How to Create a Music Career You Love With Smarter Goals 


Plus, 6 tips to achieve your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking of goals and resolutions. And, usually a few weeks or months down the road, we’ve totally forgotten them or veered off drastically.


This isn’t because we’re terrible at following through or just suck at life. It’s really about how we structure our goals that determines whether or not we follow through.

Last year, I set a number of goals to achieve in my music career. I published more podcast episodes, written more articles, lead my own band that gigged every week, among others.

I also had my share of failed goals and looking at the ones I abandoned or didn’t reach can be disheartening.

Over the years I learned some tricks to keeping and achieving my New Year’s resolutions.

Today, I’m going to talk about 6 ways to create goals that are meaningful and how to make them stick.

  1. Create S.M.A.R.T goals

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Time Based

This is probably the easiest way to make sure you keep to your resolutions. It’s also one of the biggest reasons people fail.

Their goals just aren’t SMART.

Let’s dive in a little deeper with this.

Specific—your goals must identify exactly what you want to accomplish and be as specific as possible.

Instead of saying you want to practice more – write specific things you want to practice. For me:

  • Practice soloing using dynamic linear phrases in 16th note triplets and 32nd notes. Very specific. That also keeps from floundering in the practice room.

Measurable—there’s a saying, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Try to assign a number to the result. You want to know  whether or not you hit the goal.

  • Instead of saying, “I want to practice more this year.
  • Say, “I will complete a 66 day practice habit challenge.

Actionable—every goal should start with an action verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.) rather than a to-be verb (e.g., “am,” “be,” “have,” etc.)

  • Don’t say, “Be healthier”
  • Say, “work out 6 days/week.”

Realistic—this part is tricky. A good goal should stretch you, but don’t go crazy. I go right up to the edge of my comfort zone and then step over it. (If I am not out of my comfort zone, I’m not thinking big enough.)
So – become the top rated keynote speaker in the music business is a giant leap from where I am now.

But – producing 1 live round table event is just beyond my comfort zone

Time-bound—every goal needs a date associated with it. When will accomplish this goal? It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be sooner. I like to space out my goals over the year so I don’t get overwhelmed and end up dropping them entirely. A goal without a date is just a dream. Make sure that every goal ends with a by when date.
Bad: Lose 20 pounds.

Good: Lose 20 pounds by December 31st.

  1. Stick with 7 to 10 goals at a time.

I have many ideas and dreams I want to achieve. I get most caught up by over committing and trying to do too much. This usually leads to jumping from goal to goal and I end up accomplishing none of them.

Think outside of your music career too. You’ll be surprised how much impact your health and relationships can play into the success of your career and other areas of your life.

This means some of your career goals may need to be pushed back to make room for goals in other areas. You don’t want 7-10 goals in all areas. That’s a recipe for disaster.

  1. Create goals that get you excited. Dream big. It’s good to make them realistic like we said earlier but, if they don’t fire you up, you’ll end up dropping them. This creates a downward spiral and you accomplish very little of what makes you happiest. So, think of goals that will impact your strongest desires and you’ll more likely work towards them.

  2. Write them down. This is critical. Writing things down starts the action of working towards your goals. It creates intention. After I write my goals, I like to go further and list the steps in order to complete them. This is where things really start to take shape. Even if you don’t list your next steps (not recommended) writing your goals down at least creates momentum.

  3. Review them frequently. Add some extra oomph to this process by posting your goals next to your work space. At the beginning of the day I review my goals and ask myself, “Are the tasks I have to do today helping me achieve my goals?” If the answer is no, I need to re-prioritze. There will always be something that has to get done. That’s life but, if I can’t allow any time to work towards what I find important, something is wrong. Reviewing them regularly will help decide on tasks that can dropped and added to keep you on track.

  4. Find an accountability partner. It’s good to share your goals but do so selectively. When we post our goals on FaceBook, our brains starts to think we’ve already achieved them. Instead, share them with a trusted friend or even an accountability group. These people should care about you enough to ask about your progress and not be afraid to call you out if you start to slack.

This doesn’t always mean your spouse or romantic partner. I tell my goals to my wife but, I don’t expect her to hold me accountable. Our relationship is about love and connection not hounding each other if we’re getting things done. My mastermind group however, is designed to do exactly that. Every week, we call in, share successes and struggles and help each other towards achieving our goals.


I want to know what is your scariest goal and which of these tips will you use to achieve it? Leave your comments below. I look forward to hearing them.

Did you find this episode helpful? If so, please share this with a friend. The best way to make this show a success is for more musicians to listen and comment. That way I can bring you the best content to help Make Your Music Your Business. 

Thank you so much. Until next time, bye bye.


It’s that time of year when everyone starts thinking of goals and resolutions. And, usually a few weeks or months down the road, we’ve totally forgotten them or veered off drastically.