I have to admit, I’m a sucker for the New Year and the idea of re-setting yourself to start or stop habits. I know most resolutions are arbitrary and people can make or break habits at any time, but there’s something about the spirit of the new year that excites me.
As a session singer, I am a full-time business owner. I work freelance and run this blog all by myself, so I’m what the cool kids call a “solopreneur.” I don’t have anyone to answer to, so I have to hold myself accountable. If you’re in the same boat, let’s make some resolutions together! These are what I’ll be focusing on for this year. If they work for you, feel free to apply them to your own life. If not, create your own and let me know what they are!
My 2018 Goals
Goals that fail are often too vague, or illogical. Good goals should be SMART, meaning Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reasonable and Time-sensitive. I won’t bore you with details on how I’m making these goals SMART, so we’ll just take a look at my goals and apply them to you afterward. So, with that in mind, here are my SMART goals as a singer:
1). Get Regular, Good Sleep
This last year I’ve had terribly inconsistent sleep, and my voice has suffered because of it. Not only is it bad for my voice, but insomnia affects every part of the body. My goal is to build a healthy sleep routine and get a solid 8 hours nightly.
2). Create a Regular Warm Up and Practice Schedule
I am not great at warming up. I generally do about five minutes of exercises and go straight into my sessions. If I have a lot of projects, my voice is tired and sometimes even sore by the end of the night. I signed up for Christina Aguilera’s Masterclass and I’m going to be writing a review and vlog on it. I am excited about this! Note: That’s an affiliate link, just so we’re clear. But I’m doing a full test and review of the entire process and I paid for the class myself, so I’ll be giving an honest breakdown.
3). Release at Least 5 Original Songs
I don’t plan on releasing a full album anymore. I don’t think many people still buy albums, and releasing them individually will allow people to hear what they want. If I release five, I’ll have enough to combine into an EP if people do want all of them. I’m actively working on this now and hope to have one finished shortly!
4). Create New Merch
I am mostly a session singer so I don’t know that there’s a high demand for merch from me, but I’d like to design things anyway and see how they do. I have a few things in a store, but I’d really like to create my own artwork and get into design. To make my goal more achievable, I bought Affinity Designer and a Udemy class on how to use it. By the end of the year, I’d like to have an actual physical store of merch that I’ve designed.
5). Learn About Music Publishing and Find a Publisher
This was actually one of my goals last year, and I got so busy that I did literally nothing to even learn about it. Now that I’m working on new music of my own, I’d like to learn about how publishing works and hopefully get a few of my songs placed in small things to start. Knowing more about music publishing will also help me help clients who are interested in publishing their own work.
If you’re using my goals as your own goals, I’m going to break each one down into how you can apply it for yourself:
Goal 1 (Sleep) – If you have a regular day job, this will probably be a little easier. Your goal should be to find out how many hours of sleep you need to function and then aim to get that many hours a night. I saw my doctor for a temporary Ambien prescription, so please talk to your doctor if you’re like me and chronically awake.
Goal 2 (Warm-Ups) – I am going to start Christina’s Masterclass this week, and I’ll be updating you on how it’s going if you’d like to join. If not, here’s a great resource I found on planning your vocal practice. YouTube has great vocal coaches as well if you want to start there!
Goal 3 (Release Songs) – Only you can know your own schedule and how you’d like to do this, so I can’t really give a lot of advice. As for me, I have to do it when I don’t have clients because they come first. My co-writer on Zebra Stone, Aman Sahi, has his own microphone company so he’s plenty busy as well. I’ll have to meet with him and schedule some time that works for both of us.
Goal 4 (Merch) – You have several options here. You can hire someone to design it for you, or design it yourself. I got Affinity Designer and the Udemy class, so I’m going to start taking classes. However, if you’re not into art or design, it’s probably a better idea to hire someone. Look at what your favorite artists do for merch, but also look at people you’ve never heard of and see if you would wear it based on design alone. That’s a good measure for determining how to design your merch.
Goal 5 (Publishing) – I’m not sure how to advise anyone on this because I have no idea about this myself. I need to learn more about the publishing industry, so I guess step one is to find a good resource for that.
In a weird bit of manifestation, after I wrote this line, I took a break to check my email. I had not one, but two emails about seminars for music publishing! I signed up for both, so this goal looks quite promising.
Here are a few important things to keep in mind about your own goals:
1). It’s okay to fall behind or change your goals completely.
Life happens. You can’t always stick to a plan. Sometimes you get started on a plan and realize it wasn’t right for you. That’s okay too. Use your goals as starting points and go from there.
2). Decide who to trust with your goals.
Some people say you should announce your goals publicly. Supposedly, it helps you with accountability. I guess I’m kind of doing that with this post, so we’ll see if that actually works, haha. Still, others say you should keep your goals a secret and quietly work on them. I think only you know who you can and can’t trust, so use your own judgment here.
3). There’s always next year.
If you’ll notice, my 5th goal was not even attempted last year, but I easily moved it to this year. Maybe the timing wasn’t right last year, and that’s okay. Don’t panic or stress if you don’t meet all of your goals on your own timeline.
So, what are your goals for this year? Will you follow any of mine or do you have your own? I’d love to know, let me know in the comments!