Whether or not we actually make resolutions or take them seriously enough to follow through on them, one thing is for certain. This time of the year when one ends and another begins is a time for taking inventory. We do the same thing around birthdays, anniversaries, and anything else that serves as a marker in time to make us look at where we are in terms of where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
So the following are a few of the most common New Year’s resolutions. Only this time, they are framed in terms of the longings of a singer, performer, musician, or singer-songwriter. We’ll call them seven simple steps to sure success.
1. Stay Active + Refresh + Refuel
This is the lose weight and eat right section, with its emphasis on keeping the machine in top running order. You need the stamina to endure long hours, heartaches, as well as all internal and external stressers that come with the pursuit of your passion.
So hydrate, take long walks, and avoid major meals after sunset and before sunrise. That’s the simplest diet plan for not overloading your system when your body is ready to rest. Walking is great for stimulating creativity while keeping the body in good working order.
2. Spend + Save Responsibly
It’s key to set up a budget and follow it. The same struggles that come with dieting and exercise also come with budgeting. Stick to your budget so that your financial health will flourish.
Reduce existing debt and avoid incurring more debt at all costs. Work with others on accountability. Brainstorm on money-saving tips on wardrobe, gear, travel – everything related to helping you maintain and advance your career.
Unless it’s an absolute emergency, avoid credit. If emergencies come up and the credit is needed, set up a plan to pay it off ASAP.
Keep a written record of all money spent. This gives you power over regulating its distribution while tracking the return on your investments and interest.
3. Make Time For Loved Ones
We live in an age of instant communication through technology where very little face time with those who care about us.
Since your run to success can often be very lonely and demanding on your time, it’s critical to honor and nurture your support base. Honor those that provide love, care, and concern in exchange for those very same needs from you. Think of it this way, even your most annoying or irritating relative can be a source of inspiration for a song, a character, or a story while gigging.
4. Kick The Fits + Nasty Habits
Everybody has their vices. It may be smoking, excessive drinking, too much chocolate, cursing, too much time surfing the web – pick your poison. Whether you’re a singer or not, becoming a non-smoker is probably one of the wisest life-choices you can make.
The overall benefits to your health, career, relationships, confidence, energy, and to your sense of self-esteem for having kicked any nasty habit will dramatically improve your quality of life.
It can be very affirming and empowering because kicking any habit is impossible without you taking the initiative and following through. You can certainly be encouraged by others, but no one can make you kick a habit. You have to do it yourself.
So knock off anything that is clearly interfering with your ability to give your very best as a singer, musician, songwriter, or performer. In fact, whatever you do to improve your quality of life off-stage or outside the studio will reap rewards for you in the creative arena as well.
5. Make Necessary Shifts + Moves
If you don’t like the material you’re singing or the image you project, take a closer look at what you’d like to change, and change it!
If the band you’re with isn’t working out, voice your views first. Then, do what’s best for you if it looks like your concerns or ideas have fallen on deaf ears.
Tap into your circles of connections for others that are a better fit in terms of partnerships or creative support for moving forward in your career.
6. Ready, Set, Grow
Never stop learning and never grow up. Keep your mind open to new ideas and new concepts.
Explore new material. Play around with other styles and genres. Educate yourself on trends in the music business; and the, put your own unique spin on it.
Invest in training with Brett Manning’s Mastering Mix and other programs such as Singing Success. As you grow more confident and comfortable with your voice, you will naturally attract new ideas, a wider audience, and a stronger desire to step up to the microphone and strike chords that hit home in the heart of your listeners.
7. Never Stop Giving
In tough times there is a tendency to pull back because of financial struggles and possible plateaus in the career. But that should never stop you from reaching out to others.
Singing, songwriting, and musicianship are all gifts. Granted, you want to be able to make a living out of the giving, but it all starts and ends with the loving and sharing.
Ask yourself how your gift can be used to make a difference in your community. Look for places such as nursing homes, social organizations, senior citizen centers, hospices, schools, and children’s hospitals. Then, volunteer your services, even if the work falls outside of the realm of music.
Never underestimate the value of reaching out for the sake of giving love – period.
So, there you have it: seven simple steps to sure success. We hope this year brings you grander gigs, wilder dreams, greater confidence, and a truer sense of the unique voice you bring to all of life’s ventures and venues.