Happy New Year!
I hope 2018 is the healthiest, happiest and most successful year yet for you, your family and friends.
Now, onto what you came here for…
I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I stopped making them a long time ago. You can do whatever you want to do, but I highly recommend that you hear me out on why I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions.
Let’s start with a simple question…
If you’ve already got unachieved goals, why on earth would you want to add to that list?
Instead, wouldn’t it be a lot better and more productive to focus on achieving the goals you already set for yourself?
Whether it’s a physical list or some sort of mental checklist, I’m sure it looks something like this:
- Finish writing ‘song X’
- Send email to ‘Y’
- Finish mix of ‘Z’
Leaving goals unfinished or incomplete can leave you stuck and unfulfilled in what you’re doing. If you set New Year’s Resolutions and add to that list, you can’t simply expect to spring into action and miraculously become a productivity machine – nailing one goal after another as each day passes. We just don’t work like that. Why do you think so many people fail with their New Year’s Resolutions?
We’re all limited in our motivation and how much we can commit
But here’s the good news…
The end of the year is a great time. We got to enjoy some family time, party time, rest time and got ready for a new year and all the exciting opportunities that are waiting for us. Rather than looking to add to our list, why not look at the start of a new year as a time to reflect?
I prefer looking at the turn of the year as a chance to reflect on the year that has passed, the goals I’ve accomplished and have yet to accomplish.
Goal setting is powerful once you reflect on what you already have in your life
Having an attitude of gratitude and reflecting on what you’ve done in the past year and what you’ve already achieved will leave you in a much better place to continue ticking off your goal list or set new goals for your music.
Both your successes and failures should be part of that reflection. We never simply fail. There’s always something to be learned from failure and better opportunities are always waiting for us.
We tend to examine our work and think that there’s room for improvement and while that might be true, you have to give yourself credit for how far you’ve come already. If you compare where you were at the start of 2017 to where you are now, you will notice that you’ve made progress. I have no doubt that you’re a much better rounded musician, producer and engineer – whether you realise it or not.
Here’s the most important information I can give you about goals…
- Goals are empty if you don’t enjoy the journey. Don’t just achieve a goal and move on to the next one. Yes, keep moving forward, but give yourself credit for what you’ve achieved.
- Every day is a new start. So be present and focus on the task at hand. Even if that’s editing or running backups for your sessions. Those little tasks chip away at your bigger goals and keep you progressing. It will make you a lot happier in the long run if you’re present and get on with what you need to do at any given moment.
- You might not enjoy editing or running backups of your projects and that’s totally fine. If you reframe how you look at these tasks and know they’re part of the bigger picture of completing your project, then they’re much easier to complete and you’ll find a sense of enjoyment in them.
But let’s face it… There are always goals that sneak onto your list that you really don’t want to complete. They’re on that list because they’re what you think you “should do”, or they’re there because they’re what others expect of you.
Personally, I would eliminate those goals straight away. This life isn’t a dress rehearsal and I only want to do the things I really want to do. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do things for others. In fact, I highly encourage you to be selfless and give to others, but make sure you’re looking after yourself as well.
If you’re setting some new goals for your music or looking to progress and finish some pre-existing goals in the early part of 2018, then here are some important things to remember:
- Don’t overthink things
- The “I’m not good enough” voice is a load of crap
- Don’t add something to your list simply because others expect that of you
- You don’t have anything to prove to anyone but yourself
- Do only the things that you want to do
- It’s up to you to make the goals and take action on them
That last point is incredibly important and, in my experience, achieving goals takes motivation, commitment and accountability.
Keep in mind that our motivation is limited and that’s why we should only set goals for the things we really want to do. If you’re not that enthusiastic about doing something, your motivation is going to be lacking. You’re also much more likely to commit to a goal if it’s something you really, really want.
But, accountability is even more important.
Accountability can make or break a goal
Having a deadline for completing an EP or finishing a mix or your latest track and telling other people about it can be a really powerful motivator. Think of how disappointed you’d be if you were promised a new release from your favourite artist on a specific date and then nothing arrived?
This is why we have agreed deadlines with our clients. There’s accountability to deliver on the agreed date and time. Without that accountability, that project might never be completed. The exact same is true of your own music. So, even if it’s a calendar entry or some sort of countdown on your phone, keep yourself accountable.
I don’t want this article to be too much about me, but I keep myself accountable by making my goals public. I tell my friends and family about what I want to achieve (sometimes ad nauseam – sorry guys) and then set about getting it done.
I want Understanding Audio to become one of the biggest and best known resources in the world for learning how to fast track your progress and understand everything you need to know about producing better audio. That is my mission. 2018 will simply follow on from what we achieved together in 2017. Each day that goal is broken down into small chunks to chip away at that bigger goal.
Enough about me. Let’s refocus on you and your goals. Here are the action steps:
- If you achieved everything you wanted to achieve in 2017 and there’s nothing left on your goal list, then now is a good time to set some new goals.
- If you’ve still got plenty to do, then focus on getting that done before adding anything else to your list. If there are things on that list that you know you’ll never do or don’t want to do anymore, get rid of them and move on.
- Either way, make sure to reflect on your successes and be present. The journey is always more important that the destination.
Do what is most important to you, commit, and have fun!
Now, I’d love to know…
What was your biggest achievement in 2017?
If you want to take that a step further and add some accountability, let me know the most important goal you want to achieve right now.
Leave a comment below!
P.S. If you don’t want to make them public, I totally understand. You can always email me and we can chat about it.
professional sounding mix every time…