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The Importance of Goal Setting for Musicians

If you don’t know what you want how will you know when you get there?

When I ask bands what they’re aiming for a lot of them don’t know – sure, some say “we want a big fan base”, “we want to earn a living with our music” or “we want to play more festival gigs”. They’re not goals, they’re ambiguous statements about what you want.

A goal must have the following; an undisputable point of completion, and a deadline.

A big fan base, is not an undisputable point of completion, but 10,000 fans is. Add a deadline, say ‘by this day next year’ transforms the statement into a goal.

Why are goals important?

From a psychological perspective, goals help our minds predict the future and visualize what our life would be like if these are completed, which has the effect of increasing are motivation, thus improving the likelihood of the goal being achieved.

Why you must write your goals down or say them out loud

As humans we listen more to what’s outside our bodies, than what’s within. Fitness is a classic example of this – when we exercise our internal voice says “this is getting painful, you should stop”, whereas when we have a personal trainer or a friend telling us to plough on, our internal voice goes away and we listen to what’s in the environment.

You can use this concept intelligently to complete your goals. Externalisation is a process of changing the voice inside us to something in the real world to make our bodies more likely to listen to it. There are two key forms of externalization – writing, and speaking.

If you write down your goals, or say them aloud, you will be more likely to complete them.

My challenge to you is to get a piece of paper or a journal and write down 5 or 6 goals, each with a deadline and a ‘completion point’, and then start working towards these. This exercise sounds simple but scientific evidence has proven it’s efficacy and if you spare ten minutes to doing so you will be more likely to achieve what you want.

About Marcus Taylor

In 2013, Marcus Taylor won the award for 'Young Visionary of the Year' at MIDEM. Marcus is passionate about marketing and the music industry, and has consulted to some of the biggest names in the music industry through his agency, Venture Harbour. Marcus founded this website in 2009, and has reached over half a million musicians ever since.


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