2023 is finally a thing of the past! It’s been a long year, but it’s time to start looking towards the future. As a musician, it’s important to set goals for your career and create a plan to make them happen. From learning new skills and getting more followers to earning more money and booking more gigs, setting clear goals is the key to seeing your dreams come to life. Here’s how to set better goals for the new year…
How To Set Better Goals As A Musician in 2024
Let’s talk S.M.A.R.T.
When it comes to goal setting, many pros around the world use the S.M.A.R.T method. Created back in 1981, S.M.A.R.T is an acronym that helps you create specific criteria for your goals to help improve the chances of their success.
What does it stand for?
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timed
How to use the S.M.A.R.T Method:
When it comes to your music career, your goals need to be realistic and specific. You should be able to quantifiably measure their success. For them to be achievable for you as an artist, you also need to be able give it a set time period for it to be accomplished by.
🧠 Pro Tip: Always write down your goals. Once they’re written down, you can look back at them whenever you start to feel lost and get right back on track.
Here’s an example:
Let’s apply the S.M.A.R.T method to, “I want more people to listen to my music”.
What’s wrong with that? — This goal needs to be more specific. First, think about where you want more people to listen to your music. Which platform do you want these listeners on? Next, make it measurable. Come up with a variable that is quantifiable. Now, it’s time to make sure it’s achievable and realistic for where you are in your career. How many new listeners are you actually capable of reaching with your resources?
Those big time goals are good to keep in the back of your mind, but starting off with unrealistic goals will make you frustrated and disappointed when you’re just starting out. You’ll eventually reach those crazy goals, but you need to start small and work your way up. That being said, this leads us to the last step. Timed.
Your goals need to have a time limit. It’s easier to stay on track when you have a set time frame to get things done. (With checkpoints along the way!)
When you apply the S.M.A.R.T method to, “I want more people to listen to my music”, it turns into something like: “I want 1000 more monthly listeners on Spotify by May 31th.” instead. You can keep it focused on your profile’s full monthly listeners or you could break it down even further by focusing on a single release.
Now, that’s doable!
Let’s try one more.
Let’s try a more complex example for applying the S.M.A.R.T method. How about, “I want to go on tour.”
Let’s make it specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. Specifically where and when do you want to go on tour? Is it the right time in your career to start touring? Do you have enough fans in various cities who would buy tickets to your shows? When do you want to achieve this by? What variables do you have to meet in order to meet this goal? For example, reaching X total amount of monthly listeners by this date or cultivating X amount of fans in X cities by this date.
How does this change our original statement? Something like, “I want to go on tour” changes to something like “I will meet XYZ requirements for touring by December 1st in order to start touring by January 1st .”
Make sense? Keep in mind, you can make these goals as specific as you need to. The more specific, the better.
2023 was rough for a lot of us. However, one thing it did give us was a chance to assess ourselves. What do we want for our music careers? What’s been working? What efforts have been more time consuming than fruitful? Now that you’ve had all this time to brainstorm about the future, it’s time to make sure your goals for the new year reflect that. 2024 is a great opportunity to jump back in and hit the ground running!
Just be S.M.A.R.T. 😉