doing here is assigning certain tasks to certain weeks so that you can make sure you’re getting everything done that you need to.
Check-In & Re-Evaluate
Perhaps the most important part of the process… Remembering to check in and re-evaluate where you’re at! It’s completely normal for your goals to change as the year goes on. You may decide to pursue something that’s working especially well and make that your focus or completely ditch something that’s not. Checking in every few months to take stock of the progress you’ve made and how on-track you are is an important part of staying disciplined and making progress.
Have a plan, but don’t forget to be flexible and experiment a bit.
Editors note: Here at Symphonic, we love helping artists reach their highest potential. To ensure your success, we’ve created the ultimate guide to keep you on track and make your goals a reality this year…
Download our Ultimate Guide for a Kickass Year below: