Last week’s posting on getting your goals in a row was intentionally a bit brutal. The main objective was to get you to eventually set aside your wants, whims, and wishes for the sake of the serious pursuit of your success as a singer, singer-songwriter, or praise and worship leader, parental lullaby big leaguer, or better music teacher.
It’s important to break yourself wide open with those visceral wants, wishes, and whims standing right alongside the deeper, rougher tasks you need to address so that you resist doing any editing initially. Each series of subsequent questions were designed to help you refine items on your list and make a lot of cuts.
It’s not that the whims, wishes, and wants don’t matter; they do. But they serve more as enhancements to the goals that must first be achieved or secured, those goals that shake things up and make things happen. Your focus must now be on those goals that make up your final list of highest priority.
It’s become a clichÃ© in the arena of goal-setting, but clichÃ©s come about because they are repeatedly tried and true. Your final list of goals that has been refined by holding them to the fire of those lists of questions must now be shaped based on five criteria.
The Five Critical Criteria
Number one, your goal must be specific. It must also be measurable. The third point is that each goal must be attainable or clearly possible to reach. The goal must also be reasonable, rational, or realistic. And the fifth standard for identifying and shaping each goal is that it must be time-sensitive. In other words, your progress can be measured by time engaged, time spent, and time to go before it’s reached.
So, take your final list of goals and hold each accountable in terms of: specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable, and time-sensitive. If any of your goals don’t quite seem to hold up, reassess to see if it’s part of another goal or if there is some legitimate reason that one area may not apply.
Your goal may be to book a regular gig at a local popular venue. You want to do this because they have a track record of having hosted several fairly well-known acts on tour and have been home base for a couple of local rising singer-songwriters. So, that’s certainly a legitimate goal in building your career.
So, the goal is specific – to book a regular gig at the venue. It’s measurable in that you can track how many times you perform there and track any gigs that grow from that booking. It’s attainable because you know it’s been done. It’s reasonable because you believe you’re good enough and still perfecting your craft. But is it measurable?
Let’s see. You can measure how much effort you make toward getting booked. For example, one call every week or so, or making an additional contact at the venue. Part of the time factor could be how often you hang at the venue.
The point is to take each of your goals, evaluate them based on these five criteria, and then set up a tracking system that holds you accountable either daily, weekly, monthly, or however it best lays out or makes the most sense, especially in terms of time-sensitivity.
Evaluate + Gravitate In Circles
You must evaluate obstacles and challenges for each goal with a plan for addressing them. It’s also important to find others you respect that will not only hold you accountable but serve as advisers in facing challenges or honing your craft.
Assess the music scene in your area in terms of experts such as Brett Manning Associates, college music departments, venue owners, recording studios, and so on. These serve as part of your circles of connections that help to keep you informed, grounded, and moving toward achieving your goals.
Action Plans + Deadlines
Create a list of things to do. These are things to keep you moving forward, to improve your skills, and to network. It includes performance opportunities, coaching, and learning more about the music business.
Deadlines give you a sense of urgency in pursuit of your goals and gives you satisfaction and more confidence as they are accomplished. Always break your goals up into little mini-goals so that you avoid feeling overwhelmed. If those feelings go unchecked you might start to let things slide or give up altogether. You don’t want to crash and burn unless you learn and rise like the legendary Phoenix.
You’re Not Alone
Proper planning and support from others are both keys to helping you avoid burnout or feelings of isolation. The old “me-first” and “cutthroat” mindsets are alive and infectious. Their destructive powers are counter productive in the long run.
You want to be able to enjoy your success, be proud of your accomplishments; celebrate your gifts without every having to look over your shoulder because someone you wronged or deceived may be waiting in the wings to ruin your chances. So, let the Golden Rule be your daily Platinum Practice. Lead by love in all you do, gratitude for your gifts, and fairness as you share them.