I love talking about goal setting.

I really believe that people who find success in life are
intentional about it.

The first part about being intentional is deciding where
you want to go and making it clear. This is where goal-setting comes in.

If you’re left-brained, then you’re going to love this.
If you’re right-brained, then learning to love this would probably help you. 🙂

It’s talked a lot about in the business world but it’s really
important to set SMART goals.

What are SMART goals?

SMART means:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant And
  • Time-Based
Specific is: “I want to write 5 number one singles.”
“I want to quit my job and go full time as a musician.”

“I want to do a
40-city tour.”

It’s not I want to get better at guitar, or I am going
to make amazing music.

It’s putting it into words and putting those words on
paper. Write it down. Think strategically.

So that’s specific.

Measurable helps define the goal. It takes it from vague intention to real targets. Measurable is an objective description, like a length of time, or an objective quality, or a chart position, or a certain number. It is how you know if you are making progress or not. How you know if you are winning or not.

This is where having it on a whiteboard that you can
update every week makes a big difference put it where you see it often so are motivated to chip away at that goal a little bit every day. It’s the thing that motivates you.


This is the part I see most musicians or songwriters trip up and fail.

Here’s the important thing to remember here. In the words of my friend Sam Tinnesz… 

“Don’t treat your chapter 1 like it’s someone else’s chapter

It’s good to be ambitious, over a long period of time,
but for setting goals that you can really see moving the needle, they need to be a little more short-term we’ll talk about that in a bit. Alot of people start out with having their big goal be to win a grammy at the upcoming Grammy Awards. Or to write the ACM song of the year next year. Or to make a million dollars from music in 12 months.
That’s fine if you’re already well-established, and is a good long term goal for years down the road, but think a bit more realistic.

What’s the next step?

You’ve got to bloom where you’re planted.

Maybe an achievable objective if you’re at the beginning of
your career would be to write your first 50 songs in your catalog. Or maybe it would be to release an EP to the world. Or maybe even to book 25 paying gigs.

Yes, dream big for your career and your life, but when
doing goal-setting, it’s good to make smaller bits of progress at a time and actually execute against your goals. Nothing is more motivating than feeling like you are winning and actually doing what you set out to do.

This is about picking the right goal in the first place. We’ve all heard the metaphor about climbing the ladder and making it to the top. But I’ve seen people who climb the wrong ladder in the first place and end up at the top of a place they don’t really want to be.
This is all about thinking about the where you want to go. Is the goal going to help you get there, or not? Begin with the end in mind.
If you want to be a key part of the country music world as a songwriter, but your goal is to do a 40 city tour of dance clubs then that’s probably not going to get you closer to where you want to be.

If you want to have a career as a studio
session musician, then setting a goal of building a 1000-song writing catalog, isn’t probably going to be relevant to your end destination.

This is so that there is an actual finish line for the goal. Again, this helps make the goal more specific. It’s like a sports game.

If there is an endless playing time, or a time
that isn’t visible to the players on a scoreboard, then no one is going to be very motivated or treat things with urgency.

When can the result be achieved? That’s what
this part is about.

If you don’t know where to start with picking
a time-frame, just be as realistic as possible.
If it helps, ask other people who have done something that you want to do, and ask them how long it took them to do it?

It’s not a perfect science, but when you’re
setting goals, it’s important to give yourself a time-limit, otherwise, if your goal is to finish your first EP and it has no deadline then you might just keep second-guessing yourself and never finish it.

Deadlines are your friend.

Again, just be as realistic as possible with this.
I do believe that amazing things can happen when you just let things happen naturally and don’t force things.

But I also believe God gave us brains that can
strategize for a reason. So if you want to achieve something, then having a plan to achieve it is the best place to start.

Let me know what you think and comment your SMART  goal below!