As the year winds down and you recover from a series of holiday parties, life-threatening shopping sprees, wrist-wrenching clicks through online bargains, and fits of freaking out over mountains of bills, that moment comes when you finally settle down and start to think back over the year before your look ahead.
One of the frailties of us poor humans is that we tend to circle the negatives like vultures and then swoop down to pick apart what little is left of dreams that fell short or possibilities that need a little more planning and nurturing. So, you’re invited to kick all of that junk to the curb and check out a healthier approach.
Going For The Goals
Start with a list of projects, plans, rehearsal schedules, coaching sessions, gigs, contacts – the key things you want to accomplish in the coming year. Be as specific as possible and as realistic as you can. You want this to be attainable goals that you can take action on. You can include some bigger goals as well. Just make sure that you write out the first key steps to reaching each of those bigger goals.
Keep writing until you have a manageable list of the key goals that you want to achieve in order for 2010 to be a successful year. Again, you want these goals to be things that you will clearly pursue.
Just focus on the things you see that are most directly related to your career pursuits as a singer, singer-songwriter, musician, entertainer, writer, or working member of the music business/entertainment industry.
Looking Back For Bright Spots
Now that you have your list, you’re free to start thinking back on 2009. When you look back and things come to mind that are still bugging you, ask yourself what each of those things taught you that you can use moving forward.
The focus must be not on how many shortfalls or disappointments you can come up with, but how many lessons learned that can be immediately applied to some specific future goals. And then, make a list of any goals you reached in 2009, progress made, or accomplishments you achieved.
Grateful Plates Full
Before moving to the next step, look for something that you are truly thankful for in your assessment of the shortfalls from 2009. Ask yourself, having made it through these disappointments last year, what makes you grateful. This will give you a positive frame of mind as you work to specifically connect the lessons learned, progress made, and goals reached with the unique goals you’ve set for 2010.
Take each lesson learned and see how many ways the lesson can be applied to each of your goals. Stretch your thinking a bit to make things fit. That will prompt new ideas and fresh perspectives on the new goal, as well as change your take on what you faced in 2009.
In fact, you’ll likely discover that you accomplished a lot more last year than you thought. Seeing its potential impact on next year will also boost your spirits and help get you excited about what’s coming in the near future.
Dare To Care To Share
This is a great exercise to share with others that are pursuing a similar career. It invites confidence, encouragement, commitment, care, and cooperation. It also opens the door to healthy accountability.
These are tough times, but the entertainment industry will always thrive in such seasons of struggle because emotions need an outlet. Those who are hurting need to simply escape now and then, while at other times, they need to have their struggles affirmed in the sense that they’re not alone.
Remember that your creative gifts are a profound blessing to community and culture. So, here’s to a New Year of renewed commitment to your success as a singer, songwriter, musician, entertainer, or all of the above!