3 Steps to Keep Resolutions (and re-energize your music career) | SOSstudio

New Year’s Resolutions are a hot topic this time of year, some of the more popular trends being to better ourselves through self-discipline and personal development. For many, these resolutions are made personal and carried out behind closed curtains: giving up cigarettes, losing 50 pounds, vowing to read every day. There are self help guides everywhere sharing success stories and step-by-step instructions on how to choose a resolution and to stick with it.

But how often do you hear a person commit to an awe-inspiring goal such as

I’m going to fully commit to advancing my career. I’m going to use this time of inspiration to take the steps necessary to ensure I’m on a path to create the life I truly want.

It doesn’t pop up in many conversations because people see a resolution as powerful as this as either 1) irrationality that may peg them as a “self-help guru” if they open up their true goals to their friends or 2) a goal that is too lofty to accomplish, and they don’t know where to start.

Well I’m here to tell you that not only is this resolution achievable and not far-reaching (in fact, I’d say it’s exactly what you need to tell yourself to start envisioning the level of success you can truly achieve) but that it can also be broken down into smaller, more manageable steps.

Any goal, regardless of size, comes down to 1 major factor: Self-Discipline. Self-discipline is the trait that allows you to control bad habits and nurture good habits and it also allows you to act on what you think rather than feel, meaning it drives you to:

  • Wake up early for gym or other self-development time
  • Put down that second dessert
  • Resolve to work on a project after the initial rush of enthusiasm and adrenaline have faded away

Can you tell which one is my favorite? It’s because I’m taking my own advice and I’m using this year to kickstart my self-discipline and finally finish my 5-song EP I started over a year ago. Ideas burst in then fade away, excitement wains, “life” happens …Everyone has experienced the joy and loss of an idea at one point… but using the steps below, you can turn any resolution -big or small- into a lasting, powerful, life-changing decision.


Here are 3 steps to ensure your big goal is within your grasp.


1. Consider the Ripple Effect

There is no small step when it comes to your career or becoming the best version of yourself you can be. You’ve heard about The Butterfly Effect (a butterfly flapping it’s wings in Australia can cause a tidal wave in California) and any kid who has thrown rocks into a still pond knows that the ripples will go as far as they can until they hit a barrier. Your job is to start the ripple and clear the barriers.

Envision where you want to be once you consider yourself to be a success. Now don’t picture all of the steps and years of hard work it takes to achieve that success; focus on the first step. The very first thing, that you can start TODAY, that will move you in the direction of your goal. It may be as simple as securing a domain name for your website or as fun as buying that guitar that inspires you to write or as dedicated as downsizing your lifestyle so you can allocate more financial assistance to your career.

Whatever that first step may be, now consider the ripple effect that comes from that. I’ll use a personal example here but you can imagine your scenario to play out any way you want:

  1. (First step) I resolve to rediscover my music that I’ve already written and to listen with fresh ears.
  2. I realize I have 5 songs that go very well together and that, with a few tweaks, can be an EP.
  3. I record my EP. (I’ve got a tip for saving money but I’ll come back to that later)
  4. I upload my EP to iTunes and my website and start promoting it on social media, through my family, and any occasional live gigs I’m playing.
  5. With the new income, I am inspired to continue writing and very soon have a full length album and take that into the studio.
  6. I continue to promote using free services like Soundcloud and YouTube to build a following.
  7. As my following grows, I generate even more income and write and record a 3rd album, which I can now sell at my regularly occurring shows and various online distributors.
  8. Now I have 3 albums, a year of shows, and thousands of followers under my belt that I can take to a record label or reality show like X-Factor and say, “I have the talent, I have the experience, I have the followers, and I want to work with you to take my career to the next level.”
  9. I continue to work hard and stay fully committed one conversation, one song, one album at a time until…
  10. I live on the moon.

(Ok, so taking up residence in space may not be everyone’s goal but you have to admit it’s a pretty nice one.)

In 8 steps, I went from listening to my existing music to confidently showcasing my star power to a record label. And in 10 steps, I did something that no one has ever done before. Listen. No one on TV, the radio, or anywhere else in your life has become successful overnight, despite what they may say. There are years of hard work and dedication leading up to that “one night.” You can truly reach that 10th step. Just start now with a little ripple and clear the barriers.


2. Be Specific in Your Goals

When you’re considering your “next step,” always be as clear as possible about how to make that step actionable. Meaning: rather than jotting down “bass” on a piece of paper to help you remember what you want to do, buy a calendar (or use your favorite To-Do List app) and write “Call James today about recording bass on my EP.” This is a clear, no-nonsense approach to not only reminding yourself but also keeping yourself on task and true to your mission: Achieving your ultimate goal.

Be as specific as you can be every step of the way. Set deadlines for yourself. On a calendar, block out portions of your day in advance when you will dedicate time to reaching your goal. Find an accountability partner, someone who is working on their own set of goals, so that you can tell them your steps and have them hold you accountable. Just telling someone is often the first step in convincing yourself that you are truly going to see something through to the end.

The more you can specifically target what the small steps are that you’ll need to achieve your goal, the easier it will be to make them a reality when their time comes. And this all leads into Step #3:


3. Commit but Don’t Over-Commit

Did you know only 5% of people make it all year pursuing their resolution? It’s because people over-commit to their first resolution and burn out rather than taking things 1 small(er) commitment at a time.

For example: Joe wants to quite smoking. He says, “I’m going to quit smoking cold turkey today.” He makes it a few weeks but then can’t keep the commitment strong and gives up. Instead, if he can break his goal down into smaller, actionable commitments by saying “I’m going to smoke one less cigarette each day this week. Next week, 1 less than that. The week after, I will only smoke 1 cigarette a day. By next month, I will allow myself 1 cigarette each week. After that, I will throw away all cigarettes in my house and start carrying gum in my pocket for when I feel cravings.”

The goal is the same. The results are better because Joe has considered the ripple effect and has been specific with his goals. With each step, he has not over-committed to the point where it seems impossible or difficult; he has found the individual steps along the path that allow for victories so that each time he accomplishes his last goal, he is even more energized to pursue the next.

This formula can be used to break down any resolution or any larger goal into smaller, bite-sized goals that are easier to accomplish and they motivate you to see your goals through to the end.


(Now the money-saving recording studio tip I mentioned.)



Click for more information

SOSstudio is offering 15% off of tracks and mixing ALL YEAR for any recording artist who commits to their project by January 15th, 2015. If you, like me, have a handful of songs that you want to turn into an EP or album but have lost the motivation up to this point, this deal is for you.

Now, I don’t want you to over-commit, so… To keep your savings all year, all you have to do is start the process by contacting me and saying these words: “I’m ready to commit to my career.” Do that by January 15th, then we’ll discuss your project (1 song or 10, it’s up to you) and reserve your recording time with a deposit. After that, you have all of 2015 to redeem your 15% savings and maximize your potential.

To see our sale prices, learn about our process, and to commit today to furthering your career, click here.


Dear Reader: What are your goals and resolutions for this year or beyond? What are your ways of breaking down your goals into actionable smaller goals for faster success? What motivates you?

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